Ep. 16 – Roman Pichler – Strategize
Roman – one of the greats
I don’t really dare to introduce Roman. He is such a big name in Agile Product management. Since his beginnings in Scrum, he was totally focused: Scrum it will be, Product it will be – and everything that belongs to it. No more, no less. Clarity. In the field of Agile Product Management, he is really known for his great Scrum Product Owner courses, but also his books.
His latest book is called Strategize and is all about Product Strategy. Unlike many other books on strategy, what Roman accomplishes with his book, is to get the topic out of the vague. He gives clear cut advice in an otherwise often blurry topic.
Knowing Roman for many years, it actually took me until this interview to actually decode one of his main qualities: Calm and certainty. Roman, in the best sense, gives you the clarity and certainty you expect from a teacher. While many teachers may bring you to the brink of doubt on harder topics, Roman in a very calm, distinct and respectful way tells you what he found out to be the core of any topic he writes about. He really helps you to accept this things and go on with them. While I sometimes struggle and have to tell the world about all the different aspects of a topic, Roman already did all the thinking and came to a conclusion. And that helps. He does not leave out the rest of the truth, he just helps you to focus on the core and makes it easy to coins next step in your journey.
I guess, it also has to do with his experience: he seen them all and has been in many contexts. He is running his brand as a business since 2006 and was amongst the first Certified Scrum Trainers in Europe. He really was amongst the pioneers and saw the potential when nothing was yet clear.
He also writes a prominent blog on his website.
These days, his focus is on leadership and product portfolio topics. It is also the topic his newest blog posts on his blog.
During the podcast we go through the following topics:
- What is a product strategy?
- Ways to work on product strategy in the context of new products
- Working on existing, more mature products
- How to work with Roadmaps
- What was the writing process for Srrategize?
- What’s next from Roman?
Here some citations from the conversation:
- “The main challenge initially really is to get to a launch“ : on why focus and a minimal good enough product is needed in the beginning.
- “What good enough means, what minimal means, depends very much on the innovation we’re dealing with“
- “There is a correlation between the amount of time we spend on something and the level of attachment that results“: on why it is psychologically so hard to change plans, even though we know it is necessary.
- “Two aspects are important: Do we have the right skills? And: are people empowered to do the product strategy work? Often times, senior management is doing the product strategy work, which limits the strength and growth of the company. Management should do the business strategy and let the product department do the product strategy.“
- Romanpichler.com – The home of Roman’s company
- Roman’s blog
- Roman’s LinkedIn Profile
- Lots of tools and resources that Roman invented and provides, e.g. the Product Vision Board template, a template for goal oriented GO Roadmaps, his Product Management Framework (a structured approach to ordering the disciplines and capabilities involved in product work) and much much more!
- Strategize – Roman’s latest book, self published in 2016. Buy it! Read it! Recommend it!
- Agile Product Management with Scrum – Roman’s 2nd book, published with Addison Wesley in its Mike Cohn Signature Series, a German version is also available
- Scrum: Agiles Projektmanagement erfolgreich einsetzen, published with d.punkt
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BTW: I hope you like the new background music, it is my first experiment in this direction and all created by myself.