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PCT2010 - Lean Communications - Aligning diverse teams and accelerating revenue in high tech companies
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PCT2010 - Lean Communications - Aligning diverse teams and accelerating revenue in high tech companies

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A major part of product innovation and success rests on efficient and effective communication across teams in a company. In startups, this happens almost naturally. In medium and large companies, ...

A major part of product innovation and success rests on efficient and effective communication across teams in a company. In startups, this happens almost naturally. In medium and large companies, process needs to be put in place. Lean Communication is a model based on Lean principles that can be used to align teams and accelerate time to revenue for high tech products. As key members of the overall communication network, Product Managers and Product Marketers will benefit significantly by adopting this model.

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  • Take a look at this set of answers. What is the biggest barrier companies face in effectively executing on plans?
  • The answer is communication. People don’t work in isolation. They make decisions everyday and must have information to make those decisions and must communicate those decisions to others.Other words such as collaboration, team work, agility etc. get tossed around, but in the end , people need the right information at the right time to make optimal decisions. That’s the goal of effective business communication.Timely, trusted and relevant information
  • In our organizations, we’re all working towards the same overall goals – increase revenue and profit, beat the competition, make customers successful, build better products etc.But we do this by working towards diverse individual goals. Engineering creates softwareMarketing positions it and generates awarenessSales closes the deals etc.We work toward overall goals but doing so in our own silos. And somehow, we have to figure out how to communicate with each other to address interdependencies amongst groups.Every company it seems has their own ways of addressing this problem. Why is that? Why is it that every company seems to reinvent the wheel (albeit differently I should add) when it comes to working these processes out?And while they figure it out, what is the cost to those companies in lost revenue and lost opportunity as individual and teams “wing it” because they are not equipped with the right information they need to make the best decisions possible?
  • Here’s a little example of the impact of incorrect decisions. On the surface, it’s only a small error, but the impact is large.While humourous, it’s an example of something that happens commonly in software and technology companies during the sales process.
  • And of course, people are not all centrally located. They all need information to make timely decisions to meet their objectives.
  • So having gone through this example, the question arises as to how to benefit from this model in your own organization
  • Start with Product Management and optionally Product Marketing. These two teams probably create more cross-team deliverables than any other groups. Information from product management, such as requirements, product plans, road maps, etc. are all useful for other teams. Similarly product marketing creates positioning papers, market overviews, competitive briefs etc. that other teams like sales needs.The point being, if you can start here and optimize the information, it’s completeness, quality and timeliness, then most downstream activities will see significant benefits.
  • Map out what who needs what and when, and decide how to create the artifacts that will reduce the effort on your part in creating and delivering the information, but will maximize the value and benefit of that information to those downstream teams.One good strategy is to try to provide regular flows of information/deliverables that are easily understood and resused, vs. large, complex and intimidating documents that people are likely to ignore.Provide a clear process and means for people to get the information when it is published and try to follow the information as it is used in downstream (internal) teams. If you can see who is and isn’t using it, you can learn why and improve the process in future release cycles.
  • Once defined, these grids can be used across products and releases. While there may be slight modifications needed in different situations (e.g. major release vs. minor release), the model and structure will likely apply. This creates a clear standard for communication that can be understood by all members of an organization regardless of their department or business unit.

PCT2010 - Lean Communications - Aligning diverse teams and accelerating revenue in high tech companies PCT2010 - Lean Communications - Aligning diverse teams and accelerating revenue in high tech companies Presentation Transcript

