Tuesday, December 30, 2008
According to Michael Hoseus, Executive Director of the Center for Quality People & Organizations, and co-author of TOYOTA CULTURE, the heart and soul of the Toyota Way, to only be in business to make money is the lowest level of maturity that exists for a company. Long-term mutual prosperity is a goal shared by the company and the employee that brings the two together, and establishes a consensus, trust, and long term commitment to success that becomes the shared purpose of work. While the company targets profit, growth, and sustainability, and the employee seeks job stability, growth, and their development, the two can come together forming a mutual commitment around long-term mutual prosperity.
Happy New Year,
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The JOBS™ blueprint focuses on four key issues:
J: Job - What is the problem to be solved for a specific consumer and set of circumstances?
O: Objective - What are the functional, social, and emotional metrics of purchase and use?
B: Barriers - What are the financial, skill, time, access, and behavioral obstacles that prevent the job from getting done satisfactorily.
S: Solutions - What are the products, services and compensating behaviors that can overcome the barriers, achieve objectives, and satisfy the requirements.
One of Steven's key points was that successful innovation does not mean making "perfect products". It means making products that delight customers without overshooting the requirements which often leads to schedule delays, cost overruns and uncessesary complexity that detracts from successful adoption.
In addition to books published by Innosight, and an MIT Sloan article, Finding the Right Job for Your Product Steven provided the following free online resources for more information.
Strategy & Innovation: Innosight’s newsletter focusing on strategies for business growth.
Innosight’s blog highlighting recent disruptive innovations
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
I'm helping some BPMA members promote Product Camp Boston. The target time frame is the end of February 2009. Your vote will help decide the exact date.
ProductCamp is a collaborative gathering of Product Management and Marketing professionals who come together to learn, share, and interact with their peers. ProductCamp has no attendees, only participants. Everyone who attends is expected to actively participate in leading a session, round table discussion, speaking on the topic at hand, or volunteering.
Bar Camp has been around since 2005 - they tend to focus on technology, social networking and other topics, although Bar Camp might be of interest to some Product Mangers, our field is not typically a primary focus.
The first Product Camp was in Silicon Valley in Q1 - 08 followed by Austin Texas in June. Product Camp uses the Bar Camp format while focusing on Product Management Topics.
Get involved. It promises to be an exciting day!
keywords: ProductCamp Boston, PCamp, Product Camp
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
My favorite gems that came out of the panel were:
Sally Silver: Employers are looking for knowledge, skill, experience and accomplishments. Attitude and preparation, confidence and energy are the keys to communicate these characteristics.
I'm not sure if it was Lynn Tartaglia or Dora Vell who said: "Never turn down a job that you haven't been offered." They both talked about being willing to explore opportunities - you never know where they might lead.
Sally Silver: You cant be a buyer and a seller at the same time. If you want the job, you need to be a seller first. After convincing the employer you have the characteristics to succeed, is the time to become a buyer and let the employer convince you to join the company.
Lynne Tartaglia: How to stand out: 1) Capture my attention & leave me with a unique and memorable idea. 2) Convince me you know the technology without killing me. 3) Know what you want- keep in mind employers pay for value.
Dianne Condon, Patricia O'Neil, & Sally Silver: Develop relationships with hiring managers. Although they are busy and hard to reach, when they need help, recruiting is their top priority.
Great job by Leslie, George, Ferenc, Jon, Karen, Sarela, Jane, and the entire BPMA team who pulled this together!
photos by BPMA member Doug Bonin. Visit Doug's Flickr page for more
Saturday, September 6, 2008
“What we can learn from spaghetti sauce” describes how Howard Moskowitz learned to apply Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE) the systematic process of designing, testing and modifying alternative ideas, and products in a disciplined way so that the developer and marketer discover what appeals to the customer, even when the customer can't articulate the need.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
BPMA is a professional association dedicated to the career development of product management and product marketing professionals, and is a not-for-profit, membership-based association that offers both local events and a comprehensive set of online resources. Membership is comprised of product professionals such as product managers, product marketing managers, product planners, brand managers and other professionals engaged in the management and development of products or services. BPMA offers many opportunities for professional growth and development - including monthly professional development programs.
