Robert R. Johnson (no relation) suggests, "Rather than adopting piecemeal approaches from finance, marketers should look to operations and production for a more defined set of measurement disciplines." Read more in Why Marketing ROI Misses the Mark from CMO Magazine.
Google understands that simplicity is both sacred and central to its competitive advantage. Mayer is a specialist in artificial intelligence, not design, but she hits on the secret to her home page's success: "It gives you what you want, when you want it, rather than everything you could ever want, even when you don't."
That, says Joe Duffy, founder of the award-winning Minneapolis design firm Duffy & Partners and author of Brand Apart, is a pretty good definition of good design. He quotes a famous line from the eminent designer Milton Glaser: "Less isn't more; just enough is more." Just enough, says Duffy, contains an aesthetic component that differentiates one experience from another.
It's just that holding the line on what constitutes "just enough" is harder than it looks.
So what's with all the nonsense words being thrown about by well-intentioned marketing people at B2B companies? Nearly every Web site I look at and almost all the press releases I receive are laden with meaningless jargon that's just plain annoying. When I see words like flexible, scalable, groundbreaking, industry standard, or cutting-edge, my eyes glaze over. What, I ask myself, is this supposed to mean?
I can't count the number of times I've been called by companies searching for a miracle cure--a speech or a day's consulting to help them 'get out of the box.' Invariably, what these firms really need--and what I'll venture most organizations on the lifeless American corporate landscape could stand--is to get back in the box.
In their endless rush to embrace the next big thing, too many businesses have forgotten what they are and what they really do. The fashionable compulsion to break with the past has, bizarrely, come to mean abandoning the true value they once offered customers.
In many companies, the management team, Marketing, and Business Development are full of ideas about where to take your product. They come up with all sorts of potential applications for it, applications that would be competitive and profitable.
These ideas sound great, but they have to be implemented before they'll make any type of substantive difference in revenue or profits. And once your team attempts to implement new ideas, it meets lots of resistance from the technical folks who are charged with that task.
Yet not expanding your product, not finding new avenues for revenue, not making changes that increase profitability, will only hurt your product and the company over time. The market and the competition is busily striving to improve and gain market share against you. Inventing new strategies, and then implementing them successfully, is a requirement, not an option, to keep a company viable. If you're not moving ahead, you wind up falling behind.
As with all new strategies, the chances for failure are high. If you want your product to grow and succeed, you must learn how to make strategies and ideas a reality. Read on for a discussion of how to maximize your chances of success.
In "Fixing the Requirements Mess" CIO magazine explores the challenges of managing and articulating requirements.
Requirements, as every CIO knows, are a problem, but CIOs may not be aware of just how catastrophic the problem has become. Analysts report that as many as 71 percent of software projects that fail do so because of poor requirements management, making it the single biggest reason for project failure--bigger than bad technology, missed deadlines or change management fiascoes. Though CIOs are rarely directly responsible for requirements management, they are accountable for poor outcomes, which, when requirements go bad, can include: project delays, software that doesn't do what it's supposed to and, worst of all, software that may not work correctly when rolled out, putting the business--and the CIO's job--at risk.
I don't know if this is a good example but it is an example of a roadmap approach. The Eclipse Roadmap is intended to be a living document which will see future iterations. This document is the first version of the Eclipse Roadmap, so it is labeled as version 1.0.
Larry Keeley, co-founder and president of the Doblin Group in Chicago, said that today, companies can increase their innovation effectiveness by 35% to 70% or 9 to 17 times the norm. The norm, of course is the incredibly low 4.5% 'hit' rate of successful innovation that companies generally have. Keeley said that 'if you just use anthropologists, you can triple your innovation effectiveness by three times.' Think of that for a moment. That's probably why corporations are hiring so many cultural anthropologists.
Jacques Murphy writes, If I could point to a common trait of product manager positions, whether the focus is technical or marketing, it's that product managers spend much of their time in what I call interruption mode. Interruption mode is when it seems like everyone, from the CEO to the UPS delivery man, pops into your office to ask you questions or seek your help on projects as varied as requirements, RFPs, press releases, and collateral.
These kinds of interruptions could easily take up your entire workweek. I've had days that were nothing but interruptions, by phone and in person.
But product managers also have critical components of their jobs that require extended concentration to produce. Projects such as requirements documents, user stories, articles and presentations all demand blocks of time where you can create and polish them.
The struggle, then, is to figure out how to carry out these two conflicting aspects of your product manager job. Read on for tips on how to carve out concentration time for your bigger projects and yet be available as an as-needed resource for teammates who need your help to get their work done.
Read the full article on the Boston Product Management Association web site.
Peter F. Drucker, a man largely credited with creating the school of thought that governs most modern corporate management styles, died Friday at 95.
Peter Drucker--writer, management consultant and university professor--was born in Vienna, Austria in November 1909. After receiving his doctorate in Public and International Law from Frankfurt University in Frankfurt, Germany, he worked as an economist and journalist in London before moving to the United States in 1937.
Peter Drucker published his first book, The End of Economic Man, in 1939. He has written 35 books in all: 15 books deal with management, including the landmark books The Practice of Management and The Effective Executive. His most recent book, Managing in the Next Society, was published in fall 2002.
Corporations that develop clear messages and clearly communicate their stories to both the internal organizations and the external forces are the real players. The rest are either still discovering who they are or just making stories as they go along or periodically falling flat on their faces. Read more in Winners, Losers of Corporate Image 2005.
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We clutter our minds with vague promises about what we should do, what we could do. But there is always more to do than there is time to do it. Most of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do - it comes from not keeping agreements they've made with themselves. When you tell yourself you ought to do something and then don't do it, you experience self-doubt and frustration. You can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool yourself for a second. Read tips about managing your time in Don't Manage Time, Manage Yourself.
Every year, Pragmatic Marketing conducts a survey about roles, responsibilities, and compensation for product management and marketing professionals. You can find prior years' results on our web site. As always, we're asking some questions to get more visibility into a typical day in the life of a product manager. And we're still asking compensation questions so you can see how your company's salary and bonus structure compares to the rest of the industry.
The Uncle Mark 2006 Gift Guide & Almanac is simply the very best guide for anyone vexed about technology, in search of good purchases, or who simply wants to know the answers to life's incessant questions. Free.
Product Management's placement in an organization is an indicator of the CEO's understanding of its potential. In an ideal world where Product Management has a seat at the table with the executives, it is positioned to play a critical role in a company's overall success in the marketplace. Read Where Does Product Management Belong in the Organization in the Nov/Dec issue of productmarketing.com.