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Strategize: Product Strategy and Product Roadmap Practices for the Digital Age

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Create a winning game plan for your digital products with Strategize: Product Strategy and Product Roadmap Practices for the Digital Age , 2nd edition.

Using a wide range of proven techniques and tools, product management expert Roman Pichler explains how to create a winning product strategy and actionable roadmap. Comprehensive and insightful, the book will enable you to make the right strategic decisions in today’s dynamic digital age. If you work as a product manager, Scrum product owner, product portfolio manager, head of product, or product coach, then this book is for you.

What you will learn: Written in an engaging and easily accessible style, Strategize offers practical advice and valuable examples so that you can apply the practices directly to your products. This second, revised, and extended edition offers new concepts, more tools, and additional tips and examples. Praise for Strategize :

" Strategize offers a comprehensive approach to product strategy using the latest practices geared specifically to digital products. Not just theory, the book is chock-full of real-world examples, making it easier to apply the principles to your company and products. Strategize is essential reading for everyone in charge of products: product executives, product managers, and product owners." Steve Johnson, Founder at Under10 Consulting.

"Whether you are new to product management or an experienced practitioner, Strategize is a must read. You are guaranteed to get new ideas about how to develop or improve your product strategy and how to execute it successfully. It’s an essential addition to every product manager’s reading list." Marc Abraham, Senior Group Product Manager at Intercom.

172 pages, Paperback

Published April 1, 2016

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Roman Pichler

6 books74 followers

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5 stars
289 (32%)
4 stars
378 (43%)
3 stars
171 (19%)
2 stars
32 (3%)
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7 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 64 reviews
Profile Image for Jose Papo.
260 reviews133 followers
May 27, 2016
If you are a Product Manager or must think about launching new products and services you must read this book. It focus on two important topics fot Product Development: Strategy and Roadmapping. Pichler describes several techniques, authors and tools to think and describe your product strategy and your product roadmaps. It's a small book but rich in content. Strongly recommended read.
Profile Image for Ian Stewart.
53 reviews9 followers
September 29, 2018
Great reference book on forming a product strategy, getting it into a roadmap, and implementing it milestone by milestone. My limited experience with full-blown “official” Agile development made some parts a little cloudier for me but if I made it through anyone can.
Profile Image for Boni Aditya.
308 reviews886 followers
May 16, 2020
There is something wrong about this book. I finished two books back to back before this, and each of them took only a week. The other books were double the size of this book and more complex than this oue.

It took me two weeks to complete. No matter how hard I tried to read the book, I could not concentrate on it for more than a few pages at a time.

The last time a book took so much time for me to process is the black swan.

Why is this so?

The author does not stick to one topic at a time, he talks about one topic in relationship to all the others, may be the subject is so!

The entire book is one single article, i.e. each section is often linked a few other section, sometimes a single line is linked to multiple sections and you should be able to recollect them and reconnect them to the concept that is being discussed.

The strategy part was well built, but the Roadmap was more like a namesake attempt. Moreover the book is like a motley crew of relevant concepts all of them fetched and all of them added because they have value. The book isn't organic, it is not written with the user in mind. It is extremely difficult to keep track of the book, as one topic does not flow into another. All of these topics are discrete collection of concepts. The books is written like a collection of a few hundred articles. So we see references to previous articles time and again. The book caused huge amounts of cognitive dissonance.

The Examples cited in the book are almost barebones i.e. I could have come up with them pretty easily. The author only discusses theory, he does not even care to show sample artifacts merely models are shown here with no concern for how the actual artifact looks. There are no usecases. The author could have done so much more with his varied experience and adding a few real life use cases to make a huge impact. Instead he chooses not to deliberately and keeps the book very tiny. In an attempt to minimize the book, he tried to cram in concepts, losing the much needed clarity in the process. Each line had to be read twice to understand what he is trying to say. Moreover, the sentences are super complex i.e. some sentences run for four lines to five lines in the book. That is precisely the wrong way to make a book! It becomes incomprehensible in the first go, as you lose track of what the author was trying to say before you read the end of the sentence.
I read melissa perri's Esacping the build trap.

