Why is this important? As your backlog grows, filling with tons of great (and sometimes not so great!) suggestions on what you could be building next, you need to be absolutely sure you’ll be able to make sense of it in the future. Part of that is being able to find that elusive idea or suggestion you know was entered some time ago, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
New Filter Options
You can now filter by:
- Tags – These are your standard, customizable tags
- Products – Associate each idea to one or many products
- Whether it’s on a roadmap yet or not – Find out what’s planned
- User Personas – Associate ideas to various user segments
- Idea Creator – The person who actually logged the idea
- Idea Owner – The person in charge of taking the idea forward
- Idea Author – The bright person who came up with the idea!
- Status of the idea – Whether it’s in development, done, or anything in between
- Active vs. Archived – You can even dig though the ideas you’ve archived
We’ll also now let you filter by multiple tags or combine any of these filters, giving you maximum control over how you cut up your product backlog. As always, these filters will work in conjunction with our powerful search.
Plus, when you go to ‘Visualize Priority‘, ‘Bulk Edit’, or to ‘Export’ your ideas, your filters will stay selected, making it simple to view and work with your backlog as needed.
New Sorting Options
In addition to these new filters, you can now sort your ideas by:
- Date created
- Effort – This is a quick gauge, out of 100, on how much effort (relatively speaking) it’ll take to pull off the idea
- Impact – Like the Effort field, this measures how much impact the idea will have (top tip: combine with tags to identify what areas of the business will be impacted and improved)
- Popularity – Find out which ideas are most popular (bright red!) versus the ones that are feeling neglected (faded to grey)
- Detailedness – A rough guide based on whether the idea has comments, a business case or user stories, tags, or other fleshed out parts of the spec.
This will help you sift through your results to being the ideas you want to see to the top of the list.
If you’re not already on ProdPad, you can start your free trial today!
As always, your feedback is hugely appreciated. This is just one of the many things we’ve been working on to help you with your ideas management and keeping your backlog tidy. If there’s something in particular you’d like to see, just give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your team, the employees of your company, are indispensable sources of innovative product ideas. But too often, the tools you use for product management (if you even use product management software!) force the people on your team who have some of the best input into awkward mechanisms for getting their suggestions in.
Sure, your bug tracking tool has an ‘ideas’ or an ‘enhancements’ category, but really, that tool was built by developers, for developers. For most people on your team, it’s a scary looking system, asking for all kinds of checks and inputs, just to propose a new idea.
And that’s where the problems start. You start getting ideas by email, or perhaps Skype or HipChat, instead. As the Product Manager, it’s now landed in your inbox, and it’s up to you to do something with it. But what? Stick it in the same bug tracker or development task/project management tool that scared them so much in the first place? Surely not.
So instead, you decide to perhaps write a spec for it. Or bounce it around in a growing email chain, gathering feedback. But let’s be honest, here’s what usually happens: it ends up settling into a place at the bottom of your inbox, or becomes a fuzzy, inactionable task on your to-do list with no clear outcome, like
“[ ] Consider Duncan’s suggestion about photo tagging”
Unfortunately for poor Duncan, and the users if this was a crucial feature request, they’ll often never find any trace of the suggestion again. Last he checked, he gave it to you. 1 month on, it’s not built yet (your dev team has got other things to work on!), but it’s also not been rejected. What’s more, Piotr’s also just suggested something similar, but has no idea that Duncan was also asking for it. When it eventually gets delivered, it’s not clear whose idea it was in the first place and credit gets given where none is due.
And on and on the list of frustrations goes, with the result that your development team is chugging along, but the non-techies in your company are losing ‘Faith in Product’.
The solution: A Product Management Software that pulls it all together
If this sounds at all familiar, you’re in the same boat we were when we built ProdPad. Too many channels for ideas to come in, too much fragmentation, and not enough visibility.
To fix this, we built ProdPad with the entire team in mind – not just the developers and product people. This enables everyone to get involved in your product management process, without diluting or undermining your authority as product manager.
So you know what to look out for, here are three crucial features your product management software should have to encourage and nurture your team’s contributions:
- It has to be super-easy for people to submit ideas. That means giving them options – whether it’s logging into a web app or sending an email.
- Credit where credit is due – all contributions should be traced back to their origin to make sure all members of the team feel valued and the suggestions keep coming. Read more about this here.
