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Agile Product Mgr/Product Owner Dilemma (ProdCampNYC)
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Agile Product Mgr/Product Owner Dilemma (ProdCampNYC)

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Most product managers are not (yet) familiar with Agile, and most agile software teams don't have strong product management resources. Product owners are defined to serve agile teams, but have ...

Most product managers are not (yet) familiar with Agile, and most agile software teams don't have strong product management resources. Product owners are defined to serve agile teams, but have fundamental challenges staying aware of markets and segments. How to navigate through this? How to pair up resources and hire/staff/train for success?
Presented at Product Camp NYC, July '09

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  • Page Contents © Enthiosys, 2009.
  • Specifically talking about software, but in the broader context. We see all kinds of companies shipping products/services for revenue that include software, bundle software, depend on SaaS, etc. Let’s assume for now that almost all products are software, depend on software, or build in software.
  • So place to start is the basics of what a product manager does, then compare it to a product owner. We’re about two years behind. Dev doesn’t understand PM, and went ahead without us. In some ways, takes us back 25 years to the evolution of software product management
  • Emphasize three audiences, three languages, three challenges. Rest of talk is broken up into three sections, one each for customers, executives and development.
  • Pragmatic has done a great job of identifying what needs to happen. If you expect to make money on a product or service, these must get done by someone. Lots of ways to carve this if resources allow more than one person, after we acknowledge the necessity. (if this is new to you, lots of material on the prag site.)
  • For instance, “triad” configuration often recommended by Steve Johnson. Note that entire grid is covered. Or split left (PM) and right (PMM).
  • We know that we have impossible jobs.
  • See http://www.scrumalliance.org/articles/39-glossary-of-scrum-terms#1122 From CSM class materials. See http://www.controlchaos.com/certification/cspo.php CSPO: certified scrum product owner. 1-2 days classes, e.g. from Mike Cohn
  • www.enthiosys.com What does a typical 2-week iteration look like? • A living backlog of prioritized work to be done • A brief planning session in which the backlog items for the sprint will be defined: Team commits to work to be completed, identify tasks (and hours associated), collectively commits to getting it done during course of iteration • A brief daily meeting or scrum , at which progress is explained, upcoming work is described and impediments are raised: • 1.What have you done since the last scrum meeting? 2.What has impeded your work? 3.What do you plan on doing between now and the next scrum meeting? Review with Product Owner to review and accept/reject work Insert example of agenda . . . Insert example of retrospectives Iterations should not be longer than 4 weeks . . . .
  • Often PO is program manager, requirements analyst, user representative, business analysts… recruited into position without training or any PM experience Certainly, there are executives who would agree that they act as big product owners – but when you check their business cards you see titles like “Senior Product Manager” and “VP Product Management” and “COO, Network Security Products.” They don’t self-identify as product owners.
  • Makes sense in an IT context, where customers are local and well-understood and not conflicted over priorities/requirements. How would a product owner train up to do more than this? Through existing vehicles named/targeted for product management. E.g. Pragmatic, Berkeley’s Haas programs…
  • See http://www.scrumalliance.org/articles/39-glossary-of-scrum-terms#1122 From CSM class materials. See http://www.controlchaos.com/certification/cspo.php CSPO: certified scrum product owner. 1-2 days classes, e.g. from Mike Cohn

Agile Product Mgr/Product Owner Dilemma (ProdCampNYC) Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Dilemma: Agile Product Managers and Product Owners Product Camp NYC Rich Mironov, CMO, Enthiosys [email_address]
  • 2. An Unapologetic Product Guy
    • CMO at Enthiosys, agile product mgmt consultancy
      • Business models/pricing, roadmaps
      • Innovation Games ® and customer needs
      • Agile transformation, interim PM executive
    • Repeat offender at software prod mgmt
    • “ The Art of Product Management”
    • Chair of Agile ‘09 track PMs/POs
    • Founded P-Camp
  • 3. Agenda
    • Context, context, context
    • Why talk about product managers versus product owners?
    • What does a product manager do?
    • What is a product owner? How did we get here?
