Senior Product Manager at @DeliveryHeroCom. Formerly @HelloFresh, @BBC, @Atos. Passion for product, business &tech. I like helping people solve problems. Berlin
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Photo by Patrick Robert Doyle on Unsplash

From creative use of shapes, custom animated gifs and sharing — add polish to your next slidedeck

I’ll admit it — I’m a huge fan of Google Slides. In the past, it has been somewhat of a running joke that on a particular topic, Curtis probably has a slidedeck for that, and I usually do…

It’s important to note, I do have good reason for why I find the tool so valuable. This isn’t some weird interest in trying to use every possible slide transition (I don’t use any) but because it is a key tool in how I approach communication with my colleagues at a large and growing organisation.

There are two main reasons it’s a powerful tool. First, it’s accessible by everyone so you don’t have to deal with people that aren’t added to the Notion account or sit in the department that doesn’t have access to that Confluence Space. Second, it’s very flexible but still forces you to think with a logic flow on how you structure the message to your audience. This is important given the majority of times people look through slidedecks without the presenter. …


Use this technique to improve understanding throughout your day — customer interviews, hiring, 1:1s and stakeholder management.

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Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

Asking better questions is an extremely important skill. Much of what we do depends on building a good understanding to make better decisions. A good decision is one that doesn’t need changing (Shishir Mehrotra, 20VC) and those decisions are usually only made when there is a common understanding with those involved. So how do we build that understanding?

It’s important to realise, oftentimes, when we are engaged in dialogue, many people focus more on what they want to say next, waiting for their opportunity to jump. Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People wrote:

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. …


A list of books with digest reviews for Product Managers at all stages of their careers

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

One of my favorite parts of our product community is the chance to grab a coffee (virtual or otherwise) with others to share stories and ideas. During these conversations, I find myself recommending a certain selection of books repeatedly that really resonated with myself and also with those that read them.

In my practice of documenting topics that repeatedly come up, I thought I’d share this list.

These books fall broadly into four categories:

  • Product Culture
  • People & Leadership
  • Measurement & Performance
  • UX & Design

The list contains a wide range of topics to help you narrow down the books that are most useful for you, I’ve included a brief paragraph of why I found each book useful and the situations where I would refer back to it. If you’re just looking for the books without my commentary — scroll to the end to find it summarised in list form. …


Practical advice for Buddies and Managers to help your new joiner settle in and rock it.

I’m sure you’ve found an amazing candidate — passionate, knowledgable and keen to get started (they may have even already read How to Optimise their first 30 days). You’re going to be onboarding them by supporting them on their first steps in the company.

Onboarding a new joiner is not something to be taken on lightly. Whether you’re their manager or an onboarding buddy, your new joiner is going to be onboarding for around three months. …


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Photo by Barrett Ward on Unsplash

I recently wrote 20+ Podcasts Product Managers should Listen to. After writing it, I realised that how I listen to podcasts has changed over the last few years. I’ve developed an approach to try and get more from the amazing content available.

There was a point earlier in my career when I associated the number of books I read or podcasts I listened to directly to my professional development. This doesn’t work. To use a familiar expression in Product Management — this was the output, not the outcome. I was recently reminded of this while reading the Weekly Hagakure:

I read a lot of books, to the extent of sometimes impressing people with how “well read” I am. But is that what I am going for? Am I really learning anything? Or am I just pretending to be? …


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Photo by Math on Unsplash

A list of podcasts to listen, learn and engage with Product Management

All podcasts are not equal. There is variance in frequency, content, topics and styles but they can all offer us something different. I love podcasts as a medium for learning. Over the last few years working in Product Management, I’ve curated a playlist that works really well for me and wanted to share it with the community.

I intend to continually come back to this post and update as my listening changes and I discover new content so keep checking back!

I broke this post down into 5 main categories

  1. Product Management
  2. Business & Organisations
  3. User / Customer Research
  4. Productivity
  5. Misc…


Foster alignment, broaden understanding and find focus

I was introduced to the Driver Tree concept a few years ago at HelloFresh. It was introduced by our leadership to support our growth and focus the teams on how they could contribute to the success of the business. It worked. After its adoption, there was a noticeable elevation in the effectiveness of teams across the business.

Driver Trees (also known as KPI Trees) are a simple effective tool that can be used in almost any organisation. …


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Don’t be the Product Manager that slows delivery, isolates your team, and burns out.

A mistake I made early on in my Product Management career was trying to be involved with every discussion and workstream. I had a positive intention behind my approach. I was the PM and wanted to be across my domain to ensure everyone had the right context and to answer questions from the team or from stakeholders.

I thought that was the only way I could be a Helpful Product Manager, otherwise, I’d be letting people down. It seemed to be the way other Product Managers were doing it and, since I was new to the role, I followed the direction. …


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Lessons learned from over 100 retros and 4 teams to improve focus and delivery

The thing I find fascinating is there are hundreds of thousands of agile teams out there. Those teams are reflecting on their workflow to understand how they can improve their product development meaning there are literally millions of learnings every year.

Some of these learnings manifest in how the teams structure their boards (digital or physical) and given many of us share similar challenges there are lessons we can share. For me, the Agile board is the centre of the team’s workflow. It’s a point you can gather around, celebrate successes and clear blockers. …


Tips from a Product Manager that has broken his fair share of services…

Managing outages can be one of the most intense and stressful parts of managing products and services. It’s not sexy, however, it is an incredibly important and useful skillset to have.

A well-managed incident can lead to a wealth of learnings about your tech stack that can be used to reduce the risk of similar issues happening again.

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How you feel as a Product Manager in the middle of an outage

The outages I want to focus on are service outages. These are problems that affect the business, organisation or end-customer. They are issues that directly risk revenue, increase costs or damage reputation or the customer experience.

It is important to remember that every incident is different. It isn’t possible to provide a perfrect runbook that will address every outage you come across. However, an effective framework will provide you with a structure to keep your focus as your IM and inbox ping away with notifications. …

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