Seven Reasons Why Stories Are Ideal Frameworks for Product Management

Just in case you product managers need some convincing.

Benito Vergara
The Startup

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Storytelling is at the heart of product management. Whether referring to assembling the nuts and bolts of product delivery, crafting a product strategy, or selling a product vision, stories are key to both successful product development and customer engagement as a whole. I’d even argue that stories — and no, I’m not just talking about user stories — are also integral to the execution of projects. A story — that simplest of frameworks — serves as a musical counterpoint, if you will, to the formal project management phases.

Consider below some general reasons for using stories (and prepare yourselves for some unapologetically mixed metaphors). In a later blog entry I’ll focus on storytelling and specific applications to product management — but I’ll set the stage first before the curtain rises.

A story is familiar.

Albert Anker, Der Grossvater erzählt eine Geschichte (1884). From Wikipedia.

Stories are familiar in two crucial aspects: the listening, and the telling. Everyone understands stories. We hear the opening lines of a story, and we can already visualize a protagonist, and expect some sort of resolution. This act of listening to a story is deeply ingrained, a skill we’ve practiced since childhood. For some of us a…

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Benito Vergara
The Startup

Senior product manager, fiction writer, former anthropologist. I study culture, tell stories, and herd cats. More: https://about.me/benito.vergara.