Articles by Ken Norton
- Don’t Ship the Org Chart, Part 1
Ken discusses how to best organize product management teams as startups grow. He recommends not dividing teams based on engineering code bases like front-end vs back-end, but rather by customer experience, such as buyer vs seller experiences. Organizing teams this way allows each PM to fully own an end-to-end customer experience. He also notes that when envisioning new features, fewer PMs should need to be involved in decisions if the teams are experience-based rather than code-based. Additionally, he stresses that any organizational structure will need to change over time as the company and product evolve.
- How to Hire a Product Manager
This is a classic article on hiring product managers from 2005. Because product management was so new at the time, the article provides an introduction on product management and the backgrounds of candidates that may be a fit for it.
- How to Work With Software Engineers
Ken explains the following principles on working with engineers by describing what it's like to experience the opposite of each: Deflect praise Absorb blame Sweat the details Involve them early Streamline process Always tell the reasons Never commit without them Respect their time Be specific Trust them (And finally…) Always bring the donuts