This article is written in a how-to style. It is based on my personal experience and opinions, so it may omit some steps that are common in BPM practice but that I have not encountered in my work. The topic is broad, and each section deserves a separate article. Therefore, if you are interested in a specific topic, please comment, and I will prepare a more detailed description.
Product Management *
Learning how to manage a product
How to Create Effective Product Funnels with Event Tracking
Regardless of how mature the product is, its owner will always be curious about how it performs, what the conversion rates are, and what areas for improvement there are. One of the most important tools that product owners should get access to at some point in time is an event tracking system.
Setting Up an Experiment Environment for Data-Driven Product Development
As a product owner, it is common to face the question of whether to proceed with option A or option B. Or, which version of the screen should be implemented to achieve better results? Making such decisions can be challenging, especially when you are under tight deadlines with limited resources. Furthermore, such decisions are made based on personal judgment or copying the approach of a competitor, which can lead to suboptimal results.
The good news is that one can avoid such pitfalls by setting up a simple experiment environment that requires relatively low effort. In this article, we will describe how you can achieve this.
TRIZ: The Problem-Solving Methodology for Product Managers
As a product manager with over a decade of experience, I'm always looking for new ways to enhance my skills and help other product managers advance in their careers. One area that many companies focus on during the job interview process is analytical and creative problem-solving. And as product managers, we encounter these types of challenges on a daily basis. It's important to stay sharp and continuously develop our problem-solving abilities. That's why I made it a habit to practice a logic puzzle every day. But I also wondered if there was a common approach to solving these puzzles. That's when I discovered TRIZ – the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving. In this article, I'll provide an overview of what TRIZ is and how it can be applied in product management. Then, I'll apply TRIZ principles to solve a series of logical puzzles, showcasing the power and effectiveness of this methodology. So whether you're an experienced product manager looking to enhance your skills or someone who enjoys a good brain teaser, read on to discover the power of TRIZ!
If you find TRIZ to be a useful tool for problem-solving and innovation, there are many resources available to help you delve deeper into the methodology. The TRIZ Journal, for example, offers enough information on TRIZ, including case studies, articles, and other resources. You can also find books and online courses that provide a more in-depth look at TRIZ and how it can be applied in different industries and contexts. So if you're interested in learning more, there are plenty of opportunities to expand your knowledge and apply TRIZ to your work.
Business process management. Part 1. Why bother?
This is the first post in a series on Business Process Management (BPM). Having worked as a business analyst and product manager in various companies ranging from middle-sized startups to big corporations, I have observed differences in approaches to business process management - from almost complete disregard to excessive attention. So, I decided to share my views on the topic, why I think BPM is important, especially when a company grows fast and switches from the startup stage to a grown company, and what approach I think might work for a company of average size without involving too much time and resources.
Listicles — a simple technique for benchmarking your value proposition against alternatives
I believe listicles have a huge potential for testing demand hypotheses. Have you tried using listicles for your demand validation? If so - let us know in the comments how this worked for you.
Do you know these "Top N something something" kind of articles? Like:
- 5 best GPS vehicle trackers
- The 14 hair growth products that actually work
- Top 10 Best CRM Software Tools in 2023
They are often referred to as "listicles" - articles presented in the form of a list.
I love them - they make picking a new phone, a movie to watch, an app to install much easier. I also use them at work all the time while looking for solutions to everyday challenges.
So what if we use one of them to benchmark our product against the best available alternatives?
Product Backlog Refinement: Expense or Investment?
Product Backlog Refinement. Is it worth the effort or a simple waste of your team's time? Vladimir Zolotopupov, Head of Analytics for Innotech's Automation Department, shares his team's experience and describes how they handle the PBR process.
How to be an effective engineer?
This question comes up for a lot of us as we trying to advance our career and reach new heights. At the moment when I was challenged by it, I came across a wonderful book by Edmond Lau "Effective Engineer".
As always going through the book, I write new thoughts down. And today I want to share the compilation of things that I have found useful from the book. This is by no means an ad for the book, but I think it has some really interesting approaches for us to explore together.
The Systems Engineering Methodology for Startups
Creating a product startup can be an exciting experience, but it can be a daunting one as well. On average, only 1 out of 10 startups is successful, according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report. Therefore, to raise your prospects, there are quite a number of important considerations to make in advance.
Bearing in mind everything you need when launching a startup is a challenging task, so it’d be a sound idea to rely on some well-established methodology. That's why we were inspired by the Systems Engineering methodology, presented in such industry standards as ISO 15288 and CFR21. In this article, we’ll make a brief overview of this methodology and highlight how it can help entrepreneurs to encompass and structure the process of creating and developing a startup.
How to choose the appropriate level of statistical significance for an AB-test
Nowadays a lot of product managers have to confirm most of their decisions with AB-tests. Yet, it is far not always clear how to choose the parameters for the test. A particularly difficult parameter to tune is often the level of statistical significance. If we choose too high level - tests will fail even though improvements do exist. If we choose too low level - we'll be getting lots of "confirmations" of false improvements.
When we make decisions based on AB-tests, once in a while we'll be making mistakes. We can limit the losses caused by such mistakes by choosing the appropriate level of statistical significance.
