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The following was translated and adapted from the original post in Swedish by Jenny Persson.

We work together at Dandy to create and adapt trainings for our customers’ needs. We often sit together to generate ideas. These sessions, like the one we just had, are unbelievably fun. This time, we had read an article that inspired us to create this game. Namely: https://www.creativehackers.co/posts/the-subtle-art-of-fucking-up

Hence the game was called “Biggest Fuck Ups Game” 🙂

Download the gameboard and play Biggest Fuck Ups Game yourself >

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HOW TO RUN THE WORKSHOP

Strategy is only as good as its ability to enable your product people to make smart decisions. It must evolve to remain fit for purpose. For those of you who want to make sure your product strategy serves your people, a collaborative approach helps you recognise and prioritise the most crucial gaps to work on.

The last post shares the product strategy health check template. Here’s one way you could work with it to align your POs, PMs, CPOs or whoever is in your product org chart. Co-creation is key to a shared commitment and conviction. Start with asking your product people to identify areas where they want more context. You can enable them a little better, each time, even if the official strategy is still in progress.

Treat it like a Kata, returning monthly or quarterly (but no less frequently) to prioritise the next biggest gap you want to close. A strategy isn’t grown in one night, so this is something that you can make more robust over time, piece by piece. Each time, gather product people to add what they know, then dot vote on which field they most need more data on to make informed decisions. Then split into pairs or small groups, choose one, and work on making it clearer before you next meet. This way, your strategy evolves over time, can gradually be strengthened, and benefits from collective effort. Don’t forget to remove old, irrelevant info as you go too. 

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All product companies likely have a document titled Product Strategy, but do they have a real product strategy? Perhaps you’re in charge of the product strategy and want to test and strengthen it. Perhaps you’re a Product Manager feeling the consequences of a strategy that isn’t fulfilling its promise. Do you see any of these symptoms in your product company? 

  • Direct solutions coming from senior stakeholders, without space for product discovery
  • Teams and stakeholders feeling the costs of context switching, working on very different initiatives, and spread thin
  • Teams caught by surprises, needing to help other teams working on very different initiatives
  • Senior product stakeholders unhappy with PM decisions closer to the work, even if the PMs are technically making decisions that fit within the strategy
  • Slick presentations promising upcoming, unvalidated features, rather than focus on opportunities

Alignment is crucial. You can get alignment by directly reviewing decisions, Or, you can share the appropriate information and decision making framework so that others can make smart decisions without the direct oversight. To scale, product leaders can no longer rely on personally approving plans. A leader’s role is to enable their colleagues to make decisions themselves. Especially in the days of hybrid workspaces, it’s all about the flow of information. Your strategy plays a huge role in that information flow. 

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Stockholm 7 februari