  • Lean Communications
    Accelerating Revenue by Aligning diverse Teams in High Tech Companies
    Saeed Khan
    http://www.onproductmanagement.net
    @saeedwkhan, @onpm (Twitter)
  • What is the biggest barrier companies face in effectively executing their plans?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Marketing
    Strategy
    Budgets
    Resources
    Communication
    Pricing
    Partnerships
    Technology
    Planning
    Awareness
    Economics
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Communication
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Poor communication leads to:
    misaligned teams
    poor or delayed decisions
    reduced revenue
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • And what happens when communication isn’t always timely, complete or accurate?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
    http://www.ahajokes.com/cartoon/teamw.jpg
  • Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
    http://murali.weblogs.us/images/software_development1.jpg
  • Hidden
    Communication and Decisions must be:
    Timely
    Complete
    Accurate
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Creating Successful Products
    Let’s analyze the communication that occurs during the product development process
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    ProductManagement
    Inter-Team Communication
    Start with product and business discussions
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    ProductManagement
    Engineering
    ProductMarketing
    Inter-Team Communication
    Include Engineering and Product Marketing
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    ProductManagement
    Engineering
    ProductMarketing
    Marketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Professional Services
    Technical Support
    Technical Presales
    Inter-Team Communication
    Other internal groups join in
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Industry Analysts
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    Engineering
    ProductMarketing
    Marketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Professional Services
    Technical Support
    Technical Presales
    Technology Partners
    Offshore Developers
    System Integrators
    OEM Partners
    PR Agencies
    VARs Distributors
    Inter-Team Communication
    External groups also participate
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Industry Analysts
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    Engineering
    ProductMarketing
    Marketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Professional Services
    Technical Support
    Technical Presales
    Technology Partners
    Offshore Developers
    System Integrators
    OEM Partners
    PR Agencies
    VARs Distributors
    Inter-Team Communication
    It’s actually rather complex
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Inter-Team Communication
    Each “Team” includes many people and interactions
    PR Agencies
    Industry Analysts
    Product Strategy
    Marketing
    VARs Distributors
    OEM Partners
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Technology Partners
    Technical Presales
    System Integrators
    Engineering
    Professional Services
    Technical Support
    Offshore Developers
    Customers
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Inter-Team Communication
    And those people are likely spread across the globe
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Inter-Team Communication
    This happens for everyreleaseof everyproductyour company sells
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Is this communication model timely, complete and accurate?
    Possibly.
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Is this communication model efficient, adaptiveandscalable?
    Absolutely not!
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Is this the most efficient way to manage complex communication across diverse groups?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • What can we learn from Lean Manufacturing?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Lean Production
    Lean is a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination.
    Source: Wikipedia
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Lean Production
    Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, "value" is defined as any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for.
    Basically, lean is centered on preserving value with less work.
    Source: Wikipedia
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Goals of Lean
    Improve quality
    Eliminate waste
    Reduce time
    Reduce total costs
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Let’s look at the product development process
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Creating Successful Products
    Complex and risky process
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Creating Successful Products
    Delays or reduced functionality are common, if not the norm
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Creating Successful Products
    Requires coordination of many teams
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Creating Successful Products
    Decisions often delayed due to incomplete or untimely information
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • How do people “manage” this today?
    Tracking Software
    Status meetings
    Emails, Spreadsheets
    Shared Folders, Portals
    Dashboards, Webinars
    Conference calls
    “It’s up on the Wiki”
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Who does what and when?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Who does what and when?
    Heavily Involved
    Moderately Involved
    Loosely Involved
    Not Involved
    3
    2
    1
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Who does what and when?
    Heavily Involved
    Moderately Involved
    Loosely Involved
    Not Involved
    3
    2
    1
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Who does what and when?
    Heavily Involved
    Moderately Involved
    Loosely Involved
    Not Involved
    3
    2
    1
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Who does what and when?
    Heavily Involved
    Moderately Involved
    Loosely Involved
    Not Involved
    3
    2
    1
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Flow of Information and Communication
    Heavily Involved
    Moderately Involved
    Loosely Involved
    Not Involved
    3
    2
    1
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Flow of Information and Communication
    Heavily Involved
    Moderately Involved
    Loosely Involved
    Not Involved
    3
    2
    1
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Flow of Information and Communication
    Map out key cross-team activities and define necessary deliverables at each stage for each team
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Flow of Information and Communication
    Who needs information? What do they need?When do they need it?Who must provide it? How is it optimally delivered?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    PR Agencies
    Industry Analysts
    Marketing
    VARs Distributors
    OEM Partners
    Technology Partners
    Technical Presales
    System Integrators
    Engineering
    Professional Services
    Technical Support
    Offshore Developers
    One Information Chain
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Information Needs along the Chain
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Information Needs along the Chain
    Start with the end “customer”
    Does the product meet my needs?
    Will it work in my environment?
    What are the costs?
    What are the benefits?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Information Needs along the Chain
    I need a data sheet and technical collateral
    I need SKUs and pricing information
    I need an ROI calculator
    Who are the reference accounts I can provide?
    Does the product meet my needs?
    Will it work in my environment?
    What are the costs?
    What are the benefits?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Information Needs along the Chain
    What does the product do?
    Who can benefit from it?
    What are those benefits?
    How is it licensed?
    How is it positioned versus the alternatives?
    I need a data sheet and technical collateral
    I need SKUs and pricing information
    I need an ROI calculator
    Who are the reference accounts I can provide?
    Does the product meet my needs?
