Fuzzier language, better UX

This is a story of a customer psychology analysis. It led me to choose less precise language in a product UI, and achieve better user experience. It started when my dev partners found an internal API limitation in a web app we own. This API limitation was causing a data visualization dashboard feature to throw…

Building product bandwagon with early adopters

This is a story where I had to re-think why my product was successful. A few months ago, I created a web app at Microsoft. It was designed to host internal service documentation for a large org in Windows team. I built the business case and product roadmap, then worked with a team of engineers…

Being a remote PM: pros & cons

In this post I share my experience as a remote PM. Being a remote PM is both a bundle of challenges and a passport to a lot of opportunities. Working remotely is without doubt a trending topic in the tech world today, but in my observation most remote workers (in long-term remote arrangements) are engineers….

Saying “No” to customers, with empathy

Like many customers, I don’t like it when businesses say “No” to me, but I recently found myself on the giving end of that “No”. It was a new experience for me. As you may know from my blog, one of the products I own at Microsoft is an internal wiki platform for enterprise documentation….

Final thoughts on enterprise documentation

(Note: When I wrote this article I thought I was going to stop working on enterprise documentation to work on Inner Source. — Turned out, I’ve been given the opportunity to work on both!) In this article, I share some of my thoughts about enterprise documentation to wrap up my experience as a documentation PM…

A complement to Wiki Talk Pages in enterprise Wikis

As a documentation PM, I recently took some spare time to inspect the Talk Pages feature in the MediaWiki software. As an enterprise documentation PM, I concluded that Talk Pages has its limits when MediaWiki software is used in enterprise settings (instead of public settings, for example, Wikipedia). So, I came up with a feature…

Embracing ambiguity as a PM

I must admit that the idea of embracing ambiguity didn’t come naturally for me at first: after all, as a computer science graduate I was trained to think binary — zero or one, yes or no, right or wrong. But when evaluating products as a PM, there is usually a spectrum of shades of gray…

The one thing I learned about storytelling

It’s been exactly one year since I became a full-time PM with Microsoft. Among the plethora of things I’ve learned about products, one of the most resonating piece is about storytelling: A good story must make sense to the audience. This is harder than it sounds. The first corollary of this is that you must take…

In-person customer interviews: 3 things I learned

This past week, I unlocked an important PM achievement: interviewing customers face-to-face. In fact, after 12 customer interviews in 4 days, I found it both exciting and challenging, especially for someone who hasn’t done it before. (I had had customer interviews before, but only over Skype.) Thanks to the unexpected challenges posed by these in-person…

A technique to validate customer problem statements: whiteboarding

I would like to share a new technique useful for PM’s I learned in the past week: how to use a whiteboard to validate a customer problem statement. Part 1: The whiteboarding technique The whiteboarding technique I learned is quite simple to describe: you write your problem statement on a whiteboard, and really put each…