Data-Informed Product Management

In doing Agile Product Development, there can be a tension between a "top-down" (I don't mean exec-driven, I mean mental-stack) Product Vision/Product Strategy/Conceptual Integrity and an incremental/iterative process of Thinking In Bets.

Classic anti-patterns:

  • waterfall: spend years building the ultimate product before launching it
  • incremental waterfall: deliver piecemeal, but filter every lack of adoption as "we just need to get further along the roadmap"

A new anti-pattern: being mindlessly data-driven

  • "since FeatureAPage1 gets more views than FeatureBPage1, FeatureA is more important/valued"
  • "we used a survey to have users rank the importance/value of 6 features - we must put the menu items in that order"
  • "people's biggest request is FeatureX so we must do that"

Solution: A smarter way to use data

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