Book review: Making it Right
A new book on product management just came out, published by Smashing Magazine, called Making it Right: Product Management for a Startup World.
I lucked out and noticed that it was available for $1. Yay me! The book is still a reasonably priced $9, though and TL;DR: it's worth the $9. At 170 kindle pages, the book makes for a quick read and has plenty of linked up resources to get you on your way.
Making it Right seems aimed at those just getting into product management or introducing product management into an organization. Having seen this process occur at Shopify, which went relatively well, I think the advice provided is good.
The book starts off with an explanation of what product management is and how to introduce it to your organization. From there, it dives into the planning and execution stages of product development. Some of the process stuff felt a little too specific and detailed. I've seen tool after spreadsheet after document languish due to its inability to really be of much use for the duration of a project. The book is also highly targeted to those doing web product development.
My biggest complaint with the book was that it felt more like a series of blog posts. The structure—linking off to numerous resources—works well for the web but is awkward and distracting when trying to stay focused with the book at hand. I read the book using the Kindle app on my iPhone, which means that I get some colour and resulted in distracting red (for callouts) or blue text (links) throughout.
All in all, Making it Right is a good overview of what product management can be. It'd be worthwhile for any person in an organization to read this to get a better sense of what's involved in being a PM.