Sitcom writer Daniels won 8 Emmys

first_imgHe and three MTM Productions colleagues, James L. Brooks, David Davis and Ed Weinberger, left in 1977 to set up a production unit at Paramount Pictures, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time. Their show “Taxi,” starring Judd Hirsch, Marilu Henner and Danny DeVito, debuted the following year and ran through 1983. Daniels also co-created the Brenda Vaccaro series “Lily,” and co-wrote, with Brooks, the 1978 TV movie “Cindy,” a retelling of the Cinderella story with a black cast. Among Daniels’ other TV credits were “The Kid,” “For Richer, For Poorer,” “Glory! Glory!” and “The Substitute Wife.” On Broadway, he composed music and lyrics for “So Long 174th Street,” a 1976 musical version of the play “Enter Laughing.” Born in Toronto, Daniels attended the University of Toronto and before receiving a fellowship to study at Oxford. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Alene, and four children.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Stan Daniels, an Emmy-winning TV writer and producer who worked on two of the most acclaimed comedies of the 1970s, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and “Taxi,” has died. He was 72. Daniels died of heart failure April 6, according to Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Daniels won eight Emmys during his long television career, including three as co-creator and executive producer of “Taxi” and three as a writer on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” He wrote for “The Dean Martin Show” and “The Bill Cosby Show,” and early Cosby situation comedy, before joining “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which ran from 1970 to 1977. He also wrote for the Cloris Leachman spinoff series, “Phyllis.” last_img read more

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3 Step Guide to Successful Product Management

first_imgThis high-level guide will help you understand the role of product management and walk you through the steps required to successfully recruit, align, and leverage a dedicated product management team.In the early stages of most software companies, product development tends to go something like this: a company’s founders identify a pain point or need, assemble a small engineering team to build a solution that addresses it, and proceed to go through a number of quick iterations to tweak the product to better meet the market’s needs. It’s a system that relies on innovation, flexibility, and customization to fuel growth. And, in that early (often unstructured) environment, it’s a perfectly acceptable product strategy. But there also comes a time in a software company’s development when throwing a bunch of ideas against a wall — or on the aforementioned engineers’ desks — and seeing what sticks is no longer effective. In fact, that strategy often inhibits efficient growth.The Need for Software Product ManagementAt the expansion stage — when a premium is placed on efficiency and scalability — a software company needs to have a stable set of product requirements that can be carefully allocated to a product development team, and a product strategy that more formally aligns with its overall business strategy. This is why, at some point in almost every software company’s growth, businesses need to develop a true product management function that can act as a buffer between business strategy and product development, and ensure that product strategy aligns with customer and market needs. Unfortunately, implementing product management can be a little bit tricky, and many businesses often confuse product management’s responsibilities with those of other departments, leading to a host of roadblocks that make life difficult for product management organizations. This high-level product management guide should help you avoid those challenges by covering three critical steps to successfully implementing a product management function.1. Define: What is Product Management?As product management expert Saeed Khan wisely suggests in this post, a true product management function isn’t simply an extension of a software company’s marketing or engineering departments. Instead, it’s a separate strategic function that must be responsible for driving new product development strategy, focus, and alignment, and market clarity. As such, product management functions must be solely driven by the success of the product, focusing on questions like:How will the product compete in each market?What can you do to take it to market?How should the product be priced and licensed?How will customers in each segment use the product?Essentially, Khan explains, product management is a business optimization function that oversees technology and product all the way from development to go-to-market. Areas such as channel development, marketing strategy and positioning, and customer management are all part of overall product management.2) Hiring a Dedicated Product Management TeamSo, whose job is product management at the expansion stage? As I’ve written before, it’s not the CTO’s or the CEO’s. Instead, companies need to create a true product management function that houses several different roles and leaders, including:The team leader (VP of Product or VP of Product Management):This is the person who will own the product and set the vision and strategy for it.Product manager(s): This is the team member (or members) who are charged with developing true empathy for customers and creatively solving problems for them.User experience managers, researchers, or designers: This group is responsible for quickly examining a product’s layout and information architecture, and interpreting the changes that can be made to make it easier to use.Product management guru Marty Cagan, the founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group, does an excellent job of describing the various product management roles in greater detail in his paper, “Behind Every Great Product,” which is largely considered the Product Management resource. Generally speaking, however, Cagan says that implementing a high-functioning product management function begins with hiring a product leader who excels at the following:Identifying and assessing opportunitiesDefining the right product at the right timeSetting the product strategy and roadmapRepresenting the product internally (through evangelism, executive review, and sales and marketing support)Developing a deep empathy for the target customer’s needs and pain pointsIf you can find that person to lead your product management function, he or she should be able to build the team he or she needs to succeed.3) Overcoming the Inevitable Challenges of Implementing Product ManagementUnfortunately, finding product managers who can successfully perform all of the responsibilities listed above isn’t easy. And even if you do find them, integrating that role and the product management team with the rest of your organization is an altogether different challenge that requires product leaders to overcome several roadblocks, including:Determining what exactly you are solving for. Until you know that, you don’t know what specific skill sets you need to hire in-house to achieve that goal. The ideal way to begin, says Central Desktop VP of Product Management Kristy McKnight, is to start with the company aspirations, goals, and objectives, and determine how the product fits in and needs to support them.Acquiring the appropriate ownership over the product and the outcomes of product decisions. That can be a tricky transition. In the early stages of a company’s development, the responsibility of product management tends to be shared between the founders, or the marketing, engineering, and sales organizations, typically in an ad-hoc manner. So the challenge when you get started with product management is to show those team members the benefit of passing ownership of those responsibilities to product management and developing the trust that a formal PM function will improve the efficiency and performance of the overall operation.Avoiding organizational misalignment: At the startup phase, when the priority is on revenue generation regardless of customer segments, the sales department tends to drive the product backlog. When product management is officially implemented, however, that responsibility must fall on product managers, and it’s their job to keep everything in context and prioritize work on broader needs or larger opportunities. This power swap can create a divide between PM and sales or marketing, and create team-wide misalignment.The key to avoiding or overcoming those challenges, says McKnight, is to ensure that everyone understands their new responsibilities and respects their role relative to the organization’s short- and long-term goals. If you’re recruiting the right profile, giving them enough ownership, allowing them to contribute directly to the success of the business, and tying each of those things together, accomplishing that shouldn’t be a problem.Implementing Product Management Isn’t Easy, but It’s Worth the TroubleIn the end, it’s critical to remember that product management isn’t a replacement for product development, product marketing, or professional services. Those are all very different, but complementary, functions within a growing software company. As such, the ultimate objective of product management is to understand business strategy, translate it into a product strategy, tie both to the company’s target market segments, and define the differentiated product solutions that product development needs to build to meet those market segments’ needs. Achieving that isn’t simple, of course, but investing the time into properly developing and managing a true product management function can pay huge dividends and unleash true operational efficiency. What tips would you add to make this guide to product management more complete?AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis9last_img read more

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