The senior human resource and recruitment professionals participating on the panel are:
Senior HR Experts:
-- Patricia O'Neill, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, ATG
-- Michael Quinn, Vice President Talent Management & Development, Thermo Fischer Scientific -- Lynne Milbury Tartaglia, International HR Director, iBasis, Inc.
-- Diane Condon, Director of HR, Phase Forward
-- Dora Vell, President of Vell & Associates
-- Kristin Motta, Director, CM Access.
-- Larry Kahn, Vice President of Recruiting for New Dimensions in Technology
-- Carla Marcinowski, Vice President, Sally Silver Companies
-- Judith A. Miller, Esq. has successfully helped individuals and businesses resolve employment issues for more than twenty years.
Location and Registration Information
When: September 18, 2008
Time: 5:30 -9:00 pm
Who should attend: Hiring managers, job seekers and employment professionals
Click for preregistration:
I hope to see you there.
Monday, April 7, 2008
I heard a great story on All Things Considered tonight during my drive home. Today, the Washington Post's Gene Weingarten won a Pulitzer prize for feature writing for his story about what happened when he recruited Joshua Bell, one of the most accomplished classical musicians in the world, to appear incognito in a Washington DC metro station, playing some of the world's best music on a Stradivarius violin with an estimated value in excess of 3.5 million dollars. This performance was arranged as an experiment -- In an ordinary setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty overcome routine? The anonymous virtuoso performed for 43 minutes as over 1000 commuters passed by, with only a handful pausing for more than a moment. Bell promised not to “cheap out” on the performance: He put feeling into the performance, playing with enthusiasm, he leaned into the music and arched on tiptoes as the music soared. Here’s an excerpt from the article describing what happened. You can hear a recording of the performance and view video clips at the Washington Post website.
Three minutes went by before something happened. Sixty-three people had already passed when, finally, there was a breakthrough of sorts. A middle-age man altered his gait for a split second, turning his head to notice that there seemed to be some guy playing music. Yes, the man kept walking, but it was something.
A half-minute later, Bell got his first donation. A woman threw in a buck and scooted off. It was not until six minutes into the performance that someone actually stood against a wall, and listened.
Things never got much better. In the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run -- for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look.
When interviewed after the performance, Bell said hadn't known what to expect, but for some reason, he was nervous.
"It wasn't exactly stage fright, but there were butterflies," he says. "I was stressing a little."Toward the end of the feature, Weingarten philosophizes about what happened;
"When you play for ticket-holders," Bell explains, "you are already validated. I have no sense that I need to be accepted. I'm already accepted. Here, there was this thought: What if they don't like me? What if they resent my presence . . ."
My mind jumped immediately from the radio story to an article I had read yesterday in the Sunday Parade Magazine about the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.
In his 2003 book, Timeless Beauty: In the Arts and Everyday Life, British author John Lane writes about the loss of the appreciation for beauty in the modern world. The experiment at L'Enfant Plaza may be symptomatic of that, he said -- not because people didn't have the capacity to understand beauty, but because it was irrelevant to them.
"This is about having the wrong priorities," Lane said.
If we can't take the time out of our lives to stay a moment and listen to one of the best musicians on Earth play some of the best music ever written; if the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that -- then what else are we missing?
In September of 2007, Randy Pausch, a 46-year-old computer-science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, who has terminal Pancreatic cancer and expected to live for just a few more months said goodbye to his students and the Pittsburgh college with one last lecture called "How to Live Your Childhood Dreams," on his life's journey and the lessons he's learned. The Wall Street Journal called it "the lecture of a lifetime" and those who have seen it more than agreed. The video is long, but very worthwhile. I sent this link with the complete lecture video to each of my kids and my siblings. I'm offering prayers for Randy and his family as they face this very difficult challenge. Please remember them in your prayers as well.
In yesterday's Parade article, Randy Pausch recalls his childhood experience of the first lunar landing.
I was 8 in the summer of 1969, when men first walked on the moon. I was at camp, and we campers were brought to the main house to watch the moment on TV. But the astronauts were taking a while, and it was late. The counselors sent us to our tents to sleep, and we missed the first walk.I was peeved. I thought: “My species has gotten off our planet and is in a new world for the first time, and you people think bedtime matters?”
