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How Untrapping Product Teams Will Help You Drive Value

Teams spend too much time dealing with distractions instead of driving value. It's time to change that.

  • Have you ever felt trapped by feature roadmaps?
  • Do opinions without evidence drive product decisions?
  • Does success mean pleasing stakeholders for the sake of it?

If you answered yes to any of the above, this book will help you improve your situation.

Untrapping Product Teams guides you to simplify what gets unintentionally complicated and equips you to overcome dangerous traps while steadily driving customer and business value. This isn’t just another book about product management. It’s a thought-provoking guide filled with simplicity, encouraging you to act today for a better tomorrow.

This book is for anyone facing the challenges of working on or with product teams. It lays out leading best practices, combined with “secret ingredients” crafted by the author based on years of experience. Learn what makes or breaks product teams so you are ready to do what it takes to thrive with digital products.

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Who Will Benefit from This Book

This book is for anyone working with product teams. By product teams, I mean a team of cross-functional professionals working on a digital product. Product teams come with many different labels attached to them. Essentially, they’re other words for the same thing: teams empowered to deliver value.

You will relate to the content in this book and identify applicable insights if you’re part of the product team, lead such a team, or work directly with one. Product managers will benefit the most from this book, as I share many stories from this perspective. Overall, you will learn what makes or breaks product management, and I will take you on a journey from strategy to delivery.

What You Will Get from This Book

  • Learn the differences between coordinative and collaborative workflows
  • Recognize dangerous traps and the strategies to overcome them
  • Explore the product journey: simplify decision-making, apply mindful product discovery, use delivery to accelerate value, and measure results beyond outputs
  • Craft product principles and set solid foundations for product teams
  • Benefit from proven product health checks to uncover where to act
    today for a better tomorrow

Book Structure: Three Parts to Rock the World

Part I: Facing Dangerous Traps. This part helps you analyze your situation and understand which action to take. We will detail the differences between coordinative and collaborative flow. You will learn to evaluate the big picture, mindset, and what complicates value creation. Then, I will help you recognize the dangerous traps and their impacts while gradually preparing you to overcome them. By the end of this part, you will have plenty of insights to boost value creation and simplify unnecessary complexities.

Part II: Overcoming Dangerous Traps. The chapters in Part II focus on equipping you to break free from the traps exposed in Part I. You’ll learn the fundamentals of product management combined with simple techniques. Then, we’ll embark on the product journey. We’ll clarify how to create a strategy simplifying decision-making, apply mindful product discovery, use delivery to accelerate value, and measure results beyond outputs. Part II concludes by exploring traps associated with people and collaboration, first by understanding what makes or breaks product teams and then by clarifying how to build stakeholder relationships.

Part III: Remaining Untrapped. Falling back on common patterns is a natural instinct, but you cannot sit back and relax unless you want to get trapped. Part III clarifies how you can craft product principles and use them to set the foundations to keep your teams untrapped. Then, I will equip you with qualitative health checks to help you step back and recognize the status quo, empowering you to improve your situation.


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What Savvy People Say About Untrapping Product Teams

Ash Maurya, Founder & CEO, LEANSTACK, Bestselling author and founder

We are living in a new era of product management, and David is one of the leading voices showing us the way. I hope you’ll implement his practical guidance and help pave the way to a world with better products for all.

Jim Highsmith, Co-author Agile Manifesto, Agile Pioneer, Writer, Storyteller

David rails against what he refers to as “bullshit management,” which arises from complex rules and regulations that are often the product of a “fixed mindset.” If you want a prescription to follow, find another product management book. But if you want clarity of purpose and excellent practices that you can evolve supported by reality-based feedback, stick with David

Marty Cagan, Partner, Silicon Valley Product Group

David’s book shares several hard-earned lessons of what happens when product leaders, product managers, and especially product owners are not trained to succeed in their jobs, and they go on to make predictable and avoidable mistakes. This book can help you avoid some of these pitfalls.

