Getting your Product Started

A layered story map

When starting any new product or business, there are always more things to do than you have time for. It can be downright overwhelming if you don’t stay organized. I use several different tools and documents to help move the vision forward and share with stakeholders. Some of the suggestions below might also help you with getting your product started.

The Pitch Deck

Whether you are looking for venture capital, a partner, or just capturing your idea – a pitch deck is essential. Even if you just want to build something for fun, a pitch deck forces you to examine why the idea is worth pursuing. There are a lot of different opinions on what should be in a pitch deck, how long it should be, who should it be geared toward, but for this example let’s create something simple...

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My Favorite Agile Product Owner video

what is takes to be a product manager

This is hands down my favorite agile product owner video. Henrik Kniberg goes into detail about how to manage your sprints, stakeholders, and backlog. He talks about how to determine fixed scope and fixed timeline delivery estimations. He embraces challenges like how to manage your backlog when stakeholder asks exceed engineering throughput, and he provides tips on how to align stakeholders. If you’re in Product or even a developer, it’s worth 15 minutes of your time.

You won’t be disappointed!



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How to use Story Mapping for complex Products and Features

product manager venn diagram

Product Management professionals have a lot of unique challenges which make the job interesting. An important Agile Product Manager skill is to effectively demonstrate how a feature will evolve, before it even exists. With Agile, a product is in various states as it grows from minimum viable experiment, to minimum viable product, to minimum marketable product to name a few. Product Managers need to communicate this evolution precisely, or else you introduce risk. Complex features with many dependencies make this more challenging. Once I learned (thanks Kevin C) and implemented story mapping for complex epic size features, many of these challenges became a lot easier.

One problem with PRDs (product requirements documents) is that they show a lot of how something will look when it’s don...

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BMW X3 fan noise fix

The BMW X3 fan blower separated from the white mounting plate

I’m happy to say the most annoying sound in the world is finally fixed. If you had the same problem as me, your interior HVAC fan would make a tiny, annoying squeal or squeak or cricket sound or noise or whatever you want to call it when on the lowest two or three speeds. It wouldn’t always squeak, but when it did it was annoying, especially since the car is usually so quiet and refined. All good news here, it was a quick fix and I did it for free. You’ll be happy once you too eliminate your BMW X3 fan noise.

Update:
Unfortunately – I still have the issue. It turns out the true fix for this issue is photo documented here. Some threads talk about servicing the CPU fan located behind the driver’s side footwell, but this is not the noisy fan...

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