This Saturday’s convocation of product managers, P-Camp 2009, was an outstanding event. Great presentation and great conversation. Many thanks to Rich, Luke, and everyone else at Enthiosys for organizing P-Camp, and to all the sponsors for making it happen.

Here are a few take-aways from the presentations I attended:

  • Agile is having a huge impact on product managers, not to mention the rest of the organization, outside development. I’d venture to say that the effects on how product managers and product marketers work–not the products and services on which they work–is bigger than anything I can remember, including the Internet.
  • Social media (blogs, Wikis, etc.) are also shaping how PMs work, though the exact contours of these changes are pretty indistinct at this point. Some companies, such as Chordiant, are willing to take big gambles on the power of social media, doing things like exposing their roadmaps to an unprecedented degree, in the name of building stronger relationships with their customers.

  • Everyone’s all a-twitter about Twitter, the channel of social media that got more attention than anything else. However, Twitter received this disproportionate attention because of its novelty, and all the questions about its proper use that it raises. We’d be wrong to conclude that it’s overshadowing other social media in its actual use for product management and product marketing.
  • PMs need to talk to one another. That’s nothing new, but the scope and quality of conversations at P-Camp showed the real need for PM professionals to compare notes. When a relatively novice product manager asked me for advice about career development, part of my answer was, "Read the blogs, and ask questions in the comments sections. For the time being, it’s the easiest way to learn from your peers."
  • There’s a lot of room for innovation in this profession. Since the PM profession is still evolving, individual PMs have a lot of opportunity to find creative solutions. For example, serious gaming presents an alternative to traditional requirements collection. (For an example of serious gaming in action, see Enthiosys’ "Buy A Feature" site.)

Finally, thanks to everyone who attended my talk on Agile’s effect on tech company structure and operations. I’ll be sending them to the conference organizers for posting. There was a lot of ground to cover in a short presentation, so if I sounded a bit like Frasier Crane  on speed, my apologies.

[Cross-posted at The Heretech.]