I'm making an effort to hear the music, smell the roses, and experience the people who come into my life every day.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I made a brief appearance in the video along with several of my fellow board members. Check out this two minute video and see what BPMA is all about. Let me know what you think.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
You can register here for free email updates from the SVPMA
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Photo by Atomicshark via Flickr under a creative commons license
There were two fascinating celestial events last night. My wife and I were standing on the front lawn, bundled up from the cold, looking at the total eclipse of the moon, which occurred under clear skies from 10:00 to 10:50 pm Eastern time.
Earlier in the evening I was listening to the radio debate about the US Navy shooting down a disabled spy satellite in a deteriorating orbit. When I got up this morning I heard on the radio news that the Navy hit their target, then later in the story the newscaster said, "the odds of being hit by falling space debris are one in a trillion."
That is a completely meaningless probability.
Does it mean that each individual , such as myself has a one in a trillion probability of being hit or any person, out of over four billion people living today has a one in a trillion probability of being hit? Does the probability apply for today, for this event, or over my lifetime?
I later found an online AP article by SETH BORENSTEIN that went into more detail describing various probabilities related to being hit by space junk that were bandied about in the news this morning.
The AP story was a little more specific than the radio news report about the one in a trillion odds. The article said that Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies, which studies these issues, "puts the odds of anyone being hurt by any piece of re-entering space junk at one in a trillion, saying you are far more likely to get hit by lightning." This statement of probability is better than what the morning newsreader said, but still contains ambiguities. Does anyone refer to one specific person, such as me, or the entire human population? Does any piece of space junk mean any piece from this satellite, or any of the hundreds of pieces that re-enter the atmosphere every year?
The end of the article included a more sensible point by David Ropeik, a Boston risk communications consultant, and author of Risk: A Practical Guide for Deciding What's Really Safe and What's Dangerous "This is the type of risk that shouldn't be reduced to mere numbers It's the nature of the risk, not the number." Of course the morning drive time radio news isn't about making sensible points.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Chris Crowley is an amazing person. In this video he explores a few of the ideas that allow individuals to manage their aging process, improve their health, and become Younger Next Year. Anyone approaching or already in middle age must watch this 8-1/2 minute video.
If you have any doubts, consider this quote from Chris written in June of 2007 after he finished a three day Ride the Rockies bike tour.
"THIS MORNING, INDEPENDENCE PASS, 12,100 FEET and plenty steep. Hardest thing on the ride and a great crescendo. SO BEAUTIFUL! And so steep! Gain 4000 vertical in about seven miles. Something like that. A TEENY BIT YOUNGER THIS YEAR. I was surprised and relieved to notice that my time for my century ride this year (a blazing 102 miles, over one 9,500 ft. pass) was 14.9 miles an hour average..."
That's a considerable achievement for anyone and awesome for a guy who is a couple of years north of age 70.
See Harry's seven simple rules to learn more about how you can be Younger Next Year.
I'm a true believer and living proof that this apprach works. Just do it!
I got an email this week from the subject of this post, Chris Crowley, I'm very proud to say that he considers me "a major centurion" in the Younger Next Year revolution. Thanks for the compliment Chris!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Dan Crow, product manager at Google, says people are generally happy with the interface as it exists today. "The basic format hasn't changed much because it's been successful ... It works well for most of the users most of the time."There is no argument that Google works well compared to what was available in the past, and been very successful; but there are huge opportunities for further innovation. The current implementation delivers results that are popular. It's often difficult to filter through a large volume of search results to find information that is meaningful, accurate and relevant.
I found Google's introduction to their public experimental search lacking. I joined the experiment for Right-hand contextual search navigation. Google's offering of alternate views for search results (list, info, timeline, and map views) didn't grab my interest. Although I'm enthusiastic about the value of the timeline view, the others didn't get me excited. I was a little relucant because it wasn't made clear up-front, what signing up for a Google experiment means. Now when I open a new browser window and search on Google, I get some extra GUI elements that provide context prompts based on my search results. I signed up in MS Explorer, and the features don't seem to carry over automatically to FireFox. My first impression of the new tools is positive, but I like to know what I'm getting into before I sign-up for something online. I guess the fact that I went ahead indicates that Google has earned my trust enough for me to take a chance on something new.
