Article: Getting the Right Stuff Done

Steven Sinofsky:

A key role of product management (PM), whether as the product-focused founder (CEO, CTO) or the PM leader, is making sure product development efforts are focused. But what does it mean to be focused? This isn’t always as clear as it could be for a team. While everyone loves focus, there’s an equal love for agility, action, and moving "forward". Keeping the trains running is incredibly important, but just as important and often overlooked is making sure the destination is clear.

It might sound crazy, but it is much easier than one might think for teams to move fast, get stuff done, and break things that might not be helping the overall efforts. In fact, in my experience, this challenge has become even greater in recent years with the availability of data and telemetry. With such, it becomes very easy to find work that needs to be done to improve the app or service — the data is telling you right then and there that something is tripping up customers, performing poorly, or going unused. Taking action makes it easy to feel like the right thing is happening. It feels like moving forward. Everyone loves to get stuff done. Everyone feels focused.

But is the team focused on the right work to achieve the right results?

Very interesting article. The framework he suggests reminded me of the tools outlined in the book "Traction" by Gino Wickman: define your 10 years vision, your 3 years plan, then your yearly priority, then your rocks for the quarter, and in the end your tasks for the week. If you're always making sure that what you're working on right now is aligned with your broader goals, the risk of going astray is very low!