I have a video in my Wunderlist inbox that I haven’t gotten around to watching just yet. It’s called The Evolution of The Product Manager. Since I haven’t watched it yet, I can’t see whether it’s actually worth a viewing or not, but it’s here if you’d like to take a look. As I review my activities from last week, the title of the video, if nothing else, seems appropriate. At the moment, and for the last few months really, much of my work life has been about evolving into my product manager role.
Over that time I’ve sought out mentors, resources, books, sites, videos etc that would help me get a better understanding of what the role actually entails. Since, much like the testing roles I have been intimately acquainted with in the past, it’s not a one size fits all kind of a deal. It’s an amorphous position; one that needs tailoring, adjusting, sizing — according to the specifics of the people, culture and product being worked on. And as such, there’s plenty of latitude for change, and growth, and making lots of mistakes along the way.
I’m sure I’ve made some mistakes already; and have no doubt that I’ll make some more in the future. But the important thing for me in product management, as in testing, is that I have some mechanisms in place for identifying what’s working, what’s not working so well, and how to make improvements where necessary. Really, if there’s an overarching theme to this blog, it’s that process, hopefully scaled and applied to life generally, so that it becomes a life inspected, and well lived as a result.
- Something that’s been helping me a lot over the last week to better understand the product management role has been this course from Coursera. It’s chock-full of wonderful content. I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn about or improve their PM skills.
- As a result of the course above, Donald A. Norman’s book The Design of Everyday Things is back on my to-read list.
- Maybe I’ll actually get around to reading it. My reading list is always quite extensive and I rarely get through everything on it. Finding time to read high quality material that helps catalyse growth in the right areas is a constant challenge. One of the systems I’ve implemented recently is a Google Academic keyword search to help me keep on top of developments at the cutting edge of software testing (at least in the realm of academic research anyway). This is serving me fairly well in terms of identifying promising looking papers. Finding time to actually read them is a different matter though.
- The team and I watched Bill Matthews’ talk Context Driven Security during our monthly brown bag session. I’d forgotten that it was from a TesBash that I’d mc’d back in 2012, and that it’s been a few years now since I’ve gotten along to one. Unfortunately, I won’t be at TestBash Brighton this year either, but I hope everyone else has a great time. The lineup looks awesome, as always.
- I’m looking forward to watching Alex Garland’s new film Annihilation on Netflix. Not due out until tomorrow, bizarrely. Hope it lives up to the hype!