    Will it work in my environment?
    What are the costs?
    What are the benefits?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Information Needs along the Chain
    What does the product do?
    Who can benefit from it?
    What are those benefits?
    How is it licensed?
    How is it positioned versus the alternatives?
    I need a data sheet and technical collateral
    I need SKUs and pricing information
    I need an ROI calculator
    Who are the reference accounts I can provide?
    Does the product meet my needs?
    Will it work in my environment?
    What are the costs?
    What are the benefits?
    What market problems do we address?
    How can we outflank our competitors?
    What product changes do we make to maximize revenue?
    What are the objectives of the release?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Information Needs along the Chain
    Do the product goals support overall business objectives?
    How can we grow our existing customer base?
    What market changes will we have to react to?
    What go-to-market strategy do we need?
    What does the product do?
    Who can benefit from it?
    What are those benefits?
    How is it licensed?
    How is it positioned versus the alternatives?
    I need a data sheet and technical collateral
    I need SKUs and pricing information
    I need an ROI calculator
    Who are the reference accounts I can provide?
    Does the product meet my needs?
    Will it work in my environment?
    What are the costs?
    What are the benefits?
    What market problems do we address?
    How can we outflank our competitors?
    What product changes do we make to maximize revenue?
    What are the objectives of the release?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Deliverables Created In the Chain
    Market Assessment
    Product Strategy
    Technology Strategy
    Competitive Landscape
    What does the product do?
    Who can benefit from it?
    What are those benefits?
    How is it licensed?
    How is it positioned versus the alternatives?
    I need a data sheet and technical collateral
    I need SKUs and pricing information
    I need an ROI calculator
    Who are the reference accounts I can provide?
    Does the product meet my needs?
    Will it work in my environment?
    What are the costs?
    What are the benefits?
    What market problems do we address?
    How can we outflank our competitors?
    What product changes do we make to maximize revenue?
    What are the objectives of the release?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Deliverables Created In the Chain
    Market Analysis
    Product Strategy
    Technology Strategy
    Competitive Landscape
    What does the product do?
    Who can benefit from it?
    What are those benefits?
    How is it licensed?
    How is it positioned versus the alternatives?
    I need a data sheet and technical collateral
    I need SKUs and pricing information
    I need an ROI calculator
    Who are the reference accounts I can provide?
    Does the product meet my needs?
    Will it work in my environment?
    What are the costs?
    What are the benefits?
    Market Requirements
    Problem Statements
    Competitive Analysis
    Product Roadmap
    Release Overview
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Deliverables Created In the Chain
    Market Analysis
    Product Strategy
    Technology Strategy
    Competitive Landscape
    Product Positioning
    Data Sheets
    White Papers
    Price booksSuccess Stories
    Sales Tools
    I need a data sheet and technical collateral
    I need SKUs and pricing information
    I need an ROI calculator
    Who are the reference accounts I can provide?
    Does the product meet my needs?
    Will it work in my environment?
    What are the costs?
    What are the benefits?
    Market Requirements
    Problem Statements
    Competitive Analysis
    Product Roadmap
    Release Overview
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Deliverables Created In the Chain
    Market Analysis
    Product Strategy
    Technology Strategy
    Competitive Landscape
    Product Positioning
    Data Sheets
    White Papers
    Price booksSuccess Stories
    Sales Tools
    Product Presentations
    ROI Analysis
    Customer Business Case
    Proof of Concept
    Does the product meet my needs?
    Will it work in my environment?
    What are the costs?
    What are the benefits?
    Market Requirements
    Problem Statements
    Competitive Analysis
    Product Roadmap
    Release Overview
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Strategy
    Customers
    ProductManagement
    ProductMarketing
    Sales & Alliances
    Deliverables Created In the Chain
    Market Analysis
    Product Strategy
    Technology Strategy
    Competitive Landscape
    Product Positioning
    Data Sheets
    White Papers
    Price booksSuccess Stories
    Sales Tools
    Product Presentations
    ROI Analysis
    Customer Business Case
    Proof of Concept
    RFI/RFP
    Business Justification
    Implementation Plan
    Market Requirements
    Problem Statements
    Competitive Analysis
    Product Roadmap
    Release Overview
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Implementing the Lean Communication Model
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Implementing Lean Communications
    Start with the Product Management and Product Marketing teams
    These two teams have the most downstream impact on other teams
    Analyze what you are producing and for whom?
    Understand the information gaps
    Is information needed by others? When? Why?
    How can other teams reuse content and information you create?
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Implementing Lean Communications
    Map out deliverables for each stage of development process
    Introduce changes to other teams during the product development and release cycle
    Track the flow of documents, if possible
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Management Deliverables
    Heavily Involved
    Moderately Involved
    Loosely Involved
    Not Involved
    3
    2
    1
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Product Management Deliverables
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Define each Deliverable
    Release Overview
    A Release Overview is a cross-functional document aimed to provide necessary release information to downstream groups. The Overview should include the following information:
    Key dates including Beta, FCS and GA
    PAM changes for the given release
    High level description of the release, major themes and key features
    Major issues to be aware of WRT the release, including licensing changes, product repackaging etc.
    Within reason, detail on each of the features that are in the release, along with key benefits of those features
    Listing of any physical materials that will be created/updated for the release. This applies primarily to CDs and printed documentation, but could include other packaging items such as boxes etc.
    This document is the primary resource for release information for groups such as Product Marketing, Sales Consulting, Education Services, Support, and Alliances.
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Characteristics of Deliverables “Grids”
    Deliverables “Grids” define a set of standard, necessary cross-team deliverables (and sometimes activities) for each group across all stages of the product development cycle
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Characteristics of Deliverables “Grids”
    Deliverables “Grids” are product and release neutral. i.e. they can be used to standardize communication processes across teams regardless of product or release
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Characteristics of Deliverables “Grids”
    They inform others of what must be delivered by them and what will be produced for them in any given stage of the product development cycle.
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Benefits of Lean Communication
    Bring teams into better alignment through out Product Development and Release process
    Ensure all parties have timely information to make optimal go forward decisions that are within their area of responsibility
    Enable better training and communication for those customer facing teams in a timely manner
    Minimize time to revenue
    Copyright © Saeed Khan 2010
  • Lean Communications
    Accelerating Revenue by Aligning diverse Teams in High Tech Companies
    Saeed Khan
    http://www.onproductmanagement.net
    @saeedwkhan, @onpm (Twitter)