    • Recommendations
  • 4. Disjoint Communities Product Managers Agile Community Nearly empty, very lonely
  • 5. Product Owner? Product Manager?
    • Most agilists think about “product owners”
      • Formal part of agile team
      • Needs to be physically present
      • Driving user stories and sub-iteration decisions
      • Showcases provide primary customer input
    • Most product managers are not agilists
      • Majority of work to deliver products (revenue) happens outside Engineering
      • Markets must be experienced directly, not filtered through Sales or execs
      • Servicing multiple inbound and outbound queues
  • 6. Where Does Product Management Fit? Mktg & Sales market information , priorities, requirements, roadmaps, MRDs, personas, user stories… software strategy, forecasts, commitments, roadmaps, competitive intelligence budgets, staff, targets Field input, Market feedback Segmentation, messages, benefits/features, pricing, qualification, demos… Markets & Customers Development Executives Product Management
  • 7. Product Management Planning Horizons Daily Sprint Strategy Portfolio Product Release Exec PM Dev Team 2 wk 2-9 mon many mons years many years
  • 8. Pragmatic Marketing ® Framework Strategic Tactical Less Technical More Technical © 1993-2009 Pragmatic Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved Pricing Buy, Build or Partner Operational Metrics Business Case Sales Process Product Portfolio Market Requirements Market Sizing Marketing Plan Product Roadmap Customer Acquisition Market Research Market Problems Distinctive Competence Product Performance Customer Retention Positioning Launch Plan Thought Leaders Use Scenarios Innovation Success Stories Presentations & Demos Win/Loss Analysis Competitive Write-Up Event Support Channel Training Collateral & Sales Tools White Papers User Personas “ Special” Calls Release Milestones Answer Desk Technology Assessment Competitive Analysis Lead Generation Buyer Personas Market Analysis Product Strategy Program Strategy Product Planning Quantitative Analysis Channel Support Sales Readiness
  • 9. Pragmatic Marketing ® Framework © 1993-2009 Pragmatic Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved Pricing Buy, Build or Partner Operational Metrics Business Case Sales Process Product Portfolio Market Requirements Market Sizing Marketing Plan Product Roadmap Customer Acquisition Market Research Market Problems Distinctive Competence Product Performance Customer Retention Positioning Launch Plan Thought Leaders Use Scenarios Innovation Success Stories Presentations & Demos Win/Loss Analysis Competitive Write-Up Event Support Channel Training Collateral & Sales Tools White Papers User Personas “ Special” Calls Release Milestones Answer Desk Technology Assessment Competitive Analysis Lead Generation Buyer Personas Market Analysis Product Strategy Program Strategy Product Planning Quantitative Analysis Channel Support Sales Readiness Dir, Prod Strategy Tech Prod Mgr Prod Mktg Mgr
  • 10.  
  • 11. What Does a Product Owner Do?
    • “ In Scrum, a single person must have final authority representing the customer's interest in backlog prioritization and requirements questions. This person must be available to the team at any time , especially during the sprint planning meeting and the sprint review meeting.”
    • Responsible for
      • Defining the features of the product
      • Deciding release date and content
      • Profitability of the product (ROI?)
