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Product Lead at @DeliveryHeroCom. Formerly @HelloFresh, @BBC, @Atos. Passion for product, business &tech. I like helping people solve problems. Berlin

Why picking the right metric to track success is so important and, yet, so difficult

Picking a metric is easy. Picking the right metric is a lot harder. With the movement in the product community to ensure we’re building outcome-focused products instead of simply shipping features — the question of picking the right success metric is one that comes up time and time again.

I’ve always loved using data but over my career have made lots of mistakes in how I used data and measured things. …


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…


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

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…


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

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…


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. …


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…


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


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. …


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…


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. …

Curtis Stanier

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