I could actually cite that book as the exact opposite of how this book is composed. The book is incredibly reader friendly. This book kind of wants nobody to read it, even if the try reading it, it would try its best to be enigmatic. I thought this book would be a piece of cake after all the experience in Product Management. Turned out that it caused my mind to go through a lot of pain, specifically the cognitive dissonance and the need to drill through related topic, was extremely draining on my mind!

Finally the book does contribute well, but it acts more like a brief introduction to hundreds of concepts rather than an attempt to make you understand any one of them clearly. The author is desperate to include as much unique content as possible. I loved the Conway law and Brooks Law mentioned in the book.

I saw that many concepts were directly taken from the PMP, project management like the Iron Triangle and prioritization techniques.

The problem with this book or this theory is that, all of it is a single whole, i.e. you can't learn a single piece in isolation. All of these are linked with each other, either that or the author does a very bad job of drawing lines between them. From the time he draws the innovation grid in the first chapter, stating core, adjacent and disruptive innovations to the very end of portfolio roadmaps. This is just a single article. So as you keep reading, the concepts pile on and cause greater fatigue. Imagine having to carry a rock, which becomes more heavy as you keep moving forward.

The example of the health app chosen by the author could not be blander. It does not arouse any interest in the topic, more over it kills any residual interest you might have mustered up.

The author covers plethora of topics, sometimes more than one topic per page. So he jumps from one topic to the next, without any concern for the reader, i.e. does not really care if the reader can understand it or not.

But this book serves as a good GLOSSARY for other books, authors and concepts.

He talks about lean, scrum, kanban, etc.. with a huge name dropping at varoius places in the book. It is in no means a book for the beginners. Unless you know a lot of these concepts before hand it will definitely leave you confused at best. If you are trying to begin from here.
2 reviews
November 28, 2016
Good overview but unbalanced

A good introduction and overview of digital product strategy.

The book is divided into two sections- product strategy and roadmaps. This makes the the book a little unbalanced. Topics in the first part of the book could have certainly been expanded into own chapters but are only briefly mentioned while the author goes into great detail about roadmaps.
Profile Image for Sophie.
35 reviews13 followers
December 8, 2020
It covers the basics of product strategy & roadmaps, with clear frameworks, models and principles. It is straight forward - no story telling, mainly concrete examples. For that reason, it is a good guidebook to learn and/or be reminded about key concepts.
Profile Image for Fabian.
403 reviews44 followers
February 2, 2020
Nice introduction but lacks depth. The content should have been a blog post (or three).
Profile Image for Chris T.
34 reviews4 followers
June 8, 2017
Good stuff. Introduces some nice frameworks around the strategy and product processes.
Profile Image for Lau Riva Palacio.
151 reviews10 followers
August 23, 2021
Tiene varios canvas, graphs, grids para utilizar si estás empezando una estrategia de producto 👍🏼
Profile Image for Ahmad hosseini.
271 reviews65 followers
November 8, 2020
Product strategy Vs. Product roadmap
The product strategy describes how the long-term goal is attained; it includes the product’s value proposition, market, key features, and business goals. The product roadmap shows how the product strategy is put into action by stating specific releases with dates, goals, and features.
This book will help you play a proactive game, make the right strategic decisions, and use them to guide the tactical work. It explains how to create a winning product strategy and an actionable product roadmap using a wide range of proven techniques and tools.
Book starts very good, a view on strategy and its relationship to product but at the end chapters includes information that you would find in other books about product development.
Profile Image for Nestor Jimenez.
109 reviews5 followers
November 20, 2020
Excellent book! Concise and useful as a guide to managing strategy as a Product Manager.

It is a MUST if you are in charge of delivering a product.
Profile Image for Mohamed.
111 reviews4 followers
April 7, 2023
The book is good and concise. It is suitable for product managers or scrum masters. several tools and techniques are presented. The good part that all those tools are linked together to form a full product plan and roadmap.
Profile Image for Rohit Kumar.
2 reviews
February 4, 2021
Has a lot of frameworks and reasonings with real life examples which can be used to design a good product strategy!
Profile Image for Vikrama Dhiman.
159 reviews82 followers
August 8, 2020
Overall, I’d give the book 3 out of 5. It has enough sparkle to be remembered. I wish Roman keeps producing new editions and upgrades this text. The innovation in organization diagram, product roadmaps, vision-strategy-roadmap-backlog cycle were the most interesting parts for me. It took me about 3 hours to read the book.

