Storytelling is at the heart of product management. Whether referring to assembling the nuts and bolts of product delivery, crafting a product strategy, or selling a product vision, stories are key to both successful product development and customer engagement as a whole. I’d even argue that stories — and no, I’m not just talking about user stories — are also integral to the execution of projects. A story — that simplest of frameworks — serves as a musical counterpoint, if you will, to the formal project management phases.
Consider below some general reasons for using stories (and prepare yourselves for…
Sometime ago I was conducting a storytelling and product management workshop and walking people through an exercise on customer needs. I had instructed the participants, who were Information Technology managers and officers, to write down fictional characters and their needs, and then analyze the latter in terms of a functional dimension, and an emotional dimension:
Functional: A young man needs to blow up the Death Star and save the galaxy from the Evil Empire.
Emotional: Luke wants a larger purpose in the galaxy and longs to be a Jedi like his father.
Then I asked the participants to think of…
(A small disclaimer: a lot of thinking out loud is about to follow, with the caveat that I may revise and update this later for something slightly more polished. Sometimes I write more crafted entries (as with my movie / book / game posts on my personal blog), but it feels like a burden to have to deliver than just messily laying my thoughts out on the screen. So consider this a living document.)
The other week I told my colleagues they needed to be more like Yoda. It was part of a two-hour Design Thinking and Storytelling class I…
So this radioactive spider accidentally got loose in a lab and — ahh, who am I kidding. But my interests in the intersection of storytelling and product management do have an origin story of sorts.
Most people keep the different spheres of their life completely separate: there’s the day job, and there’s the stuff they do for fun. By day I’m a senior product manager, working with development teams to build software applications for internal customers at the Federal Reserve.