‘Empowered’ E Book By Marty Cagan, With Chris Jones – Rapid Innovation In Digital Time

Marty Cagan, founding father of Silicon Valley Product Group, is the famend author of ‘Inspired‘ the bestseller for product managers who wish to construct tech merchandise prospects love. With ‘Empowered‘, Marty, with the assistance of Chris Jones, writes the blueprint product leaders want to remodel their organizations, and empower their groups to ship on that inspiration. It offers the instruments, mindset, and sensible insights to excel as a product chief, and create the surroundings for achievement. I strongly advise to learn this e book which opens new horizons for product administration, and innovation.

I learn this e book in 3 days in a row, stopping watching TV collection or different leisure! I’ve famous a couple of punchlines, energizing ‘mantra capsules’ to remember for my observe, and I wish to share them with you. I’ve stored the People-related part to conclude, as a result of, as they are saying: you all the time save the perfect for the tip! It is worthy of point out that Marty all the time speaks of the product chief individual as a ‘She’.


Tech firms are from a peculiar sort. Strong product firms differ from the remainder in the best way they view the position of know-how, the position their product leaders play, and the aim of their product groups (product managers, designers, and engineers).

So many firms have some comparable form of stakeholder-driven roadmap course of, the place they principally are looking for a option to pretty divide up the engineering capability throughout the completely different enterprise stakeholders. This may be very a lot what I imply by function groups striving to serve the enterprise, versus product groups striving to serve the shoppers in ways in which work for the enterprise. This is an particularly clear instance of the dearth of product technique, a scarcity of focus, and extra usually, a scarcity of product management.

Feature groups look superficially like a product staff. In robust product firms, groups aren’t given options to construct, however issues to resolve, and most significantly they’re empowered to resolve these issues in one of the simplest ways they see match, discovering an answer that prospects love, but works for enterprise. Project administration isn’t product administration.


The 4 huge dangers that each product staff wants to think about are:

  • Will the client purchase it, or select to make use of it? (worth threat)
  • Can the person work out the best way to use it? (usability threat)
  • Can we construct it? (feasibility threat)
  • Can the stakeholders assist this answer? (enterprise viability threat)

A fifth one must be: ought to we construct it? (moral threat).

A great product imaginative and prescient retains us targeted on the client. It serves because the North Star for the product group in order that we’ve got a standard understanding of what we hope to perform collectively. It evokes atypical folks to create extraordinary merchandise. It supplies us with significant work. Be cussed on the imaginative and prescient, however versatile on particulars.

Product technique solutions the questions: how will we resolve which issues product groups ought to resolve? How will we make the product imaginative and prescient a actuality, whereas assembly the wants of the corporate as we go? It requires making robust decisions, leveraging insights, changing them into actions (OKR), and energetic administration. A real product technique relies on focus and insights.


Risk administration or (or innovation portfolio) is about inserting a collection of nets, figuring out that just some will repay.

Product information covers person and buyer, knowledge, trade and area, enterprise and firm, product operational information. The goal is to determine the repute of the product individual as somebody who has a deep and private information of the corporate’s customers and prospects. Her job is to not ask her prospects what to construct: it’s to innovate on behalf of the shoppers.

User analysis is all about insights, evaluative and generative.


A brand new product chief can begin on enterprise information by filling out a enterprise mannequin canvas. He wants to know your complete funnel from consciousness to trials to on-boarding (AARRR). An evaluation of the product knowledge pertains to your corporation mannequin, your acquisition funnel, your buyer retention elements, your gross sales execution knowledge, and lots of of different essential indicators of the state of your organization.

Half the battle, particularly in bigger organizations, is getting the related insights into the fitting minds on the proper time. The head of product ought to combination the important thing learnings and insights from all of the completely different groups in her areas, and on the weekly or bi-weekly all arms, summarize an important learnings, and share them with the broader group.

A product supervisor should be an knowledgeable person of her personal product, utilizing your individual product each day (dogfooding), with a view to be trusted.


In every case I do know of the place the corporate actually cares about theirs prospects, it’s clear that it comes from the very prime.

Learning from failure: have the staff talk about what they consider was the foundation explanation for their failure. Team aims postmortems aren’t enjoyable for the staff, however they’re usually very constructive and useful.


Process abilities and methods cowl product discovery, product optimization, product supply, product growth.

Product discovery goals for an answer that’s helpful, usable, possible, and viable.

The 6-pages written narrative describes in narrative type the issue you’re attempting to resolve, why that is helpful on your prospects and for your corporation, and your technique for fixing the issue.


Modern product administration is all about true collaboration between, product, design, and engineering. The very act of making and discussing prototypes and story maps facilitates true collaboration. They also can function an artifact, capturing the training and selections from the invention work.

Product groups are all about downside fixing: tackling dangers early, fixing issues collaboratively, and being accountable to outcomes. How groups make selections is commonly what separates the perfect from the remainder. We need the events to fell genuinely heard and revered, even when the choice ended up not going their method. We need the staff, particularly the product supervisor, to go one step additional, and comply with decide to the choice that was made, even when they disagree with it.

