Books to consider as a Product Manager
Words give wisdom, but keep reading to stay smart. Here is a list of my personal recommendations.
The Lean Startup woke me up, and helped me to make a shift from waterfall to agile. Don’t wait until your product is done to show it to the market, it may not meet customer expectations. Better to launch a quick first version, let’s call it an MVP, and test the waters. The Lean Startup provides a lot more, but this was my biggest lesson from this book.
This is by far the best business book i’ve ever read. My north star – the goal. This book really opened my eyes on how businesses are run. The main concept in the goal is the ‘Theory of Constraints’. It’s really a book about lean principles, and the idea is that by focusing on optimal flow, and continuously bottlenecks, you will be able to increase efficiency. I applied this in my content development team, and was able to significantly increase efficiency and output.
This book opened my eyes in many ways.. is that possible 🙂 My flaw was that I was very good in explaining WHAT I was building. Most of my product pitches where explaining features, key capabilities and things that made my product shiny. My Japanese colleague kept telling me to explain WHY my products had these features. I never understood what he said until I read Start with Why. From now on, i’m super sharp to ensure i’m only building products when I am totally clear on the WHY there is a purpose for these products in the world.
Ok, I am admitting that I did not finish the book. I had the feeling that by reading more than half of it, I was able to apply the method in practice. Later I recognized that I kept coming back to the book to use it as a reference. It was a great help when I was looking for something specific on the Kanban method. I started using Kanban after having read a number of articles. I’m a bit of a self starter, and will just try out things. David Anderson made my life a lot easier, and helped me to get three layers below the surface. How to set up a basic board, using limits per category, how to work with multiple processes. And my god, examples for all of them. Go buy this book!