Petra Wille, Author of Strong Product People

This book touches on all the daily essentials for a product person. It’s a practical guide and a meta-analysis rolled into one, serving as the “Greatest Hits” album of product management. Ideal for newcomers and an excellent refresher for those already immersed in the field.

Mike Cohn, Co-founder, Agile Alliance

This is my new favorite book on product management. Untrapping Product Teams covers everything you need to know to lead a product team and be successful as a product manager. Author David Pereira does an excellent job of pointing out biases and thinking traps that doom products. The book is full of many insights and tools that will be useful for years to come.


Ioana Ognibeni, Product Lead and Coach

David’s book is an antidote to bullshit management, and at the same time, it’s so much more than that. It’s a wake-up call for product teams to regain clarity and focus. It’s a survival kit for every PM in the trenches facing a reality that other product books fail to acknowledge. There is no fluff, no ideal-world scenarios, only experience-based learnings and a generous amount of eye-opening honesty.

Maarten Dalmijn, author of Driving Value with Sprint Goals

David’s brilliant book will help you decipher the chaos of product management and show how to escape all the traps that may condemn your product teams to mediocrity.

Shyvee Shi, Author of Reimagined: Building Products with Generative AI

For those seeking no BS product management, David has got you covered! This book is full of practical and easy-to-follow advice to help you stop building a feature factory. David provides you simple frameworks and templates to use immediately.

Simonetta Batteiger, CEO, Inclusive Leaders

David wrote the book I wish I had read 20 years ago. Instead, I faced these common product team traps without a map of how to practically navigate them. This book is full of wisdom and inspiration for new and experienced product professionals alike. It will save you a lot of time and energy!

Aakash Gupta, author of Product Growth

Untrapping Product Teams is the best way to transition your teams from delivery to empowered. Help your product teams break free of constraints and change the trajectory of your business with David’s book. He speaks not just theory, but from experience.

Phil Hornby, Product Coach, for product people

I worry that many aspiring product managers will read part 1 of this book and run away screaming. David lays bare the challenges that many will encounter in this role. The brave ones who venture to part 2 will find practical advice and tools that will enable them to overcome those challenges and set them up for real success. If they press on to part 3, they will know how to stay that way. Plenty of experienced product people could also learn a thing or two to help them untrap themselves and their teams!

Gil Broza, Value Delivery and Agile Leadership Expert, author of Deliver Better Results

Real-world product management is messy and full of traps that prevent great outcomes. Use David’s experience and nonprescriptive guidance to make good choices and help your company succeed.

Sebastian Borggrewe, CPTO

David definitely nailed this one. There are so many personal stories about his struggles in product and I really could feel him. 

So many times I was thinking: Yes, this is exactly what happened to me.

I am in product for nearly 10 years and I still found this book a great reminder how to not do things and what you can do about the anti-patterns, that product people are facing on a daily basis.

Sometimes I came to the same conclusion as David how to tackle a particular situation and sometimes he gave me a new perspective on things, that was very valuable for me to read about.

In any case: I can highly recommend reading this book. 

Stefan Wolpers, Author of The Scrum Anti-Patterns Guide

Untrapping Product Teams” by David Pereira isn’t just another manual; it’s a revelation in product management. With a craftsman’s precision, David dissects the intricacies of product development, equipping teams to sidestep common pitfalls and instead channel their energies into productive, value-driven efforts.

The book excels in demystifying complex decision-making processes and shifts the focus towards a proactive, result-oriented approach. Particularly transformative are the product health checks—ingenious tools crafted to preemptively identify and remedy team dysfunctions, ensuring continuous improvement and alignment towards common goals.

This guide stands out as a beacon for both novices and seasoned professionals in the field; it is the most important new release in 2024 so far. His work is an indispensable toolkit for those aspiring to master the nuances of effective product management.

Ben Maynard, Founder

When I first got into Agile 15 years ago it was as a Product Owner. I wasn't great at it.

I read everything I could back then and whilst some of the books and blogs I discovered back then were useful, but nothing really hit the mark.

Why do I say this? Well I wish I had a time machine to go back and give my younger self David's book.

