Recommended reading from #ProductTank, first edition in Berlin


The ist of books recommended at #ProductTank 1 in Berlin.

The abstract but most worthwhile stuff for me: 

  • Don Reinertsen, 'Principles of Product Development Flow': This is really basic stuff why lean works, based on queuing theory, applying insights from network switching to resource allocation, explaining why the focus on resource utilization is leading to blocked systems ... it will turn your head around. But very dense, zero fluff, so it is hard to consume.
  • David Anderson, ,Kanban', German edition w/ final chapter on Portfolio Kanban: THE book on Kanban, here the German edition w/ my chapter on Portfolio Kanban.
  • Taiichi Ohno, ,The Toyota Production System': Not really that much on product, and it is always dangerous to draw conclusions from production towards knowledge work, but: This is just a great book covering the soft topics, purpose of companies, how to deal with the human side etc. Also, in this book, I think, he predicts something like what we are today doing w/ Kanban in PD.
  • Stephen Bungay, ,The Art of Action': Stephen Bungay is a historian. His topic of expertise is prussian war strategy and tactics. Funny enough, they had agility and the whole autonomy, decentralised decisions etc. thing already decoded - but unfortunately this was all forgotten in the meantime. He explains all the basics about it and what role alignment plays in this game and how to get there and then ... how easy all of this could actually be (Hint: Spice Girls - ,Tell me what you want, what you really really want‘). 

The following books came to my mind during our discussion on metrics: 

  • Kahnemann, ,Thinking, Fast and Slow': On how our brain ticks, how we think, why we fall for all these strange cognitive biases. (OMG how many of them there are!) I think the most dangerous one w/ regard to extensive metrics is optimism bias - oh, I have seen it happen by the million! Yesterday I had the feeling that some people think they are safe from bias ... read this, do some of the exercises and you know ... you're not!
  • Avinash Kaushik, ,Web Analytics 2.0': The book on Web Analytics for me. Easy enought o understand. he also understands the principle of ,measuring up‘ (not doing too much) Also he explains how to get some qualitative data in addition to all the quantification.

And finally really specific to Product Management

Have fun,