This is the course website for Info 290M Lean/Agile Product Management, a three unit graduate class taught by Jez Humble at the UC Berkeley School of Information. Everything on this website is licensed Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike.
The course is designed to give participants a practical overview of the modern lean/agile product management paradigm based on contemporary industry practice. We cover the complete lifecycle of product management, from discovering your customers and users through to building high performance teams and delivering complex digital products. We’ll take an experimental approach throughout, showing how to minimize investment and output while maximizing the information we discover in order to support effective decision-making. During the course, we’ll show how to apply the theory through hands-on collaborative problem-solving activities. There will also be guest lectures from industry experts.
Special thanks to Carlos Miguel Lasa for his help designing and delivering this course.
The syllabus, supplemented by guest lectures, covers the following topics:
- The history of project & product management
- The product lifecycle
- Economic frameworks for product management
- User research
- Agile software development
- Lean startup
- The experimental paradigm of product development
- How to grow high performance teams
- Release planning
- Process improvement
- Innovation accounting
- Product marketing
- Venture capital
Lecturers from previous years have included:
- Chad Wathington on “The Essence of Product Management”.
- Rachel Chalmers on “How VCs Think about Product People”.
- Andrew Malcolm with a product marketing case study.
- Hima Chintalapati on pricing.
- Leah Bannon and Michael Torres on product management in government.
Contemporary research into education tells us that the most effective way for students to learn is through doing, and by synthesizing material themselves in both an individual and group setting. Thus the majority of the material is learned through group and independent study through assignments and in-class exercises, including case studies. There is also traditional lecture-style teaching, but this is designed to be interactive, and students are strongly encouraged to ask questions and engage with the material. Final grades are determined through continuous assessment, and there is no final exam.
There are no required books for this course: the supplementary material will mainly be conference talks, papers, and blog posts. However if you’re interested in getting a solid grounding in the subject, I recommend the following:
- Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
- Badass: Making Users Awesome by Kathy Sierra
- Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf with Josh Seiden
- The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
- Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works by Ash Maurya
- The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Donald G. Reinertsen
- Escape Velocity: Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past by Geoffrey A. Moore
- User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product by Jeff Patton
- Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale by Jez Humble, Joanne Molesky, and Barry O’Reilly
- How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of “Intangibles” in Business by Douglas W. Hubbard