Last month saw the sixth ProductCamp London “Unconference”, and since ProdPad co-founders and head honchos Janna and Simon are also founding organisers of ProductTank, we had a seat at one of London’s largest product events. One of the most exciting things about ProductCamp is that you’ll always learn something new. Although there’s no formal theme, the mission is clear: coming together to share experiences and knowledge, and define and share greatness across the product management industry.
As ProductCamp brings together hundreds of product managers with mastery of UX, design, marketing, sales (and more) there’s a whole lot of knowledge to share and soak up in just one day. But don’t worry, here are five handy takeaways you can begin to use today.
“Hi everybody, my name is Danielle and I failed.”
The idea behind Adrian Howard’s show-stopping Failure Swapshop is straightforward. Share your failures, and learn from those of others (no judging allowed). Use Adrian’s slides to run your own swapshop, and let ‘lessons learned’ shape product development.
Assess your skills, says Roman Richler, and keep improving. Use a framework to help you think holistically about product management competencies then identify the skills you need in these areas. You can use Roman’s handy skills assessment sheet, included in this deck, as your starting point for greatness.
Think about context
A great product manager always recognizes context, and that a one-size-fits-all solution can’t be applied to solving problems. Anthony Green’s discussion of Sensemaking and Cynefin – Knowledge in a Complex World looked at how we can employ the Cynefin framework to make better product decisions. If you haven’t heard of the Cynefin model before, Greg Broughham’s article, Cynefin 101 – Shared Context and Sense Making, is a neat introduction.
Take a lean approach to building and testing, and collaborate with your users. Sheen Yap’s session on Lean UX looked at the importance of having a learning mindset, customer validation and taking a scientific approach – plus much more!
Use awesome tools
Awesome product managers need awesome tools, so thank the product gods that David Bushby crowdsourced the best tools and resources for Customer Development, Prototyping and Wireframing, Roadmapping and Project Management, Analytics and User Testing, and Learning and Inspiration. We were delighted that ProdPad was one of the contenders in the Roadmapping and Project Management category, alongside the likes of Slack, Asana, Basecamp and Team Gantt.
We’ll be posting the best tools, as voted for by ProductCamp attendees, soon. In the meantime, share your top tips and tell us your top ProductCamp takeaway in the comments.