- Where possible, discussion of ideas should be encouraged. In ProdPad’s product management tool we do this with regular email digests to all team members and a simple-to-use discussion interface.
And what can you do with a collaborative product management tool?
The list is long, but here are some examples.
- If you could just find some way to give Duncan, Piotr, and the rest of your team a simple, easy channel to add their ideas.
- And if only they could see where their ideas end up and give them the tools to discuss things.
- Adding thoughts, building up a better culture of well-formulated product suggestion, should all be included as well, of course!
- And with a daily digest, others should be prompted to jump in on the conversation. No more mutterings like “Oh, I didn’t realize that was happening!” or “Well, I would’ve done it differently!”.
- You as the product manager also don’t want to spend 20-30 minutes discussing each new feature idea with the suggester, so the tool should do that for you and force them to think their idea through or at least give you an indication of the impact vs. effort of the new feature.
- And obviously, you want to be able to link up with project management tools, like JIRA (which often sends the non-tech team running for the hills and should thus be kept in the background), so the actual delivery of the features can be easily managed as well – whether by you or a dedicated project manager.
The list goes on… and that’s why we built ProdPad the way we did. You’ll be happy to hear that, of course, we support all of these use cases and much more – check out the full list of features and get going on a 30 day free trial now!
The post How to choose the right product management software to get your team involved appeared first on ProdPad - Product Management Software.
About a month ago I jumped onto a Google Hangout with Jason Shah, product manager at Yammer, to talk to him about “How to get into product management”. See above for the recording of the live stream and check out some of Jason’s other interviews if you’re interested in a career in product management!
Get into Product Management – Keep the Customer Front of Mind!
Jason also blogs on http://blog.jasonshah.org and if you want to learn more about how to get into product management, sign up for the Udemy course “You’re Hired: How to Get a Job in Product Management” here: https://www.udemy.com/how-to-get-a-job-in-product-management/.
As I explain in the interview, my first steps were along the age old tradition of ‘learning by doing’ and remembering that it all comes down to the user being happy. In that sense, my early experience as a customer support agent were extremely helpful as they really allowed me to engrave this principle in my way of working.
And of course, using the right tools (like ProdPad!) will make you follow the right process and ask the right questions – feel free to give it a whirl on our 30 day free trial and let me know what you think on Twitter under @simplybastow or @ProdPad!
The post Want to get into product management? Watch this video appeared first on ProdPad - Product Management Software.
We can’t believe it’s been a week since we left for Dublin and the Websummit. But alas, time flies, and here’s the wrap-up of Day 2. For a summary of our learnings from Day 1 head on over to our other blog post.
Websummit + Halloween = Costumes FTW!
Since the second day of the Websummit, the day we were exhibiting as part of the Alpha Village, was the 31st October, we felt compelled to use the excuse to dress up.
Not only did it fit the occasion, it also provided an opportunity to stand out from the crowd of hundreds of startups. And guess what? It worked! We even managed to get a picture of Epic Girl and ProdMan into the Irish Times (thanks to Chris Leydon for sending us the snap!).
Building a 100 year company
Phil Libin from Evernote gave some fascinating insights on building a 100 year company in a fireside chat. He’s said before that he wants Evernote to become the “Nike for the mind” and expanded on his vision for building a sustainable, long-term product that will last for (at least) 100 years.
While 100 years might be too long a timeframe to fathom, it yet again draws attention to the importance of product vision. It also gave us confirmation for what we’re doing as a business, as obviously, product management software like ProdPad is a massive help in creating the product roadmaps that make you ask the right questions and assign the right priorities.
Look for the future in wearables
@plibin also recommended that, if you want to get ahead of the competition, now is the time to get into building products for wearable technology. After admitting that they haven’t quite gotten it right at Evernote, he made clear that this will be a massive point in the future. If you can figure it out, you’re in for a great ride, and will be able to change millions of lives for the better!
So, get on it – and why not use our product management tool to get going?
And last but not least – meeting the Iron Man
The big highlight of the final day was, without a doubt, Elon Musk’s participation in a panel talk with other high calibre speakers (including Ireland’s prime minister who did a great job of pitching Ireland in a charming, cheeky way).
Amongst a number of good points – which were all made in a very humble way, we might add – Elon contribute one gem about managing the fear of failure:
[quote]“I’ll analyse the fear, and if it’s irrational, I ignore it. If it is rational, I look at the stakes – if they are high enough, I’ll go for it anyway.” – @elonmusk[/quote]
Was presenting our product management tool at Websummit worth it?
