The Art of Product Management
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"A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat." – Deep Nisahar. 

It seems that product management is all the buzz at the moment and we're fortunate to have the wonderful Adrienne Tan to help break down what it is and how you can apply it in your world.

What makes a great product manager? What mental models can you use to deliver greater customer value, no matter what line of work you're in? And what are common product management pitfalls? 

These are just some of the points explored by Adrienne in this interview — watch the video below and scroll down to view and save the mental models that she discusses.


As you hopefully noted by the not too subtle titles in the video, Adrienne is part of a team. Find out more about Adrienne's work at Brainmates here. You can also download the Idea Pad that Adrienne referenced on the Brainmates site.

And, as promised, here are some of the models that were discussed:

According to Adrienne, this is the core of a product manager's role and job. Not necessarily the specific Value Proposition Canvas, but the approach of understanding customer needs and delivering clear value.

Adrienne stressed that one of the biggest pitfalls for product managers was a lack of understanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy — that everything falls into disorder and decay. Note, this one is premium content, so for members only.

This one is a bit cheeky because Adrienne didn't mention it by name — but she stressed that a product manager's job is about reframing problems rather than jumping to solutions. So it was hard not include it.

Adrienne uses Opportunity Cost on a strategic level to identify high-value product priorities and choices.

Adrienne discussed the benefits of the cadence and rituals behind Agile — particularly the opportunities to communicate and reflect in daily stand ups and retros.

Adrienne uses the Jobs To Be Done framework in conjunction with Personas to ensure that her products and initiatives are delivering value.

Adrienne uses Personas but warns against going down the rabbit hole of 'fluff', of making up more than necessary. Instead, she recommends using Personas enough to create depth and empathy.

Similar to Kano, Adrienne does not use the RICE Score regularly but has it as an option to help prioritise features. And another premium model.

While this is not one of Adrienne's go-to models, she acknowledges that it's a great option to explore feature priorities, particularly when you have the budget and time to investigate the audience through surveys and interviews. This is another premium model, so members only.

That's the end of this Playbook. Be sure to join ModelThinkers to save and learn these models and find out more about Adrienne's work at Brainmates.

Share this Playbook with your network to be smarter, faster, together!

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