As someone who has been involved with digital product management and agile for a long long time, this is the first book I have found that speaks the truth about how as a product person in an agile (or other environment) can be ineffective and what can be done to improve the situation.

David's book is overflowing with brilliantly practical advice and written in a fantastically relaxed and conversation tone. Never condescending and 100% ground in reality.

Dr. Bart Jaworski, Senior Product Manager

"Untrapping Product Teams" by David Pereira is a compelling guide for product managers. It's concise, yet packed with transformative insights. Pereira tackles common team traps with practical solutions, advocating for simplicity and value-driven processes. His engaging style and real-world examples make complex concepts accessible. A must-read for those in product development, it inspires innovation and strategic thinking. Highly recommended for its actionable advice and empowering approach.

Mike Berman, Founder

If you're aiming to be a top-notch product manager, or need your organization to fully embrace great product management, this book is a must-read.

As an experienced product leader and organizational coach, I've delved into countless books on product management. "Untrapping Product Teams" stands out even among classics like "The Lean Startup," "Inspired," and "Escaping the Build Trap." While other books offer solid theories, this one excels in showing you how to apply them in real-world scenarios, especially when your organization isn't initially on board.

"Untrapping Product Teams" achieves the remarkable feat of delivering immense value to both beginners and seasoned professionals. It lays out clear principles as a reliable guide and offers practical, easy-to-implement tactics for your team and organization. All this, while being engaging and refreshingly straightforward. I can't wait to share this book as the ultimate guide to product management with my colleagues. I only wish I'd had it sooner!

Maria Chec, Agile Coach & Content Creator

David’s book is for anyone working in technology. It will give you actionable tips for to improve your product development lifecycle. He will point out the common traps and challenges and help you first, identify and acknowledge them and then understand why those are anti patterns. David provides a lot of context and tips to help you get untrapped. A book no person working in technology can afford not to have on their shelf.

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Untrapping Product Teams Table of Content

Foreword by Ash Maurya
Foreword by Jim Highsmith
About the Author


Part I: Facing Dangerous Traps
Chapter 1: How Common Ways of Working Trap or Untrap Teams
Chapter 2: The Mindset Impacts on Dangerous Traps
Chapter 3: What Distracts Teams from Creating Value

Part II: Overcoming Dangerous Traps
Chapter 4: Using the Right Ingredients for Product Teams
Chapter 5: Crafting a Meaningful Product Strategy
Chapter 6: Forget What You Know to Get Ready for the Unknown
Chapter 7: Embarking on a Journey to Discover What Matters
Chapter 8: Enabling Product Delivery Beyond Outputs
Chapter 9: Defining and Measuring Actionable Metrics
Chapter 10: Setting the Teams Right
Chapter 11: Building Solid Relationships

Part III: Remaining Untrapped
Chapter 12: Establishing Product Principles
Chapter 13: Assessing Your Company Dynamics
Chapter 14: Evaluating How Your Product Strategy Simplifies Decision-Making
Chapter 15: Understanding How Quickly You Can Drop Bad Ideas
Chapter 16: Examining How Fast You Can Drive Business and Customer Value
Wrap Up

Appendix: Untrapping Lessons


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What Readers Say About Untrapping Product Teams

Michael Cornell, Scrum Master

Untrapping Product Teams is immediately valuable. David’s writing style is smooth and to the point, each section is a veritable treasure trove of experience and knowledge. There are some fantastic resources out there for product teams working in complex and innovative areas, this rightly deserves its place among that space!

Diego Schmunis, Product Director

Stop what you are doing. Buy the book. Sit down and read it slowly and carefully.
I’ve been in tech for 20 years - 8 years in QA and the last 12 years as a Product Manager and Director of Product. In that time I’ve worked for over 10 different tech companies (some startups, some growth stage and a few enterprise ones) and what David shares here is highly accurate and relevant to all of them. This will probably become the Product Management Bible. Yes, it’s that good!

Ricardo Rosa, Senior Product Manager

Whether you are new to the product world or have years of experience, this book serves as a great guide, especially in helping to avoid falling into the same traps. David shares numerous examples from his career, showcasing his mistakes and what he learned from them. That's the beauty of failure - we learn from it to do better next time. Trust me, reading this book is not a mistake at all.