The true cost of free labour — and how startup founders can find their way around it
Starting a startup can be tricky. To make money, you need clients. To attract clients, you need a portfolio. To have an attractive portfolio, you need to… Well, you see where I’m going with this. A lot of founders offer their services for free to escape this cycle. However, there are plenty of issues with this approach. It’s certainly not the silver bullet it might seem. Here we are discussing this topic in detail.
Architecting Architecture: Makers and Takers
The step has been made. Not sure where to, but for sure from the point of no return. Keep calm and keep walking. It is about time to look around and understand the smelly and slippery route before you. And what are those noisy creatures swarming around our fishy “innovative” design we called Mandelbrot blueprint? You don't get a buzzing noise like that, just buzzing and buzzing, without its meaning something.
How to prepare for PMP exam in 60 days
PMP exam = your own project
To begin with, let’s clarify: you’re ready to work hard and to follow the plan. Otherwise, this journey will take you forever. The key here is to perceive the PMP exam as your personal project and manage it like you're managing projects for your clients. The difference here is that you are your client yourself; and you are the resource to release this project. What is more, you will need not only to plan this project, but to execute the plan yourself too. On one hand, it will add an additional challenge. On the other hand, it will make things even more exciting to get them done.
What do you need to launch this project? First of all, the input data. This is actually what you usually need to start a project. I’m talking about the key performance indicators that we consider while planning a project. They are time, scope and budget. Of course, funds are important. As you have decided to take the test and to pass the certification you should be aware of the process: how much the test costs, how much the course costs, and other relevant expenses. Therefore, let’s move directly to the time and scope.
You have 60 days in order to get prepared for the PMP exam, and that is why you need to define how much time you are able to allocate to get prepared for the tests daily.
Yes, daily, because 60 days is quite an intense period. I know that for some people it takes six months or even a year to get prepared for this test. However, the less period of time you have, the more advantages you finally get.
Here is the thing, for the PMP there is no shortcut. It is quite a big volume of knowledge that you need to obtain in order to pass this test.
Fatal Fight: How we've got 5 million organic installs?
The story of Fatal Fight started in 2015. The time when going global and having 5 million downloads on Google Play Store seemed to be a dream of every game developer.
In this article, I will talk about the way we converted the dream into our actual reality. To make it super understandable, find a guide below where I will cover all the stages of development of Fatal Fight and even more.
The idea of Fatal Fight hasn't just come from nowhere. Before understanding what game to develop, we needed to research what are the current gaps in the mobile games market. And, to come to this point, we took several steps.
First, we analyzed what are the most searchable mobile games in the Google Play Store. It turned out, the top 3 mobile games that users were looking for were the following:
- Puzzle Games
- Car Games
- Fighting Games
Here we narrowed down our research. We were playing most downloaded games from each category to figure out if those games meet users’ needs while trying to answer what kind of challenges they have with those games.
As a result, Puzzle and Car Games had a wide range of mobile games with pretty nice UI/UX design and other characteristics. However, during the testing of the fighting games, the picture was quite different.
We were surprised by the fact that we could not find any proper games with satisfactory features. And I believe, not only we but also the dozens of users who were craving for favorable experience while playing a fighting game.
While asking ourselves the question “Why?” we found out that the main reason was the gameplay. The interaction between users and the games was complex. It was not comfortable to manage punching, kicking, jumping and other possible moves separately or even all at once on a smartphone.
Why it's important to allow developers to solve the problem instead of giving them implementation tasks
In his book «INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love,» Marty Cagan mentioned that successful teams put the following principles at the forefront when working with feature stories:
- Risks are analyzed in advance, not at the end.
- Products are defined and designed collaboratively, not sequentially.
- The team works on solving the problem, not on implementation.
The first two are more or less clear. Any well-educated manager knows that risks should be identified and assessed in the upfront. Besides that, many modern teams work or try to behave themselves on Agile's principles. But there are not so many companies in the world that follow the third principle.
Let us see what we can do.
Static Analysis: From Getting Started to Integration
Static Analysis: baseline VS diff
The purpose of this article is not to help with integration but rather to elaborate on the technicalities of the process: the exact implementations of warning suppression mechanisms and pros and cons of each approach.
How to introduce a static code analyzer in a legacy project and not to discourage the team
It is easy to try a static code analyzer. But it requires skills to introduce it in the development of an old large project. If the approach is incorrect, the analyzer can add work, slow down development, and demotivate the team. Let's briefly discuss how to properly integrate static analysis into the development process and start using it as part of CI/CD.
iPrice Filtering & Sorting Revamp — UX/UI Case Study
Top 5 Localization Trends in 2020
Did you know that 72.1% of Internet users prefer to dwell on websites translated in their native language? That’s a lot of people.
But that’s fine. You see, with today’s technologies you can translate your text into any language you choose. “Okay, so what?” — well, people who browse products described in their native tongue tend to trust those seller companies more.
So, by localizing your content, you can tremendously increase the number of your clients, sales, and, of course, grow your business. And the truth is that the localization industry is also evolving along with other digital businesses.
To prove it, we at Alconost have researched and listed the top 5 localization trends you can take advantage of in 2020. Let’s dive in!