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.

Yoto Mini Teardown and Rescue

Yesterday my daughter鈥檚 Yoto mini took a dunk in the bathtub. She was devastated, she uses it almost constantly. So it was Dad to the rescue.聽The device was straight forward to take apart, but I wanted to share how I did it so that other parents don鈥檛 have to figure it out on the fly. ...

January 14, 2024 路 3 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Product Ops as the engine not the fuel

I had intended to write a big long post on all the things I learned as a Product Ops leader as Tanium for a year, but it got long and rambly, so I鈥檓 going to attempt a series of shorter posts that will hopefully get written.聽Lesson one, when you are working on process of the product team, you are building engines not fuel. This is a metaphor from my good friend Jack Coates (Part 1 Part 2) that he usually applies to building end user products that need content, and that no one wants to build content and teams want to build engines because they are fun and sexy....

January 1, 2024 路 3 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Work in progress and the kitchen sink

I try to explain work in progress limits a lot and feel like it comes across as an abstract concept a lot of the time. How much work can the team do at the same time? Or it gets a historical example from Toyota about kanban cards and spots on a pallet, which doesn鈥檛 make a ton of sense if you鈥檝e never worked in a factory. Today I have a more concrete example, the kitchen sink and putting the dishes away....

December 29, 2023 路 3 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Rating customer insights

I鈥檝e been working on implementing Product Management tools for the last year in one way or another. Both Productboard and JIRA Product Discovery allow you to rate the level of impact that a piece of customer feedback has. If your ratings are all over the map it can be hard to really understand what signals you are getting in your prioritization process. In the interest of having some consistency I鈥檝e come to like this scale for rating customer interest....

December 14, 2023 路 2 min 路 Andy Nortrup

An officiant's wedding script

This fall I was asked to officiate the wedding of my sister-in-law Rachel to her fiance Mike. It was a distinct pleasure and the first wedding I鈥檝e ever been asked to officiate. My remarks were well received so I wanted to share them here in case they are useful to someone else. There are some minor changes I wrote on my script in the weekend before the wedding, but this is the script I started with. ...

December 3, 2023 路 6 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Keep your standards to a minimum

I recently had a conversation with several Product Managers聽at work who wanted me to step in and set a standard for how and who was responsible for triaging bugs reported to their teams. The question was mostly focused on who inside of the team was responsible. Was that the engineering manager, the PM, the TPM?聽Between the four folks who came in mass to my office hours, there were five different ways of managing bug triage.聽This was causing some challenges because there was a RACI being built to set expectations. I had a very firm 鈥淣o I won鈥檛 create this standard for you鈥.聽And I鈥檓 here to caution other product leaders and product operations teams not to do it either.聽When you are operating a dynamic adaptive system with multiple independent teams.聽It is important to be very thoughtful about where and when you set and enforce standards.聽Some questions you should ask yourself before establishing a standard that everyone must follow.聽...

September 13, 2023 路 5 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Product Operations feeds the OODA loop

The OODA loop(Observe Orient Decide Act) is a concept originally coming out of the Air Force for pilots conducting air to air combat. It鈥檚 now applied to many different systems thinking and design contexts. This week I was preparing to explain Product Operations to my new CEO and it occured to me that the role of Product Ops is to help power and accelerate the OODA loop for product management teams....

June 18, 2023 路 2 min 路 Andy Nortrup

A Solid Fediverse

The Fediverse is great, I love it, but as I see more and more projects to spring up to replace different private social media operations. First it was Twitter, now Reddit is seeing an exodus to Lemmy, there is also Pixelfed to replace instagram and bookwyrm to replace Goodreads. It鈥檚 great. But it isn鈥檛 without its problems. No consistent Identity We don鈥檛 have a clear identity federation system. I came across Keyoxide which seems like a great way to start gluing your identities together, but is not yet user friendly....

June 14, 2023 路 3 min 路 Andy Nortrup

LLMs - I won't be fooled again

I鈥檝e stayed on the sidelines of much of the LLM debate, but I鈥檓 willing to stake out my skepticism on this 鈥渨orld changing鈥 technology. As I think back over the arch of my online life, I see these foundational models as the latest in a series of events where amazing technology was going to change the world. But each time individual value is diluted for corporate money grabs. Going way back in time, my first real formative experience on the internet was Geocities....

April 30, 2023 路 7 min 路 Andy Nortrup

Balancing Feedback Loops in Product

Working with some colleagues recently I was asked 鈥淲hy aren鈥檛 we doing all the things to really be [desired state], we should pause and think about how we really want to restructure the company and the way we build software to do it right.鈥 My colleague has a great instinct and she isn鈥檛 wrong in seeing the gaps that we have in the product and how we produce software.聽But I think that its important to apply systems thinking to solving these problems.聽That requires us to understand where we can apply leverage to change the balancing feedback loops that are enabling and constraining our products. ...

March 28, 2023 路 4 min 路 Andy Nortrup