All in all, we can definitely look back on a successful event.
We went to interact with over 600 awesome startups – all of whom are building products and could therefore use our solution to improve their product management process.
We worked hard to get our name out there, gave product demos, distributed flyers, got into the Irish Times, took a photo with a handsome man in a horse mask, almost ate great steak, had amazing pulled pork, enjoyed the Irish hospitality and can’t wait till next year!
The post Who was that awesome product management tool at #websummit? Why us! appeared first on ProdPad - Product Management Software.
The WebSummit in Ireland’s beautiful capital has quickly become an annual highlight of the technology industry’s conference circuit (and is apparently worth €24m to the local economy!). Bringing together around 10,000 people in technology, venture capital, tech journalism, startups, entreprises, etc. and only an hour’s flight from London, we had to come this year.
What’s more, we’re proud to have been selected as an “ALPHA startup” – a category we’re joined in by great businesses like PowToon, Hull, EngageSciences and many more. The event kicked off today and we’d like to share 3 things we picked up from the multitude of talks that we found useful for product managers to bear in mind.
If you’re at the event tomorrow, 31st Oct, come find us at Stall 330 in the ALPHA area to talk about technology, superheroes* and all things product!
* come by the stand if this intrigues you!
Startups: Don’t just sprint – build for long term value!
This message resonated through a number of talks, including an interview with Liam Casey, CEO of PCH International, and Gary Vaynerchuk‘s passionate keynote. Whether it was phrased as “Focus on the mission, and the money will follow” (tweet this) or “Stop thinking about your own goals, start thinking about your user’s goals instead” (tweet this), the point was clear: too many products are not truly built with the user in mind. And the ones that are, genuinely do well.
Most likely, every company you talk to at #websummit will say they are user-centric – but how many of them really are?
At ProdPad, we want to do our bit to help companies build better products by providing product management software that forces you to ask the right questions, prioritise the right features, and map out your product roadmap strategically.
You can only fix problems if they’re a REAL problem
Again, main man Liam Casey making the case for identifying the most crucial pain points. If you have to explain to your potential customers what problem you’re solving, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t get too excited about a potential problem – go out there and verify that it actually exists.
Luckily, the very act of doing product management right will help you figure out if the problem is real or not – come talk to us, email email@example.com, or get in touch on Twitter via @prodpad to talk more about this!
Skateboarding and entrepreneurship actually have a lot in common
Tony Hawk at the #websummit sounds like an unlikely fit, right? Well, not so fast cowboys and -girls! Turns out that skateboarding and entrepreneurship have a lot in common, such as:
- See your mistakes as learning experiences, and keep. getting. up.
- The best new moves are often the result of combining two existing tricks
- With social media, getting feedback is instantaneous – whether it’s on a video of Tony doing a McTwist (that’s a trick, not a new McDonald’s dessert!) or a new product feature
Alright, friends – that’s it for the first day of #WebSummit. Tomorrow we’re looking forward to seeing Elon Musk, and obviously meeting y’all in the ALPHA area!
The post ProdPad flying the flag of good product management at #websummit appeared first on ProdPad - Product Management Software.
One of the core responsibilities of every product manager’s role is to define the evolution of the product long term – or rather, to translate the multitude of inputs coming from internal stakeholders, customers and other sources into a (hopefully) visionary product roadmap. To help you with this, we want to share a great product management template and technique with you today: The Product Tree Game.In the day-to-day battle to meet release plans, consolidate feedback, assign priorities and and and… it can be hard to keep the mindset necessary for creating the vision that results in a powerful product roadmap. Luckily, the guys and gals over at Innovation Games came up with this excellent technique.
It also allows you and your selected group of stakeholders to visualise the growth of your product in a non-linear way, and shows you very clearly whether you’re over/under-developing certain areas, without tying the participants down in release dates and project planning details.
Compared to other “brainstorming” or “ideation” techniques, we’ve found it to be very productive – so here’s an easy how-to guide on running your own session. Enjoy!
Step 1: Print our Product Tree Template (or draw your own tree)
The Product Tree is what you’ll use to run your session. It consists of four elements:
- The trunk represents the core features already in your products.