Detailed review here https://www.vikramadhiman.com/strateg...
Profile Image for Hugo Song.
1 review
February 22, 2018
This book is good for someone who's new into product management, as it goes over both the 'breakdown strategically' and the 'project management' aspect. I personally found the title a bit misleading as the 'strategy' part is somewhat hand-wavy and high level.
Profile Image for Melvin.
16 reviews
June 18, 2017
Enjoyable short overview of practices for developing and maintaining product strategies and product roadmaps. The text is written clearly, sparkled with real-world examples, and well organized. Some chapters were a bit long, though.

In practice, I rarely see a product strategy artifact; the product strategy is typically dispersed among the product vision, product roadmap, and release plans. So, it was good to see it treated separately as a first-class artifact for strategic planning. I liked the overall message in the book. I specially liked the emphasis on paper-based simplistic yet helpful templates such as vision board, persona template, GO roadmap template, and the roadmap selection matrix. I would have liked more depth, more pointers, and more discussion about how author's ideas complement with other techniques such as impact mapping.

I plan to introduce some of the templates in my product and release planning seminars. That alone is a good return on investment, given that it only took me a few hours to read this book. I'd recommend it to Product Managers, Product Owners, agile coaches and Scrum Masters.
Profile Image for Andréas Dieryck.
31 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2021
This book is like having a Martian returning from Earth trying to explain what a burger is to his fellow people, but doing so by focusing on the molecular structure of each main ingredient, one slice at a time. You’re going to understand what it is physically speaking, but you won’t have the faintest idea of how to even start cooking it. This book is interesting. Surely, the author knows what he is talking about. However, as the reader, you can’t really understand it. There are very few examples and no storyline. It gets into excruciatingly long details, never losing its focus on theoretical aspects, always failing to get practical. I wonder who this book is for: either you’re new to this stuff and there are countless better books that’ll give more perspective, or you’re experienced enough to buy a book about the subject and you might be startled by its depthlessness. I honestly think the author has all the material to bring this subject to life, but fails to deliver. I hope this call will be heeded, because there’s still a need for great books to be written on the topics it tackled.
Profile Image for Mark Schleier.
155 reviews18 followers
April 15, 2020
Full review coming soon...

Book rating criteria; to help objectify my ratings.
1. Will I read it again?
No, likely not, but will definitely hit the main points frequently.

2. Would I recommend this to others?
Yes, this is an excellent primer and overview to product management theory and I'd especially recommend to anyone desiring to be a leader of product.

3. Am I smarter, better or wiser as a result of this book?
Yes, especially around formulating vision and strategy to get to roadmapping.

4. Was I entertained while reading this/it kept my attention?
Yes, it's pretty engaging and pretty easy read.

5. This book was just the right length?
Yes, I think it's just right.
March 5, 2023
If you are looking for concrete advice on how to shape your product vision and then connect it to your strategy, goals and backlog this book has you covered.

I like the step by step approach and very concrete tips and tricks on various topics you might encounter when working with products. Also addresses the differences between highly innovative products that are faced with high degrees of uncertainty all the way down to well-established, mature products which have a very different dynamic.

I can recommend this to any starting or intermediate PO or PM that needs to get a grip of their vision, strategy, roadmap and backlog.
Profile Image for Alicia.
157 reviews6 followers
July 18, 2021
TL;DR: if you want to sell something, you need to think about what it should do, who wants to buy it, what they want, and how you can achieve your goals within a limited time or budget. And you need to prioritise.

If you're looking for an overview of the basics and have no background in anything related to project management or marketing, this is probably right for you.

