Is "social product management" for real?

Here's an important rule of thumb, if you're a researcher such as myself: Don't name something unless it really exists. That sounds fairly obvious, but unfortunately, in the history of the technology industry, there's a sad history of failed neologisms. In some cases, these phrases exaggerated the importance or complexity of some relatively mundane aspect of the world. That's how the superheated usage of the term knowledge management turned into a four letter word. In other cases, people use neologisms designed to describe things that might (or might not) exist in the future as if they already existed now. I've heard some presentations about the Semantic Web that certainly fall into that category.

Therefore, when I use a phrase like social product management, believe me, I'm using it very carefully. Over the course of the last week, I've had occasion to use it on several occasions, most recently at last night's open house for PMs in the Forrester Foster City office. (Thanks to all who attended, by the way.)

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Reminder, open house on social PM is tomorrow

Just a quick reminder that the "open house" for product managers and product marketers is tomorrow at 4 PM PST at Forrester's office in Foster City, CA (click here for a map). As my earlier post explains, the intent is to kick off a series of informal conversations about topics of interest.

For this first open house, we'll be discussing how social media are changing the job descriptions, priorities, deliverables, and required skills for PMs. All are welcome, the event is free, just come on down.

The Heretech, episode 26: Brian Drummond on Agile at Yahoo!

Brian Drummond tells us how Agile adoption worked at Yahoo! How did it start? How did different teams share best practices? How do you make Agile the status quo in a big software company? Plus, news of the first PM open house at the Forrester office in Foster City, CA. (c) 2009 Tom Grant