A Review of Marty Cagan’s Empowered Workshop

Tim Woods
5 min readJun 27, 2021

A few years back I took the SVPG Inspired Workshop in London, run by Marty Cagan, and felt it was the best training I’ve had on Product Management. The course was based on the ideas in his excellent book Inspired. Last year Marty released a follow-up book called Empowered (also great) and an accompanying Workshop which I attended in Oct 2020. For those thinking of attending, here’s my summary, plus a list of all the pre-reading materials.

In summary

Learning directly from Marty Cagan is the highest quality of training for a product manager out there, I always feel the time and money is worth it. However, it is expensive (~$2,000), and you can find all of the course material in the books and the SVPG blog. You’re paying for the direct interaction with Marty, the ability to ask questions, and the focused time getting through a lot of material in four rapid sessions. But learning from Marty will make you a better product leader.

Who is it for?

While the Inspired Workshop is aimed at up-skilling product managers, the Empowered version is for product leaders. There is an assumption you already know the best practices of product management. The focus is more on coaching, developing teams, building strategy and vision, and setting objectives. If you’re not leading a product team, you will still find value in the course, but it probably won’t have as many immediate takeaways for you.

Course structure

The Inspired Workshop that I attended in person in 2018 was over two days, amounting to around 14 hours of learning time with Marty, and it was a full-on 14 hours. The online Empowered Workshop is over four sessions, two hours each, Mon-Thurs. So we’re looking at 8 hours in total. But there was a substantial pre-reading list beforehand, which wasn’t there on the Inspired course when I took it.

One criticism of the online session could be that you are getting less time with Marty than the in-person sessions. But I would also say that the 2 hour blocks each day make it easy to fit around your work schedule, compared…

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Tim Woods

Building Product at TryHackMe. Previously YouCanBookMe, PatSnap, HYPE Innovation, Imaginatik, IBM. Love all things PM. South Coast, England.