Effectively Communicating Product Requirements

up_graphI was just looking at a video of Lizzie O’Leary (Bloomberg) on Alltop.com discussing how to effectively tell a story with numbers. What an important skill for product managers. As the leader of your product it’s not only critical that you have data to back-up your decisions regarding product futures, but that you can effectively tell a story with that data.

If you are a product manager, you’ve likely internalized the tenets embodied by Steve Johnson‘s quote, “your opinion, while interesting, is irrelevant.” The best product managers say “no” to every new feature request and to keep saying “no” until the case for the feature is made. The case for the feature is made by data. But the product manager’s job is not done when the feature is added to the backlog and prioritized. It’s important to communicate the need to stakeholders inside and outside the organization. Use data; turn it in to a story; indicate the trend and the opportunity. Explain to all stakeholders why you want to do something – not just what you want to do.


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