- The branches are feature branches. Optionally, you can increase the thickness of branches that are more important.
- The leaves are individual features that the workshop participants will place on the branches. The closer the leaves are to the trunk, the closer they are to being delivered.
- The roots represent the infrastructure that supports your product. As with any tree, the bigger it gets, the more support it needs from its roots – so remember your technology as you expand your feature list.
To get even more advanced, you can choose a specific tree shape, depending on the kind of product you want to build (e.g. a fast-growing oak with a massive canopy, vs. a slender and focused pine?).
To get started though, we recommend you use our handy product tree product management template.
Step 2: Prepare your leaves
Print out all the features you already have in your product, or want to add to your product. Or, write them down on post-it notes. Also make sure to have plenty of empty post-it notes at hand for adding new ideas!
PS: We love using these leaf-shaped post-its for this exercise!
Step 3: Get your group together
Anyone can play this game – in fact, the more kinds of stakeholders you involve, the richer the output. It becomes especially interesting if you get customers involved in placing new features on the branches according to which they would most like to see in your product.
If you have more than 10 people joining in, prepare multiple sets of trees and leaves – ideally, you will have 4-10 people working on one single tree. This includes one observer per tree, whose role it is to ask the participants to clarify what they mean if there’s anything ambiguous on the tree.
Step 4: Prune your Product Tree
Now the fun begins – like green-thumbed gardeners, get cracking on pruning the tree!
Here are some pointers on how to have a productive and fun session:
- Personalise the tree to stimulate creativity. For instance, participants can add their own little markers to their ideas, or draw hearts around the features they really love.
- Remember that significance of where leaves are placed. The closer the leaves are to the trunk, the more near-term they are. Leaves closest to the trunk are existing features, while leaves on the outer edges of your canopy represent the long-term future.
- Don’t hesitate to use lines to show links or dependencies between features.
- Don’t worry too much if the tree becomes unbalanced, usually, the group participants or the observer will bring this up naturally.
- Take pictures of the development of the tree(s) – this is useful for the review process.
Step 5: Present and review internally
At the end of the session, present your tree (or multiple trees if you worked in groups). Encourage everyone to ask questions and discuss. Often, more ideas will come up during this process, or leaves will be shuffled around.
Once you’re all packed up, take your product tree and the pictures you took and compare them against your current product roadmap. Useful questions to ask are:
- Which “prepared features” got pruned? Especially if you’re working directly with customers, you might find that a much-loved feature is actually dispensable in the eyes of the user.
- Do the trees retain their general shape? If you’re seeing an obvious imbalance – such as lots of leaves on one branch – this could be a signal that your users aren’t aware of (perception problem) or interested in (product/market fit problem) a whole feature set in your product.
- Are you growing your product fast enough? If there are a lot of leaves close to the trunk, you may not be releasing new features fast enough; whereas lots of leaves on the outside shows that they’re looking for great things in the future.
- What does your root system need to look like? If your customers are changing aspects of your infrastructure, it’s likely of critical significance to them to establish trust in the longevity of your product.
This brings us to the end of this how-to. For more on how to use this information when you’re creating a product roadmap, keep an eye out for a follow-up post coming soon!
Tried it? Loved it? Hated it? Leave us a comment below, or tweet us about it on @ProdPad!
The Product Tree Game: What you’ll need
- Product Tree – download our simple product management template (big = good)
- Prepared feature cards or post-its (clearly legible = good)
- Blank post-it notes (leaves = good)
- Sharpies (colors = good)
- Other artwork / stickers / markers (creative = good)
The post Growing your Product Tree (+ product management template) appeared first on ProdPad - Product Management Software.
If this sounds a little bit like how your own product portfolio works, you’ll be thrilled to hear that we now support product lines on ProdPad!
We’ve made it simple to group your products into any number of product lines.
Not only does it make it easier to organise your product documentation in ProdPad, but it also allows you to view a high-level view of your roadmap for each distinct product line.
Product Portfolio Roadmaps
Even if your products don’t fit nicely into product lines, we now allow you to view your product portfolio as a whole.
As Steve Johnson describes in his article on Portfolio Roadmaps:
A portfolio roadmap has become the preferred way to show delivery plans over time. It’s not just a desired feature list by month; it’s bigger than that. It describes major blocks of work, not a laundry list of features.
The format of the portfolio roadmap follows the familiar “Current, Near Term, Future” lean product management format that you already use in ProdPad.
