My second PM book report

As I said in my last post, different types of product management books serve different needs. Rich Mironov's The Art Of Product Management doesn't aspire to be a detailed reference manual. Instead, it provides quick, vivid snapshots of the challenges that product managers face on a day-to-day basis.

At least, it's one version of product management. To continue the Band Of Brothers analogy from my last post, you might not be a paratrooper, but if you're in the Army, you may learn quite a lot about the job of being another type of infantryman from the story of the 101st Airborne in
Normandy.

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My first PM book report

Sadly, if you were to line up the books about product management in the technology industry that are worth reading, you wouldn't fill up a bookshelf. Not only are there too few books on the topic, but some of the ones you'll find from a quick search on Amazon aren't that good.

Therefore, when two good books on product management appear at roughly the same time, it's time to celebrate an unexpected bumper crop. The first, The Product Manager's Desk Reference by Steven Haines, does exactly what its title suggests: provide reference information that covers a gamut of PM tasks. The other, The Art Of Product Management by Rich Mironov, also covers a wide swath of the product management world--but in a somewhat different way.

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Need survey participants: Agile in the tech industry

For our ongoing research on the effects of Agile technology company structure and operations, we need your help! If you have been part of a development team that has gone Agile, either wholly or partially, we're interested in your input. If you work directly with development teams that have gone Agile, we're also interested in what you have to say. We're not just interested in talking to developers, or development managers, but everyone--QA, Marketing, PM, and so on--who has been affected by a tech company's switch to Agile.

Terms and conditions: As always, we keep your responses confidential. The survey should take 15 to 30 minutes to complete. You'll get a copy of the results, once published.

If you're game, just drop me an e-mail (tgrant@forrester.com). And, just to repeat, the domain of this survey is the technology industry, not the entire universe of Agile development (like, say, in corporate IT departments). And tell a friend, if you know someone who would be a good participant in this survey.

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Anti-social media

You know you've reached some landmark in technology adoption when your Web 2.0 innovation becomes a tool of modern warfare:


Among other things, the Israeli military has started its own YouTube channel to distribute footage of precision airstrikes. And as I type, the Israeli consulate in New York is hosting a press conference on microblogging site Twitter.

You might also be interested in this adjoining article about Al Jazeera's mash-up approach to reporting on Israel's Gaza operation.

Actually, Internet collaboration is hardly a new development in what some military theorists and practitioners call "fourth generation warfare," abbreviated 4GW. (Which is now upgraded, in conflicts like Somalia's civil war, to 5GW). Revolutionaries long ago embraced instant messaging, discussion forums, and streaming video. Micro-blogging, whether used by the insurgents or the counterinsurgents, is just another potential edge in the information war.

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