Just in case you product managers need some convincing.

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…


Your “users” are people. Living, breathing, thinking, feeling people.

Image for post
Image for post
Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

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…


Some sources, and much food for thought, on a short workshop I taught on design thinking and storytelling for product managers.

(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…


How a product manager and fiction writer connected the dots.

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.

At night — or on weekends, or early in the morning, or on the bus back when I used to…

Benito Vergara

Senior product manager, fiction writer, former anthropologist. I study culture, tell stories, and herd cats. More: https://about.me/benito.vergara.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store