How to update internal stakeholders on a weekly basis

Its a typical hot, dry Christmas weekend in Sydney, Australia. What better time to write a blog post about product management? 🙂 This topic has been bugging me for a while. So thought I’d write this to you whilst in my too cold air-conditioned living room.

A common question I get asked is how do I update people in my organisation on a product I’m working on. I’ve been asked 3 times in the past 3 weeks, so obviously there’s something here that others want to know. I get asked by:

* Founders / CXO’s wanting to know how to get their teams to report to them
* Product managers on how to report up to management or other stakeholders in their org.

I’ll discuss why we provide updates, principles, cadence and a template that you can use. This is a format I’ve been using in the the past 5 months for my team at Atlassian. I would like to detail how I do it and hopefully it can provide you some insights that can help you!

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Prioritization for product managers

Deciding on what to do and when is a critical part of the role of product management. There are a million opportunities out there so how do you know that you are pursuing the right one? Life has many trade offs as does building products. Such is life 🙂

Here are some lessons that I have learned when deciding what to prioritize and why. This is a blog post I have been meaning to write for a long time. But alas it also got de-prioritized. This is what I believe in when prioritizing.

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Why time to celebration lunch matters

Its the festive season, so my stomach is feeling bloated already from Halloween parties, Thanksgiving feasts and the upcoming Christmas period. Shoutout to 7 slices of sweet potato/pumpkin/apple/cherry pie I’ve eaten in the last 3 days.

Today my readers I write to you about my latest product management thoughts on “time to celebration lunch” (TTCL). Its about prioritising based on the shortest path to a celebration lunch.

Lets discuss this from first principles. First principles are fundamental assumptions that a theory are based from.

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Stranger Things About Product Management

Whilst I’m waiting for my laundry to finish drying (T minus 20mins), I’d thought I’d pay homage to my latest obsession, Stranger Things. Unless you’ve been living underneath a big huge gigantic rock, its a Netflix series set in the 80’s. There’s an alternative….wait I should stop there. You should watch it. The crux is there’s some strange things happening in this sleepy town. So here are the 3 strange things I have found in product management.
stranger things

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The butterfly effect of decisions

One of my favorite movies is The Butterfly Effect. Ashton Kutcher plays a character who has experienced a lot of trauma in his life. He discovers by accident that when he sees something from his past, he blacks out and can go back to his past. From there, he is able to make decisions that change the outcome of the future.

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Infusing teams with missionary zeal

We need to give our organisations and teams a mission. Not just any mission. A mission that that they want to pursue with a passion. With an enthusiasm that makes them want to wake up everyday to come to work to tackle a huge problem.

We have to pick the right missions to pursue. We have to be bold in our choices.  This is because people want to join causes they believe in. Your team needs to understand why this is an important problem to solve and the opportunity it presents if it is solved.

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Pledging 1% of my time with Atlassian Foundation for CSA

The company I work for, Atlassian has a corporate philanthropy policy of pledge 1%. Its a movement they founded inspired by Marc Benioff of Salesforce. We pledge 1% of our profits, equity, product and employee time to not for profit causes. As an employee I’m thankful that the Atlassian Foundation enables me to take 5 days paid leave to volunteer. I wanted to share my experience volunteering and pledging my time to a local community organisation.

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