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Books: Product Team Coach and Deep Work
Building products with valuable outcomes, and building time and space to think deeply.
This week I’d like to cover two books. One related to product development and the other to how we focus ourselves for work. For the first book I have the pleasure of calling the author a friend and co-worker. Jordan’s book is a treat and loaded with smart ideas. The second book I’m currently reading and it is steadily growing to be very useful.
My reading practice has been very off and on over my lifetime. In some early periods of my life I was a rapacious reader. Later in life, with jobs, family, and all the things distracting therein, my reading has disappeared. It’s recently that I’ve been reading again and because I’ve found I’m able to focus again.
There was a time when books were my main source of learning. Especially for software development. And while I believe I learn a lot online, I’m wondering if a return to books is in my future. I also wonder if there is opportunity to write reviews of books and share them as a part of the Attainable coaching for Health Software Development - a book club if you like!
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Product Team Coach
Value and Outcome-Driven solutions for turning ideas into products
This book is a perfect reference material for anyone interested in being a product owner, especially in software. I know Jordan wrote this with the intention that these ideas are applicable to any industry, and that’s certainly true, however I also know that nearly all of these practices were honed in the hot fire of software development.
If you read the book, this will come as no surprise, but my favorite section is on deadlines. As I’ve written previously, deadlines are problematic at best.
Jordan provides a wonderful method for working with folks who insist on deadlines, by asking smart questions that challenge the veracity of deadlines for product development. A few samples from the book:
Is the deadline because of our product or because of a moment or opportunity? If it’s because of a moment, what happens to the product after the moment is gone?
Is the deadline related to a change in the business that is permanent? What change in the product is related to that change in the business?
Jordan’s book is easy to read, insightful, and loaded with smart and valuable practices.
Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
I’ve been referred this book a number of times, and ironically felt as though I simply didn’t have the ability to focus long enough on a book that would help me improve my focus. Until recently that is. And this book has been useful to help me confront my personal habits that were causing me to lose focus, and the best part so far is that none of the insights are terribly complicated or even surprising.
From the book:
Deep work hypothesis: The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.
What I appreciate so far is that the author has juxtapositioned the value of deep focused work and that in most work environments today it’s increasingly impossible. And that deep focused work can be considered a source of power for people interested in achieving more. I’m just in part one of the book, but I can see where this is going, and I’m enjoying the read.