“In today’s marketplace, the smartest companies aren’t those that necessarily out-produce the competition. Instead, it’s the organizations that outthink them.” Harvard Business Review Nov 2015 Product management, today, is an art as well as science. In this process, one can do a lot of experiments but one ought to be able to put various types of strokes using a variety of paintbrush on a vast canvas of opportunities. One may have to draw, erase and re-draw for that masterpiece to emerge – something that “outthinks” the competition Such solutions to complex problems which are also quite unstructured and ambiguous, are discovered through a rather contradicting mix-and-match of new ideas with old experiences, beliefs with modern perceptions, hypothesis with facts. The legendry team of Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger have a very simple Mental Model about investing. They say that invest in areas which you understand and simply stay away from anything you don’t understand, because you can not know everything Similarly a product Manager also needs a number of mental models - during ideation, conceptualisation, design, iteration and in making decisions about investing money or about effective marketing and shipping. Here are a few time-tested mental models that would help anybody in today’s world of Products and services, to create ‘delightful’ outcomes for customers.
Product Managers have so many things on their mind that it is not always easy to make decisions about where and how much to invest, what scope is enough, and the perennial dilemma of choosing between prototype, proceed, pivot or abort. We will develop a few objective models in our mind to ease such decisions and become effective contributors for the product management team. All Agile practitioners, even if they are not designated as Product owners or managers, should benefit from the session.