3 Simple Strategies For Maintaining “Living” Roadmaps

Jeff Bezos said “Be stubborn on the vision, flexible on the details” (Photo: Matt Howard)

Product roadmaps are foundational to every product strategy. When used properly, they inspire innovation, empower autonomy amongst teams and help organisations to deliver on their high-level strategic business plan.

Over the past decade, I’ve been exposed to a number of roadmaps. In each instance, they’ve taken on different formats, played different purposes and served different consumers (eg. customers, executives, sales, marketing, engineering and customer support). However, there was a common trend which I observed across all the roadmaps. There would always be a huge effort to create the roadmap for the upcoming year. When the new year started, the roadmap…


A product manager’s perspective, but useful for all

“Don’t Get A Job…Make A Job” (Photo by Photo by Charles Deluvio)

In 2004, I was eager for a challenge. I embarked on an adventure of completing a Computer Science Bachelors degree. Fast forward to today and the adventure continues. I’ve been building products for 12 years for a variety of industries from finance to ecommerce, retail, real estate, hospitality and more. Although my roles were not focused on the technical implementation of the products (aka “platforms”), the Computer Science degree taught me a valuable ever-lasting lesson. This was to appreciate the technical complexities and unknowns that could arise during software development. From working in the industry, the biggest lesson for me…


Just establish this one thing.

Product management essentials — laptop, notebook, pen, mobile phone, headphones & more (Photo by Matthew Kwong)

Product management is an important organisational role which focuses on either building products or technology for customers. These customers could be people like you and me, other businesses or the organisation itself if the product is being used for internal purposes. It could be summarised as the intersection between UX, business and technology.


8 ways to master remote working

Working on the beach (Photo by Anton Shuvalov)

Most of us dream of working on a white-sand beach with the temptation of blue ocean waters just a few steps away. Our fantasy of a flexible working schedule, productively working in your pajamas from the couch and avoiding the long, stressful commute to and from work sounds amazing.

It really is until the honeymoon period of the remote work fades. Reality starts to kick in, and a whole new set of challenges begins to appear with remote working. From time-zone differences to feeling isolated and disconnected from the organization, remote work can be intimidating. …


Overengineering impacts more than you think

Less is more

More often than not, people act on the side of caution rather than taking a risk. It’s human nature to be risk-averse.

When developing software products, this sometimes creates more complexity than necessary. And other times, the necessary details are skipped which results in an under-engineered product. The balance is non-trivial.

Max Kanat-Alexander explains that overengineering is “when your design or code actually makes things more complex instead of simplifying things.”

“When your design or code actually makes things more complex instead of simplifying things, you’re over-engineering.” — Max Kanat-Alexander

Overengineering software products is the norm and often happens without…


4 principles to accelerate this shift

When rowing, you can’t win the race alone. (Photo by Josh Calabrese)

Rowing requires coordination, clear communication, and collaboration to guide a team’s boat through the unpredictable waters to have a chance at winning a race. This happens to be the case in every sport where you participate as a team. In fact, this is no different for teams in the workplace. Like rowing, building digital products is also unpredictable. For example, when Open Table first launched, their first approach wasn’t guaranteed to work and it didn’t. It wasn’t until they tried the strategy of first getting restaurants on board in a condensed area then bringing on customers to use the system…


And save money on your food bills

Fresh herbs: Sage, rosemary, parsley, basil, thyme (Photo by Photo by Matt)

“Only 2% of the population produces food for the world to consume.”

The world of food has changed drastically over the past 23,000 years. Only about 200 years ago, “90% of the U.S. population lived on farms and produced their own food to eat”. Fast forward to today and we’re at a global population of over 7.3 billion that needs feeding. And “only 2% of the population produces food for the world to consume”. Farming has been innovating at different time periods, in different places around the globe. Recent farming innovations include vertical indoor farming and the utilisation of unexpected…


Using Google Cloud AutoML

Chest x-ray of a healthy child

“AI is going to change the world more than anything in the history of mankind. More than electricity.” — AI oracle and venture capitalist Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, 2018

With the rapid improvements being made in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) and the voluntary AI daily digest shared by my fiancé, I thought it was about time to take a deep dive in and see for myself what it was all about. In particular, I was interested in how I could cleverly integrate AI into product development conversations and how it could be applied to build products that people…


It’s also the most important currency of a relationship

It took an incredibly brilliant team to put a man on the moon in July 1969 (Photo by History in HD)

Have you ever been part of an amazing team? In this team, you could be yourself which means that you could speak openly and honestly, admit when you didn’t know the answer and feel comfortable asking for help. Members of this team made sure that you knew they had your back in every situation and encouraged you to be your best.

Have you ever been part of a team that was a nightmare to work with?This team constantly challenged your every actions and decisions, mistakes were never owned up to or recognised and getting support to try something new seemed…


The smart speaker dilemma

Two green macaws (Photo by Tejasvi)

Amazon Echo has been amazing. From instant baking measurement conversions to a quick answer about the day’s weather forecast, it removed the need to stop what I was doing to search for the answer on either my mobile or laptop.

The Eye-Opener? “Alexa” is making serious behaviour changes in the home that aren’t always a good thing.

After a few years, there were times where “Alexa” didn’t hear me because the TV was on or I was likely on the border of being just far enough away where my request couldn’t be accurately be interpreted/processed. So I found myself repeating it in a slightly louder, awkward voice. Sometimes “it” still doesn’t hear me which created even more…

Amanda Woo

Obsessed with technology, products & people | Founder of Interesting By Default | Director of Product at Cognizant

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