Episode 30 of The Informed Life podcast features a conversation with my friend Christian Crumlish. Christian is a writer, product, and UX leadership consultant. I met him through the information architecture community, but his focus these days is on product management. So I thought our conversation would be an excellent opportunity for me to learn more about product management.

I was particularly keen to discuss bottom-up vs. top-down product development processes. My expectation is that the former result in products that are more responsive to market needs, that is, which better serve the needs of their customers. The tradeoff? Organizations that manage complex ecosystems of products may have a harder time achieving coherence between them, leading to a diminished customer experience.

The conversation with Christian made me realize that part of the answer lies with strong leadership. As he put it,

If you have a healthy team and you’re reporting up and down the line, and there’s somebody with authority who is watching the biggest goals, I think there already are methods that can work.

As with so many of my recent interviews, I wish we could’ve talked longer. For example, I’d love to learn more about methods that can lead to greater product ecosystem coherence, or the characteristics that set aside some leaders as great product managers. Perhaps these would be good subjects for a second interview with Christian?

In any case, I greatly enjoyed our conversation. I hope you get as much value from it as I did.

The Informed Life Episode 30: Christian Crumlish on Product Management