virtual product management

The forest or the trees‍‍‍ - which is more important?

Trick question.  Both!  Trees are the fine-grained tasks and details in your plan.  Remember the devil lives in those details.  That’s why there’s a ton of tools out there for managing details.  Which tool is the best?  There’s no right answer for that, you’ll probably have to kiss a few frogs to find your prince.  It’s not unusual to change horses during a project or business launch as you find the shortcomings of a selected tool.  It’s not fun but it happens.  That said, of course it’s worth doing your homework before you lock down on a particular tool.  Road test a few.  Populate them with some of your data.  ‍‍‍It’s like buying a new suit.  Try them on for size.  See how they feel.  Often the right one will be obvious once you try it a bit.   And of course you looked at the reviews right?  ‍‍‍As for the forest, that’s the land of the big picture.  Often painted in Powerpoint and Keynote.  Yes, you can portray your big picture in a tool that also does the details, and from a data organization perspective that view should probably be there.  

posted by Randy Kun         2018

But.  Business big pictures are typically drawn by execs and they typically start by convincing others of their vision and the strategy.   That’s why presentation-ware is often the tool of choice for the job.  Inevitably the issue of reconciling the big picture (in PP or Keynote) with what’s happening in the details will pop up.  That goes with the turf.  No easy way out.  It sure helps if the same terminology and structure is used in both places.  As for keeping the two in sync, one bet is to hold regular reviews of the product.  Invite big picture people and detail people.  It might turn out they speak different languages.  Those meetings are a lot longer and less fun when the big picture is in Greek and the details are in Mandarin.  But that gets sorted out pretty quickly.  No exec wants to make a board presentation that’s disconnected from reality.  Grouping the trees using the same terminology that describes the forest is a great place to start.