Hi there 馃憢

Greetings! I’m Andy Nortrup, a Product Manager by trade, beginner bonsai artist, father, husband and U.S. Army veteran. I write about some of that here.

Tensions in Product Ops Tool Design

I think my core challenge with Product Ops, particularly standing it up from scratch, is the tension for modeling systems and processes as they are now vs how I want them to be. Paired with the tension between how much we need to change and how fast the organization is able to absorb change. Especially as the guardian and manager of the product tool stack. I know that if I set up the tools the way we work now, then everyone will continue the way we are now....

January 28, 2023 路 2 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Mastodon projects and failure to product

I鈥檝e been enjoying the fediverse and mastodon as I鈥檝e left Twitter for reasons. But one thing that I鈥檝e been exceptionally interested in has been watching multiple newcomers attempt to build offerings on top of the activitypub protocol, then fail dramatically when they realize that while what they have built might be useful for some use cases that it runs into an incredibly hard wall of fediverse culture. I鈥檓 not speaking hypothetically....

January 4, 2023 路 4 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Create a Mastodon Integration for Zapier

This site is hosted on GitHub pages using Hugo, mostly because it gives me an excuse to play with very simple CI/CD pipelines and scratch the itch that wishes I was an engineer rather than a product manager. Hugo is nice because it creates the RSS feeds that I love to have and use myself. I have been using that RSS feed to drive automated publishing of new articles to social media through Zapier....

December 30, 2022 路 6 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Better Product Management through Bonsai

Two years ago my wife bought me a class to make a bonsai. I made a tiny tree in a small pot. It was generous to call it a Bonsai and most practitioners would look upon it with a sense of 鈥渢hat鈥檚 cute鈥. Since then, I鈥檝e managed to keep that tree alive and now have a collection of trees that I鈥檓 slowly turning into Bonsai. Along the way I鈥檝e learned a lot about horticulture and art, and maybe some things that make me a better product manager along the way....

December 27, 2022 路 6 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Product Operations First Take

I recently took on the role of Product Operations at Tanium. Which has been a wild ride and one of my most exciting things I鈥檝e done in product in a long time. Here are some early notes by way of an experience report for others who might end up walking this path. Some context; when I started this role, I had been at Tanium for two and a half years which is a good amount of time to learn the ins and the outs of the organization....

December 18, 2022 路 6 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Being a Platform PM

I鈥檝e spent a lot of time as a platform product manager. At Splunk I managed the app certification platform that Splunkbase and Cloud relied on. Later I helped build the platform services for Splunk Cloud Services from the ground up. At Tanium I managed the Tanium Data Service which served as a common data layer for all of our modules. Being the PM for a deeply technical platform team can be really hard....

October 31, 2022 路 3 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Making Yourself Disposable

One of the best leaders I ever worked with was my first XO at 1-14th Cavalry David Polizzotti. One day while we were deployed to Afghanistan I was stressing about something and he very calmly looked at me and told me that I needed to do a better job at accepting that I as an individual was a wholly replaceable cog in the machine. At the time that felt like a hard thing to swallow....

May 16, 2022 路 3 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Manipulating the Sorted Backlog

I鈥檝e written recent guides to creating a backlog from scratch and sorting your backlog by value and effort. As part of building and sorting the ideas and initiatives on your roadmap you will start to show that roadmap to other people. When you do people will have opinions about the order that you have sorted things in. In most cases their opinion will either be agreement, or more commonly, they would like the thing that is important to them to be higher on the list....

April 18, 2022 路 3 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Quick prioritization of a backlog

There is a lot of complexity in Product Management, but at the very heart of it what we look to do is order all of the things we could be doing to produce the most value possible. To do that we have to carefully weight the balance of value to effort in order to properly sequence the infinite set of work that we could be doing. Estimating is a tricky and messy business, and I鈥檓 frequently skeptical of....

April 18, 2022 路 4 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Roadmaps From Scratch

Very rarely will you build a roadmap from absolute scratch. But the technique is helpful because you can apply the process to help rationalize or refit an existing roadmap. I鈥檓 a strong believer that you should be able to connect all the work you are doing from top to bottom of the company. A developer should be able to look at any task and put it into the context of the larger solution they are building, the problem it solves for the customer, and the business objective that it supports....

April 2, 2022 路 4 min 路 Andy Nortrup