As project managers, it’s easy to fall in love with one tool and let it define the way we manage projects. Perhaps in the rush to support a big project, we pushed the tool we were using to its limits, using advanced features and becoming a power-user in the process. We inserted structure and process into the tool and made it work for us.

However, despite expertise with our project management tool of choice, our team isn’t experts with our tool, nor should they be.

The agile manifesto states, “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.” It’s easy to fall…

This article is part 1 of our written series “Building Trust in Product Teams,” where we examine what is required for cultivating a positive, results-producing environment for your team. Based on over a decade of experience in partnering with startups, enterprises, and Fortune 500 companies to build digital products, these are the repeatable tactics we’ve vetted out that drive successful product teams. If you’d like guidance in implementing these in your organization, check out our Agile Coaching services.

Trust is crucial, yet often absent

Trust is the foundation of any successful product team. Trust is what all good intentions and results are built upon. Yet, in…

Graphics of Agency Tested A Developer-Led Client Collaboration
Graphics of Agency Tested A Developer-Led Client Collaboration

Managing any large project is complex, full of risks — and faced with a natural reluctance toward team-client collaboration. As a project manager, you cannot mitigate everything: you need to put the expertise of your team front-and-center to navigate each challenge.

This requires a team-focused and agile mindset where you place your focus on impromptu coaching and relationship building between your team and client. If orchestrated well, your client relationship will be rewarding, your team will be celebrated and your project will enjoy the best outcomes.

But, as a PM, how do you pull off a client-facing development team?


Here is where the value of a quality management plan comes into play:

You’ve probably considered quality as an aspect of each of your projects pretty often. However, chances are your actions to achieve that level of quality have not been as intentional as you would like.

A quality management plan can help you define what quality means for your project and outline a framework for you to ensure quality is carried on throughout.

Pursuing a quality management plan requires intentionality and time. So, throughout this article, I’ll get you started with:

  1. An explanation of the core aspects of the…

With 2020 on the horizon, a lot of product managers are wondering how their role and requirements will shift in the next year. I sat down with Michael Luchen, Senior Product Manager at Crema, to see what his predictions were for the future of product management.

A few weeks ago, Bloomberg published an article implying the failures of Boeing’s 737 Max software could be tied to their decision to outsource the coding overseas at a low, $9-an-hour rate not often synonymous with safety. Given the unfortunate disasters the 737 Max has been involved in, the article is worth a read.

However, I think there is substantial value in examining the issue from a different perspective. As someone in a team who has managed software products with organizations small and large, I’ve come to recognize the subtle, root issue underlying these software failures. …

It’s no secret at Crema that we are big fans of Liz Wiseman’s book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. In it, she breaks down multiple traits of what defines a “multiplier;” someone who is able to lead in an effective way to multiply output and business value to produce amazing results. As a product manager, the trait I value most is being “The Liberator.” According to Wiseman:

“Liberators create an intense environment that requires people’s best thinking and work. As a result, people offer their best and boldest thinking and give their best effort.”

Liberators do three…

I’ve read my fair share of productivity books. While there are a few standouts, I feel the lessons from books in the productivity genre tend to meld together. That said, when I began to see universal praise for James Clear’s Atomic Habits late last year, my initial reaction was one of avoidance. Yet, when deciding my next book to read in my list of product and business books about a month ago, I realized Atomic Habits had sustained unusually high reviews. I was intrigued, so I downloaded the sample. Not too long after, I bought the book.

Atomic Habits is…

Photo by Taylor Vick on Unsplash

It’s a part of our normal, everyday life:

  • “Hey Siri, turn on the lights.”
  • Your friend asks, “Can you look up how busy it is at Applebee’s on Google Maps?”
  • You snap a family photo on vacation and let it automatically upload to your iCloud Photo Library.
  • When at work, you wonder how your dog is doing, so you access your Nest in-home security cameras to check in.
  • Concerned about your grandmother, you take advantage of her Echo Show’s “drop-in” feature to video call her without requiring her to answer.

Digital products today empower us to easily do incredible things…

This interview was originally created and published by Rachel Gertz at Louder Than Ten on March 25th, 2019. Louder Than Ten is the only train­ing pro­gram for project managers that builds health­i­er align­ment between peo­ple, sales, and operations. If you or your team are interested in training and future-proofing your project managers, check out their apprenticeship program.

I’ve been seeing some patterns lately. There are precise points in a digital consultancy or agency workflow that can either lead to healthier projects and higher profitability or to a Shining-like bloodbath filled with reactive estimating, scoping, and selling processes that gut a…

Michael Luchen

People-focused product person with experience helping teams build digital products for enterprises, small businesses, and startups. Coach @Cremalab.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store