And like the regular ‘single product’ roadmaps on ProdPad, you can share the portfolio with your team, or simply use it as a snapshot to get up on the wall or drop into your Board slides at the end of the month.
If you’re managing multiple products, the portfolio management in ProdPad will help you keep a clear overview of what products you have and where they are going.
If you’re not already on ProdPad, you can start your free trial today!
As always, we love getting your feedback! Let us know how you manage your multiple products, and how we can help make you awesome at that using ProdPad. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org any time.
As such, we were out in full force at the Mind the Product 2013 conference last week.
The speakers were fantastic, between Kelly Goto’s practical outline on getting truly user-focussed, Tim Harford‘s fascinating ways of looking at things (comparing spitfires to modern products, among others), and Aziz Musa‘s energising talk on creating what he called ‘Pure Product’ – we all walked away pumped up and ready to go take what we learned back to our own products.
On top of that, it was an amazing opportunity to meet a whole bunch of our customers from all around the world. With product people coming in from all over the UK, San Francisco, and even Singapore, we were honoured to get the chance to meet the folks who use ProdPad every day in their lives.
Of course, if you couldn’t make it, we just might be able to meet you if we come to your city. Here’s what we have lined up right now: Meet us in your city!
Here’s the recap video from the day:
Hope to see you next year!
Heads up, JIRA lovers! We’ve gone live with an important, useful update to your favourite product management software, a deep integration allowing for 2-way link between JIRA with ProdPad.
Now, more than ever before, your development team, your product folks, and the rest of your company, can all be on the same page when it comes to what’s working through the pipeline.
Custom, flexible status mapping
We work with the custom statuses you already use in ProdPad, allowing you to map them up with the issue statuses you use in JIRA. Essentially, when the status changes on JIRA, it updates on ProdPad, allowing the rest of the team to see where their ideas are in the development cycle.
A prod/dev flow that makes sense
So now, you can expect to work like this:
1) Capture ideas and start fleshing them out into product specs in ProdPad.
2) Once you know what you want to build (see our handy roadmap tool for that), push the idea over to JIRA to create a ticket out of it.
3) Now that your dev team is on the case, whenever they update the status of the idea from, let’s say, “In development” to “Testing”, you and your team can see that update on the idea in ProdPad.
Integration made easy
So to get this all set up, it’s pretty simple.
Jump into your account and head to the Integrations & API page, or follow along our helpful step-by-step guide showing you every click of the way.
It takes just moments, but once you’re done, your product and development teams will be more in harmony than ever before.
If you’re not already on ProdPad, you can start your free trial today!
We love getting feedback, and we’d love to hear about how this improves your workflow or what you’d like to see come out next. Get in touch any time at email@example.com.
It can be catastrophic (we know how impossible it is to retype it to sounds just as good as the first time), or plain annoying (sure, it was only a few words, but it’s the principle!).
This is why we’ve implemented a lifesaver of a feature: Autosave.
Peace of mind
From now on, you can type away happily, knowing your every last word is being caught and saved, whether you’re updating a new feature request, fleshing out your product strategy, or adding some flair to your product roadmap.
Simply put, you won’t lose your work again.
Quicker to edit
An extra bonus for you is that this also makes it faster and easier for you to work. You no longer need to click to get into ‘edit mode’ and the click to save your work. It’s all done in one smooth movement. Click what you want to edit, type away, and as you go, we’ll save every last bit. We’ll even helpfully tell you when everything’s being saved, so you’re never left unsure.
This is more than just one little autosave box we’re talking about. We’ve rolled out these helpful changes through our app, whether you’re triaging new ideas, updating your product canvas, adding user feedback, user personas, or your roadmap.
Check it out in the following pages:
- Ideas Management: Idea title, description, business case, user stories and user acceptance test criteria, functional specs and any additional notes
- Product Canvas: Product name, description, key KPIs, and product vision
- User Personas: Persona name, description, behaviors, goals, and frustrations/limitations
- User Feedback: Any feedback snippet from users
- Product Roadmap: Roadmap card titles and descriptions
If you’re not already on ProdPad, you can start your free trial today!
It’s the little things that make a product delightful to use, and this one is our latest to help you work smoothly and delightfully. We hope it helps! If you have other suggestions on how we can make ProdPad even better to use, get in touch any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.