Tip Top Takeaways from ProductCamp London 2015

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.

Celebrate failure

“Hi everybody, my name is Danielle and I failed.”

 Everybody cheers.

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.

Become great

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.

Be lean

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.

ProdPad @ MTPcon

Mind the Product 2013 - Product Management EventA somewhat little known fact about the co-founders at ProdPad is that we’re also the folks behind Mind the Product (along with one other brilliant product person).

As such, we were out in full force at the Mind the Product 2013 conference last week.

The speakers were fantastic, between Kelly Goto’s practical outline on getting truly user-focussed, Tim Harford‘s fascinating ways of looking at things (comparing spitfires to modern products, among others), and Aziz Musa‘s energising talk on creating what he called ‘Pure Product’ – we all walked away pumped up and ready to go take what we learned back to our own products.

On top of that, it was an amazing opportunity to meet a whole bunch of our customers from all around the world. With product people coming in from all over the UK, San Francisco, and even Singapore, we were honoured to get the chance to meet the folks who use ProdPad every day in their lives.

Of course, if you couldn’t make it, we just might be able to meet you if we come to your city. Here’s what we have lined up right now: Meet us in your city!

Here’s the recap video from the day:

Mind the Product 2013 Recap from MindTheProduct on Vimeo.

Hope to see you next year!

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