The ProdPad Blog For Highly Effective Product Managers

The Key To Scaling User Growth Might Just Be One Little Thing

I like to say that the secret to scaling user growth is within the product itself.  It’s not in the slick marketing campaigns (although that may get you initial interest) and it’s not in the pushy calls from account managers.

Strong products have always come down to the relationship between users and product. That is, the interactions that help users feel good the first time they use a product and continue to feel confident as they continue to use it. No bling-bling is going to change that. 

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ProdPad Product Roadmaps

Say Hello To The New ProdPad

Today, we’ve flipped the switch on a new, more beautiful ProdPad.

It’s the latest iteration of our persistent product vision: to help you become a better and more confident product manager.

Making you a badass product manager was at the top of our minds as we designed and tested the beta version last year – and it’s at the top of our minds now as we roll out our most exciting set of changes to all our users.

With its bold new colors, new ProdPad is shiny and good-looking.

But this update is really all about the substance. We’ve amped up speed and performance. We’ve also built in powerful functionality to help you automate the most least inspiring parts of your job.

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rapid prototyping

Your New Favorite Prototyping Hack: Just Use Your Competitor’s App

This is a guest post by David Bailey, Entrepreneur in Residence at Downing Ventures in London. 

Before I launched my startup, 3 Kinds of Ice, I spent a couple of weeks testing my idea with potential customers, using a method called paper prototyping.

Paper prototyping is a useful DIY shortcut for testing early product concepts. Instead of building a real app first and getting it wrong, you draw out the user interface of your potential app and test the way users interact with it. It’s cheap and helps you validate your product idea fast. 

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Phased Rollout Strategy

What 7 Product Leaders Want You To Know About Phased Rollouts

“Ship early, ship often” is the kind of mantra that that makes launching new products seem almost intuitive. Launch first, iterate later; move fast and break things.

But if what you’re taking on is big and cumbersome – updating from older technology to a new codebase, for example –  that kind of advice has never really cut it.

When we surveyed a handful of experienced product managers, we found that when the stakes are high, they’re busy answering bigger questions:

  • “Is the cost of taking significantly longer to roll this out worth the time we lose in market?”
  • “Are customers willing to sacrifice having an incomplete solution when there is a promise of more to come?”
  • “Are there any potential downsides to not shipping the whole feature at once?”

And when an important new feature is too big to fit neatly into one complete release, they start planning a phased rollout.

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The ‘Completed’ Column: Track Your Key Metrics On Completed Roadmap Cards

Your product roadmap isn’t just about looking out into the future. As you wrap up work on a roadmap card, you want to be able to communicate the results and outcomes of your work across your organization. Did you meet your objectives? Did you hit your numbers and key metrics?

For a data-driven company, this is how you keep your eye on the ball.  With our ‘Completed’ column, you can now make your key objectives, conclusions and completion dates available to everyone you work with.

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CSV Importer: Import Your Backlog To ProdPad In Minutes

Are you migrating to ProdPad? Our CSV importer is here to help you make Moving Day painless.

Whether you currently managing your backlog items in spreadsheets or project tools, you can migrate your existing product backlog to ProdPad with a CSV file and the click of a button.

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Product Portfolio Planning: Track All Your Products In One View

If you’re looking for a way to coordinate efforts across multiple teams working on multiple products, you’re in luck.

You can now group multiple products together and keep track of who’s working on what in a single view by using product lines.

Product lines help you easily see cross-dependencies and status of ideas and user stories. You can also filter by tags and objectives from here, so you can zoom in fast on the areas that matter to you.

It’s product portfolio planning with a lot less clicking.

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There’s One Bulletproof Way To Politely To Tell Your Customers “No”

There’s a growing feel-good philosophy in customer support that manages to be both enormously unhelpful and ineffective at once: “When you want to be honest and helpful, there are situations when you need to say “no” and make it clear.”

In other words, hang up on your customer…politely?

I can’t imagine how we would have ever built a customer base at ProdPad if we took that kind of advice. Telling customers what you can’t or won’t do for them is not customer success. It’s lazy customer support.

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Customer Feedback Portal: customer feedback tool for websites and apps

Finally, A Customer Feedback Tool Product Managers Want

Last week, we made our first entry into the world of customer feedback with our new Customer Feedback Portal. It’s gotten quite the welcome!

Until now, we’ve been hacking away on product planning tools for product managers: Build a product roadmap! Organize your product backlog! Find your priorities! That sort of thing. But a customer customer feedback tool was never really part of our plan.

“There are lots of tools out on the market,” we told customers who were requesting it. “The world doesn’t need us to make another customer feedback tool.”

But still, our customers kept turning up a few weeks later to ask for the exact same thing.

Why? Once we dug in, we realized the product managers we were talking to had exactly the right instinct. These tools weren’t made for them.

Even at $500 a month, not one of them is designed to help answer the most important question in the product management process: “What should we work on next?”

Prioritization is what keeps product managers up at night – and it’s exactly where every customer feedback tool we’ve seen comes to a dead end.

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effective product teams

What Highly Effective Product Teams Are Doing Differently

Someone asked me recently: “What makes an effective product team?”

Good question 🙂

ProdPad has been a product-focused team from the start – after all, ProdPad is a product for product managers to do their product management….built by product managers.

It’s so very meta.

But as our team grows, it’s helpful to look back at what’s helping us stay product-oriented so we can double down on what’s working for us.

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