Laptop computer, a cat, spilled drink, mobile and icons of distractions
Laptop computer, a cat, spilled drink, mobile and icons of distractions

When I first stumbled upon the four-hour product definition workshop by Eric Johnson, I was thrilled. Most workshop guides get stuck with abstract concepts and principles; this was easy to follow and practical. I was sceptical whether it would be possible to really pull this off with just 4 hours. Additionally, the era of post-it notes, free snacks and being physically in the same room is temporarily suspended. People might have accustomed to having online meetings, but online workshops are still a novelty, and there is significant overhead in terms of time management. During the normal (co-located) workshop, you can…

Dr House is a misanthropic, ingenious, and unsociable diagnostician in a fictional TV show. He ignores rules and clashes with his colleagues, comes up with controversial hypotheses, and saves his patients' lives more often than not. If you have not seen the series yet, you have roughly 124 hours worth of episodes to binge-watch.

It’s difficult to imagine a more toxic workplace than what Dr House has created for his team. His miserable ass would be fired from any normal organization; it's even difficult to imagine how he would get hired. Building a culture of trust and sustainability are not…

Bulldozer bulldozing agile principles
Bulldozer bulldozing agile principles

Marty Cagan articles about product vs delivery teams and some that followed have resonated greatly with my experience and outlook. These articles do a great job in providing questions to understand whether you are in a product/delivery team or how to work like one. I feel that failing to work as a product team is closely linked with struggles to implement or stay agile in general. We can only be successful in the change if we recognise the underlying reasons and are willing to acknowledge and fix problems at the root level.

Any fool can know. The point is to…

Mountain peaks vizualised targets
Mountain peaks vizualised targets

In very general terms, it can be said that the purpose of a company is shareholder wealth maximization. Increase in value comes mostly from growth and growth from (scalable) business models where your costs don’t scale at the same rate as your revenues.

Great companies have great missions, clear focus and a vision. Why mission and a vision are important? Why not just use gross profits as a metric for all teams?

Let’s imagine two scenarios:

Scenario 1

A team has a goal to increase revenues. There is no mission statement or a clear vision (or at least the team is not…

I have noticed that I can’t help being a bit disappointed when a site or an app— a banking self-service, a news portal etc. gets a redesign. During the last few years, one reason for the underlying causes for the need to rebuild has been the sunset of Flash. In other cases, building products in a lean way can result in just about functional, but not perfect outcomes or just that building products is constantly evolving.

The inevitability

There are many reasons why you might need to completely re-build your product. If you are lucky, it’s possible to eliminate the technical/UX debt…

Product Managers Most Useful Tool

Swissarmy knife with Microsoft PowerPoint logo
Swissarmy knife with Microsoft PowerPoint logo

Not slides

This story is not about the importance of good slides or slides in their usual context at all. If you need to make kickass slides you might be better of avoiding MS Powerpoint altogether. So whats Microsoft PowerPoint good for then? Its seems that for about everything else. If I must choose only one tool to take to a remote island as a PM, I would take MS PowerPoint (I also would try to sneak in MS Excel, but that's another story).

Flow charts

There is a ton of different tools out there for flow charts. Your company probably has a UML…

While scrum has its own flaws, it is a wonderful software development framework. It’s especially useful for teams not yet fully mature or where there is a lot of dependencies/need to plan communication etc.

What scrum is not describing very well is how to manage all the other important aspects of delivering a feature or product. One such is UX-design (Even SAFe is very vague how to actually implement UX-design). UX design is not just simply creating a pixel-perfect design spec for front-end development. It’s tasks such as research, prototyping, testing, copywriting and validating prototypes. …

Product manager position is still not very clearly defined in general terms and in some cases, there can be a completely different job behind PM title even in the same organisation. Expectations what PM actually does or is responsible for also depend on the development framework and maturity level of the team(s) and the structure of the company. And then there are Product Owner, Business Product Owner and Technical Product Owner roles that in some cases overlap with Product Manager roles. …

Spreadsheet game in python: Part 1 Part 2

In Part 1 I created a function that generates a game population, in part 2 I created functions to simulate death rate and birthrate so that there would be an organic change in the population. In part 3 I’ll try to start bringing in the elements of the game so that players could compete for the attention and in the end for their wallets.


The plan

The goal is to create a simple mechanism where decisions by players somehow would have an effect on the behaviour of individuals in the population.

The simplified idea…

As there is some more slack time during the pandemic I decided to try learning python (again). I have followed through some online courses, but they are mostly either very basic or it is difficult to imagine how to use these learnings for something I need or want to create.

Spreadsheet game in python (part 1)

In Part 1 I created a function that generates a game population. Next step would be to 1. create new people (birth rate) and 2. delete some people from the population (mortality rate). The real-world population is also impacted by immigration and policies (e.g…

Mart Objartel

Experienced and data driven product manager. Hands-on experience working in scaled agile (teams-of-teams) and startup environments.

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