Good selections, particularly in dangerous, consequential conditions, start by making a plan of assault. In phrases of particular selections, I need the product supervisor to rely upon, and often defer to, the experience and expertise of her staff. If you make collaborative-based selections, and run exams for circumstances with disagreements, there might be only a few conditions of the product supervisor needing to override her staff or escalate a call as much as senior administration. For main selections, I’m a really huge fan of the written narrative.

True collaboration on an empowered product staff has a type of magic.


A product group’s staff topology solutions questions reminiscent of:

  • How many product groups ought to our group have?
  • What is the scope of duty of every staff? (platform staff, buyer expertise staff)
  • What are the talents required for every staff, and what number of of every talent?
  • What are the dependencies between the groups?

The topology helps reply the query of how an organization ought to manage its product folks into groups to greatest allow them to do nice work.

A topology could be aligned by buyer:

  • By person sort or persona;
  • By a market section;
  • By buyer journey;
  • By gross sales channel;
  • By enterprise KPI (new-user development staff, conversion staff);
  • By geography.


In time period of really getting the advantages of OKRs, there are 3 essential views:

  1. Move from the function staff mannequin to the empowered product staff mannequin;
  2. Stop doing supervisor aims and particular person aims, and as a substitute deal with staff aims;
  3. Leaders must step up and do their half to show product technique into motion.

Team aims are comprised of an goal (the issue that must be solves), and a few measures of progress (the important thing outcomes). Back and forth is regular between product chief and groups, and there’s nothing flawed in assigning assigning the identical goal to a number of groups, nor asking a number of groups to collaborate on the identical staff goal. The essence of efficient staff aims is just having a educated chief sit down with the product staff, and clarify the strategic context. Then clarify the issue he wants the staff to resolve, and the way success is measured.


People abilities and obligations embody staff collaboration, stakeholder collaboration, evangelism, management.

Leadership is about recognizing greatness in everybody, and creating an surroundings the place it will possibly emerge. Help the individual to first attain competence, after which to achieve her potential.

Product Leader allows design, tech, product folks to work collectively to resolve exhausting issues, and create extraordinary merchandise. They are liable for the product imaginative and prescient, ideas and technique, evangelizing and changing the technique in actions, organizing groups topology, staffing and training the product groups, and managing to outcomes.

Product Management Training-Framework-v2-2020

We wish to rent product those who suppose like an proprietor and never like an worker. We desire a staff of missionaries, not mercenaries. We’re not hiring sensible product folks to inform them what to do: we’re hiring them to resolve exhausting issues in methods our prospects love, but work for our enterprise.

If you’re a supervisor, you have to be spending most of your time and vitality on teaching your staff. For product leaders, the product staff is your product. You aren’t taking up management and telling the groups what to do, you’re responding to their request for assist. It’s extra precisely described as servant management and also you’re being requested to assist take away an obstacle.


Good folks know they may get the perfect outcomes when they’re able to think about numerous factors of view. They encourage their folks to stretch past their consolation zone. They don’t maintain again if somebody is doing significantly effectively. They specific a real curiosity within the individual as an individual, and never simply as a member of the staff. They have a look at folks’s issues as alternatives to develop. They ‘walk the talk’ about staff growth. Most folks within the product world need their work to be significant: that is often the biggest consider happiness, much more than compensation.

Integrity is the inspiration for good determination making in an empowered product staff. Dependability (high-integrity dedication): it’s not enough to ship one thing when promised, it should truly work, resolve the issue for the client and the enterprise. This is far more tough. Rather than having private agendas or ‘fiefdoms’, be perceived as not solely understanding the general goal of the corporate, however as sincerely dedicated to doing every little thing in your energy to assist the corporate succeed. Accountability for a product supervisor of an empowered product staff means a willingness to take duty for errors. Optimizing for empowerment requires balancing between three interrelated objectives: possession, autonomy, and alignment.


The key to profitable working relationships with stakeholders is establishing mutual belief. It’s about making a basis for belief.

It takes robust managers to be self-confident and safe sufficient to actually empower the folks that work for them, to face again, and let the staff take credit score for his or her successes. Reversely, you will see that it very exhausting to retain folks after they have so little sense of possession over their work. Remember to reward publicly however criticize privately.


People be a part of an organization however depart their supervisor.

Leadership should be earned. It doesn’t include the title.

You don’t have to decide on between empathy and authority.

Empowered product groups don’t want much less administration, they want higher administration.

Product management relies on sharing: sharing the imaginative and prescient, the place you’re heading by prototypes, sharing the client ache you’re addressing, sharing the learnings and insights from product discovery, sharing credit score generously, sharing the worth of the product by nice demos, sharing your experience in your customers and prospects, your knowledge, your corporation, and your market, sharing real pleasure, and honest enthusiasm, sharing consideration, spending a couple of minutes with each final individual of the product staff.


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