Clusty Search clustering 2.0
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Understanding the Process of Innovation
The Essentials for Enlightened Experimentation
Why Managing Innovation is Like Theater
Cheap, Fast, and In Control: How Tech Aids Innovation
Boston Consulting Group Measuring Innovation Aug 07
Boston Consulting Group Sr. Management Innovation survey Aug 07
Strategy & Business Magazine Online
from Manyworlds.com blog
Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation, James Andrew and Harold Sirkin lay bare the nature of cash traps and explain how companies can make more profitable innovations by using a four-phase “cash curve” framework. As Andrew and Sirkin see it, the purpose of innovating is “to generate cash.” Their framework structures the process of sorting through innovative ideas and managing them until they yield financial returns.
No time to draw conclusions yet, but I'll come back and revisit this topic as time permits.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies applies pattern recognition concepts to human interactions in the project environment. The Guild focused on the hidden notions that govern behavior and interactions on projects and teams Just as architect Christopher Alexander and his IT counterparts Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John M. Vlissides, deal with the technological aspects of software patterns, this new book focuses on the social and human aspects.
The book identifies 86 project and team behavior patterns, which often go unrecognized, and provides amusing 1-2 page vignettes describing each of them. The patterns are the unwritten rules that frequently drive behavior. People tend not to think about them, or acknowledge them for what they are. The first step to dealing with behavior patterns is recognizing their existence.
The book has been endorsed by:
If you are interested and willing to invest a few minutes, you can download an 18 page sample pdf that includes the table of contents,introduction, and a few patterns.
Film Critics: Film critics are team members or corporate spectators who have determined that the value they add to the project lies in pointing out what has gone wrong or is going wrong, but who take no personal accountability to ensure that things go right.
Hidden Beauty: Some aspect of the project’s work moves beyond adequate,beyond even elegant . . . and reaches for the sublime.
The book is now available for pre-order through Dorset House or Amazon. (The current Amazon price is $35.95 with a 5% pre-order discount)
Friday, January 25, 2008
The application was filed in September, 2003, while I was working at JAR Associates, Inc. and is assigned to Rytec Corporation, an innovative manufacturer of high speed industrial doors who contracted JAR for R&D services . It is a reminder of a very exciting time in my career when I worked on some extremely challenging technical problems with a very talented team of individuals on an exciting opportunity for a visionary customer.
Previously, I've been a co-inventor on four patents for automotive components. The patents include two for a combustion pressure sensor 5,038,069 & 5,126,617. The others are for transmission gear position sensors 5,902,975 & 6,518,525.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Attributes of good requirements:
based on Pragmatic’s List (1-8) + Two Three Four More
Necessary => Valuable
Scott provides links to articles on each attribute that provide additional details.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The term wiki derives from the Hawaiian word for "fast." A wiki enables web pages and documents to be written collaboratively using a web browser without any specialized training or software. A single page in a wiki is referred to as a "wiki page", while the entire collection of pages, which are usually well interconnected by hyperlinks, is "the wiki". A wiki is essentially a database for creating, maintaining, browsing, and searching through information. A defining characteristic of wiki technology is the ease with which pages can be created and updated. Generally, there is no review before modifications are accepted.
Wikis allow visitors to create, modify or delete the content of a web page from their browser, and usually record the history of who changed what. Wikis enable creation of collaborative community websites, and are trending toward eliminating the need for specialized skills and software to create and edit content on a web page.
The administrator of the Wiki decides who is allowed to modify the site. Some wikis are open to changes by anyone, others limit modifications to trusted members, and some use moderators to arbitrate disagreements. The Wikipedia free encyclopedia is the best known Wiki, where hundreds of thousands of users add to the collective knowledge. where hundreds of thousands of users add to the collective knowledge. On Wikipedia, an entry started by one person is often iteratively refined by other contributors who collaborate to produce a consensus.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Some blogs I will be watching more closely include:
The Cranky Product Manager
Silicon Valley Product Group
How To Be A Good Product Manager
Happy New year,