All About Product Management – AOP Coverage

An Introduction to Product Management/Development

  • What do Product Managers do? – In this video, BBC Head of Product Chris Russell explains: ‘The metaphor we’re now using is that it’s like the conductor of an orchestra: In the same way that each orchestra has different parts and the first violins come in, and the various other instruments come in at different times, and make the sweet music: each product is a bit like that, and the Product Manager, if they’re fulfilling one role, they are the conductor, knowing when to bring in talents and how to produce a great experience.’
  • Why Product Managers are important for publishers – Nic Newman says: ‘For me the future of many media companies depends on their ability to build digital media products that consumers love and want to come back to again and again… Increasingly these products are more complex to put together and require a mix of technical, editorial, design and marketing skills – and all of that needs to be orchestrated and co-ordinated with the needs of the audience in mind. That’s why product managers are going to be increasingly important figures in the media industry’ – read more.
  • Publishers are looking to product managers to balance and bring together expertise from across the business to continually hone their sites, apps and services over a rapidly increasing number of platforms. Crucially, they must develop these in line with what users want and value, and balance those requirements with the needs of the businessread more at ‘why is Product Development all the rage for media owners?’
  • Nic Newman’s ‘State of Product Management‘ report gives a good introduction and background to the growing importance and development of the product function in UK media
  • Product Managers a ‘must have’ resource, says ITV Online MD – this summary of a ProductTank meetup at the BBC demonstrates how senior figures such as BBC Head of Digital Media Ralph Rivera and ITV Online MD Robin Pembrooke are big advocates of product management
  • In September 2009, AOP inaugurated its Product Development Committee, which brings together a range of Product Managers and Heads of Product Development from publisher member businesses to share tips and best practice. Topics covered so far include mobile, implementing agile in large media organisations, attracting the right talent and skills for product teams, the mechanics of paid content, analytics and building data teams and developing global products – attendance is limited, but members can inquire about joining the group by getting in touch with AOP
  • Read BraveNewTalent Head of Product Janna Bastow’s useful list of tools for product managers
  • How a print editor became a product manager: From marketing to QA testing or even business development, the career paths into product are many, though editorial rarely seems to be one of them. One exception is Alex Watson, who went from editor of Custom PC Magazine at Dennis, to a mobile product manager working on the Viz iPhone app and more recently the Week on iPad.

Product Management/Development Events, Presentations and Case Studies

“We should think of ads as products” – Product for Profit Panel at AOP Summit, October 2011 – featuring Google, Facebook, Pearson, Dennis and Pichler Consulting. (event)

Product for Profit Panel at the AOP Summit

YouTube Link Introducing a Product Culture, July 2011 – included speakers from Guardian, BBC, BraveNewTalent and Orange Digital. (Event) Watch our interview with BBC Head of Product Chris Russell at the event: What do product managers do?

How the Telegraph developed its paid iPad app, July 2011 (Case Study) Nic Newman on helping your whole business understand what Product Managers do, June 2011 Ten reasons publishers should adopt agile, June 2011 An Incisive app checklist: questions to ask before developing an app, June 2011 Dennis CTO Paul Lomax’s Twelve Top Tips for Product Success, Feb 2011 9 (or is it 10?) product development learnings from the 2010 BBC News relaunch, Feb 2011 (Case Study) The Secrets of Product Success, Dec 2010 – featured presentations from Dennis, eBay, ThoughtWorks and Channel 4. (Event) Read AOP’s summary of the event: Product Development pivotal to shaping the future of “what you should do, not what you could do”.

Channel 4 Head of Online Richard Davidson-Houston on how it views the role of Product Manager, Nov 2010 AOP Summit 2010, Oct 2010 – included a panel on ‘World Class Tech: Putting product at the core of your business’, featuring BBC, IPC, Spotify, Guardian and Haymarket. (Event) Videos from the Summit Spotify’s Jon Mitchell on paid content & building products people love Guardian Tech Strategy Head Stephen Dunn on Product Development

This page is a work in progress… if you’d like to suggest any additional links/tips or useful sources on the subject of product management/development, agile, testing, design or user experience, please let us know.