      • Prioritizing features according to market value
      • Changing features and priority between iterations
      • Accepting or rejecting work results
    • How developers define product management
  • 12. Product Owner Must Be…
    • Omniscient
    • Represent true market needs without spending a lot of time “in the field”
    • Manage complexities of detailed stories as well as marketplace financial tradeoffs
    • IMO very difficult to do solo, nearly impossible without some product management experience
  • 13. Product Owner’s Calendar Borrowed from Catherine Connor, Rally
  • 14. Much More to Do
    • Product Owner role adds 40-60% more work for a traditional product manager
    • It was already hard to tell your boss how you spend your time
    • Many PMs don’t recognize how stretched they really are
      • Not just whiners and shirkers
  • 15. Two Sizes of Product Owner
    • “ small p” product owner
      • Focus on iterations (rather than releases)
      • User story elaboration, backlog management
      • Available to dev team hour by hour
      • Customer showcase (rather than market research)
      • Internal recruit, often little product management experience
    • “ Big P” Product Owner, aka CPO
      • Strategic view of customers, profitability, markets
      • Sets broad direction, owns resource allocation
      • Deep experience with customer segments
    • My experience, “Big P” Product Owners call themselves:
      • VP Product Management
      • VP/GM of Business Unit
      • VP Engineering
  • 16. PO/PM Organizational Map GM - VP PM - VP Eng/CTO product owners Product Management Organization more technical more market-focused
  • 17. “ small p” product owner Development customer information, priorities, requirements, roadmaps, personas, user stories… software Marketing/Sales Customers Executives product owner
  • 18. “ small p” product owner product owner Pricing Buy, Build or Partner Operational Metrics Business Case Sales Process Product Portfolio Market Requirements Market Sizing Marketing Plan Product Roadmap Customer Acquisition Market Research Market Problems Distinctive Competence Product Performance Customer Retention Positioning Launch Plan Thought Leaders Use Scenarios Innovation Success Stories Presentations & Demos Win/Loss Analysis Competitive Write-Up Event Support Channel Training Collateral & Sales Tools White Papers User Personas “ Special” Calls Release Milestones Answer Desk Technology Assessment Competitive Analysis Lead Generation Buyer Personas Market Analysis Product Strategy Program Strategy Product Planning Quantitative Analysis Channel Support Sales Readiness
  • 19. Product Owner Focus
    • Intensive focus on iterations and daily processes
      • Frequent backlog prioritization according to market value
      • Detailed user stories and acceptance criteria
      • Blocking issues
      • Iteration content and release content
      • Accepting or rejecting work results
    • Very limited time for cross-functional activities..
      • Review (or write) product descriptions and data sheet copy
      • Unit/revenue forecasts, sales analysis for exec team
      • Review (or design) sales qualification checklists
      • Pitch product to customers onsite or in the field
      • Help with pricing “specials” that reflect market’s value perception
      • Repeatedly brief Support, Legal, Channel Sales, PR, Marcom
  • 20. Context and Solo Models
    • A seasoned Agile Product Manager can also be a Product Owner
      • Cover both roles for one moderately complex product
      • Heroically for two products?
    • A Seasoned Product Owner can not also be a Product Manager
      • Outbound coordination and Sales/Marketing/Field role don’t fit into schedule
    • Best: Single organization for both PMs and POs
    • Best: Collocated PMs and POs/TPMs (40% / 60%)
    • Tough: HQ PM, remote PO with each dev team
  • 21. Scalable PM/PO Models
    • Small product, co-located team
      • Agile product manager is the product owner
    • Complex product
      • PM covers strategic/outbound, PO (TPM) for inbound
      • Report up through same PM management chain
    • Distributed teams
      • One or more PMs at main Eng location
      • Every remote team has a PO (or PM)
      • Frequent, intense collaboration among all PMs/POs
    • Pool of PM/PO talent with strategic leadership
      • Larger departments, enough resources to allocate
      • Pair up, mix and match, share, share, share
  • 22. Product Manager Failure Modes
    • Solo Product Manager fails the agile team if…
    • Part-timer, not fully engaged in team
    • Lack of detail on stories, acceptance tests
    • Stale items in backlog
    • Handwaving and bluster
    • Best of intentions, but pulled in too many directions
    • “ Build what I meant”
  • 23. Product Owner Failure Modes
    • Solo Product Owner fails the market if…
    • Weak on actual economic value: pricing, packaging, upgrades, professional service models, discounting, competitive dynamics
    • Disconnected from cross-functional teams that turn software into products (Marketing, Sales, Support…)
    • Trading off company-wide product strategy in favor of product-level features
    • Assuming showcase customers represent market
  • 24. Take-Aways
    • Agile makes the PM job much bigger
      • One of the reasons Agile delivers better software
      • Framed as Product Owner
    • Without deep and complex market input, PO can’t represent users/customers/markets
    • Really hard for one PM to cover both roles
    • Think about skills mix, R&D geo-distribution
    • Start asking for more help now
      • Or let me recap the problem for your boss