Best In Class Product Management with Marty Cagan


Why write a second book? It all centers around the question How do good teams find out good solutions to hard problems? Getting outside of the Silicon Valley bubble caused a complete rewrite for the second edition of Inspired. It makes Agile useful to teams and organizations, and he found the real issue was leaders not being bought into this way of working.


Empowered was written for leaders to bring the practices to their teams.


Bursting the bubble. Finding out this isn’t the way that everyone does it. Finding out that just because you’re in a hot tech area (i.e. Silicon Valley) doesn’t mean that they are ‘doing it right’. The idea of Cost Center vs. Profit Center. Highlighting the example of Boeing and their outsourcing of mission critical functionality that resulted in numerous fatal crashes.


The main difference between the two is that a cost center is only responsible for its costs, while a profit center is responsible for both its revenues and costs.1


Product Management vs Project Management. IT organizations fund Projects not Products. Thinking in terms of Projects is one of the worst things you can do if you’re a product company. The Product is the unit that makes sense to measure. Where things go sideways with Project Management within Empowered Product Teams is when they think their job is Governance, Compliance, to police the team and how they work.


Empowerment is that the teams are able to figure out the best way to solve the problem. This is for Product Discovery and Innovation.


Marty’s blog post about successful transformations. https://svpg.com/keys-to-successful-transformation/


Autonomy is we have all the skills we need to deliver.


In Scrum – we call this Self Organizing and Cross Functional.


Jump into conversation about Topology (team structure). How this affects culture and what we want to optimize for. The difference between org structure and topology.


Competent Product Managers and how to get them. Value, Usability, Feasibility and Viability. The Product Manager is responsible for Value and Viability. Deep understanding of your customer and deep understanding of your data.


1 https://www.accountingtools.com/articles/2020/11/23/the-difference-between-cost-center-and-profit-center#:~:text=The%20main%20difference%20between%20the,to%20have%20a%20complex%20structure.