If you've ever done anything with products and target audiences, skip it. I learned nothing new. Save yourself time and read a few pages on scrum.org if you need help with your product roadmap.
Profile Image for Thomas Ziegelbecker.
78 reviews1 follower
December 28, 2022
The advise in the book is good and describes all three cascading pillars of Product Strategy in a solid and fluent way.
Yet, some parts could be probably shortened to either reduce repetition or to make ideas more succinct and clearer. For instance, to me it’s never great when the headline tells you almost the full story of the paragraph and after reading it it doesn’t feel like the paragraph itself added much value. Otherwise I feel like why did I read the paragraph then?
Additionally, at times having many lists and bullet points it become tiresome too read tue book.
Profile Image for Robson Castilho.
209 reviews28 followers
May 12, 2017
A practical overview of product strategy and roadmapping, with good advices and tools. It shows how it's important to have someone (or a group of people) accountable by company's products, planning products' strategies, involving stakeholders and taking care of products' lifecycle.
Highly recommended to entrepreneurs, people in roles of Product Manager or Product Owner (a Scrum role) and those interested in learning about product management.
Profile Image for Santiago Mas.
17 reviews1 follower
October 5, 2018
Si sou product mànages o en la vostra feina les tasques de product managemebt tenen un pes específic aquest és, sense dubte, el vostre llibre.

Potser jo no arribaria a dir que és la bíblia del product managemebnt però sí que senta una base de pràctiques i tècniques, totes des del punt de vostra estratègic, per a extreure la màxima rendibilitat de la vida útil de cada producte.

Es llit amb lleugeresa i el seu llenguatge directe i senzill arribe amb claredat.

Us el recomane.
Profile Image for Diego.
17 reviews
May 2, 2019
Good and basic intro to some core Product Management concepts

If you are knew to product management, this will give you a quick and light weight intro to the concept of roadmaps but not much else in terms of skills and principles for becoming a great product manager.

As a more seasoned PM, this will give you a quick refresher if you’ve spent too much time head down managing a backlog
Profile Image for Giovanni Puliti.
4 reviews5 followers
April 30, 2018
Anche se molti temi sono ripresi dal marketing e teorie degli anni '60 il testo è comunque ricco di spunti per chi voglia imparare le basi della product ownership (utile per il Product Owner ma anche per chi non si occupa di Scrum o Agile).
Alcuni degli strumenti proposti dall'autore sono scaricabili dal suo sito internet e possono fornire validi suggerimenti per definire la strategia di un nuovo prodotto.
Profile Image for Mithun.
5 reviews
November 24, 2018
Concise yet effective

I wasn’t expecting to review my product concepts in such detail within a short book. Roman has been able to lead the way in articulating structure using templates with examples that meets modern day product managements requirements. His is a warm up before you take the big rides. I recommend.
March 3, 2021
Found the book very much for product strategy /roadmapping beginners. If you already dealt with product strategy or roadmap - won't find anything new. Quite theoretical and doesn't touch on actual practical challenges everyone inevitably runs dealing with these topics. That makes this book a good primer though - just don't take what you read for granted
Profile Image for Gerard Chiva.
65 reviews8 followers
May 15, 2021
The book is a good summary of strategy practice and techniques. It is divided into two chapters: strategy and roadmaps.

I like its practical approach and down-to-earth recommendations.

However, it is just about techniques and practices, nothing about how to actually define a winning strategy.

Highly recommended for aspiring product owners and product managers.
Profile Image for Sue.
818 reviews5 followers
February 11, 2022
I think that I just wanted more in roadmap development than I got - it was only a third of the book. On top of that, you can get what you need from his website. So…full marks to him for making his intellectual property available to anyone and everyone; but that takes the wind out of his book’s sails.
Profile Image for Patrick.
17 reviews4 followers
June 6, 2018
Some good stuff in here, though a lot of it is rehash from other sources, so if you read on this topic often, you'll find yourself skimming past large chunks. That said, it's a nice round-up of frameworks and has some great lenses on how to think about product strategy at different stages.
1 review
March 13, 2019
Good information for product managers

Good basic coverage for product managers wanting to hone their skills further. Teaches some key concepts that not all product managers understand.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 64 reviews

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