Gustavo Soares, Head of Product

David Pereira nails how to do Product Management right. Untrapping Product Teams is on my top 3 books for Product Management together with Empowered by Marty Cagan and Working Backwards from Amazon.
To put it simply: a must-read for any Product Manager trying to reach the next level.

Jennifer M. Forbes, Lead Scrum Master

Amazing Book!

Practical, simple, and impactful. You’ll be able to apply what you learn with ease!

Alexej Antropov, Product Leader

It's funny because it's true!
David Pereira’s ‘Untrapping Product Teams’ is full of true funny stories, every PM can relate. The book immediately proves its value with its smooth and concise writing style, making complex concepts accessible and actionable. David’s treasure trove of experiences and knowledge, shared through numerous real-world examples, helps readers avoid common pitfalls and learn from his career mistakes. Highly recommended!

Irene Liakos, Product Management Advisor

Avoid product management pitfalls with David's practical advice. Having earned his insights and hands on learnings in product management across multiple continents, David shares his wisdom in an approachable and conversational way. Perfect to untrap your product team and remove the chaos from product creation.

Nuno Santos, Business Analyst

Not just another book on beating the feature factory!

"Untrapping Product Teams" by David Pereira brings together many powerful tools to help product managers beat the fracture factory syndrome. David brings the best of product management, how to conduct product discovery, and so many other useful tips to untrap yourself in BS... And, he puts it in a way that sounds so easy! Yet, for me, after untrapping your team to deliver real value, the cherry on top of the cake are the amazing insights to remain untrapped. The health checks are spot on! Trust me, you will want to read all pages!

Emiliano Saad, Product Manager

Untrapping Product Teams is a must-read for everyone who wants to succeed in Product Management.

David shares all his knowledge and experience, providing actionable insights on how to excel in crafting digital products.

The book is written in a way that helps you identify and tackle common traps, providing clear examples for each case.

One of the most valuable aspects is the list of traps to avoid, which can save you tons of time.


Vira Chesnokova, Growth Product Manager

Product Management is a complex discipline, primarily because there are far too many approaches to mastering it. Unfortunately, there are so many and they are so different that it is almost impossible to figure it out, especially for entry-level specialists.

David made it possible! He is a known author and recognized voice in the Product Management world, mainly because of his strong dedication to common sense and zero tolerance for meaningless texts. Each post by David feels like a glass of fresh water in a swampy desert. Can you imagine how his book feels?

When I was reading it, I was constantly energized. I wanted to scream: Finally, someone said it out loud!
The book gives you motivation and helps you not to lose sanity. It leaves you with a nice aftertaste of having your Product Management Craft in order. The book is filled with plenty of criteria for a reality check and tools to make life easier for you and your Product team.

I highly recommend it to all PMs out there. Whether you're just starting your career or have already faced quite a few challenges, you will find this book useful!

And even if you're not a product manager but want to become more proficient in this discipline, feel free to explore it. The book is written very easily.

Corinna Hammerstingl, Product Lead

When I first got into Agile 15 years ago it was as a Product Owner. I wasn't great at it.

I read everything I could back then and whilst some of the books and blogs I discovered back then were useful, but nothing really hit the mark.
Why do I say this? Well I wish I had a time machine to go back and give my younger self David's book.

As someone who has been involved with digital product management and agile for a long long time, this is the first book I have found that speaks the truth about how as a product person in an agile (or other environment) can be ineffective and what can be done to improve the situation.

David's book is overflowing with brilliantly practical advice and written in a fantastically relaxed and conversation tone. Never condescending and 100% ground in reality.

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About the Author

David Pereira is a product leader with more than 15 years of experience. He has sharpened his skills by leading diverse teams, from startups to giant corporations. Since 2020, he has openly shared his mistakes, failures, and insights on product management, reaching over 10 million readers worldwide. His thought-provoking courses have more than 15K satisfied students across 120+ countries.


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