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How Agile Changes (and Doesn't) Product Management

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Many software development organizations are moving to agile methodologies, but product managers are late to understand how this changes their role within the engineering organization. At the same …

Many software development organizations are moving to agile methodologies, but product managers are late to understand how this changes their role within the engineering organization. At the same time, “by the book” agilists tend to misunderstand (or forget about) product management with disastrous results.
This session will recap the essentials of tech product management, loosely define agile, and identify the primary failure modes of companies lacking agile PMs. How should we organize, train and collaborate for success?

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  • No natural sequence for PMMust work all aspects in parallelPlanning onion as simultaneous equationBottoms-Up Shapes Top-DownCustomer visits inform market viewCompetitive price points drive business modelFeature complexity shapes release planTop-Down Shapes Bottoms-UpMarket segmentation determines customer selection and benefitsProduct strategy drives backlogProduct Management provides strategy, judgment and integration as well as executionOwning market success is an unbounded problem
  • Include “continuous integration” and transparency and surfacing deadwood.
  • Transcript

    • 1. How Agile Changes (and Doesn’t Change) What Product Managers Do
      Rich MironovNov 18, 2010
    • 2. About Rich Mironov
      Veteran product strategist/PM consultant
      Interim executive
      Business models, pricing,Agile meets business
      Currently CEO of stealth start-up
      Repeat offender at product mgmt/marketing
      Tandem, Sybase, five B2B start-ups
      “The Art of Product Management”
      Chaired Agile ‘09/’10 PM/PO tracks
      Founded ProductCamp
    • 3. Agenda
      3
      What does a product manager do?
      Agile overview
      Agile and product managers/owners
      Conclusions
    • 4. Disjoint Communities
      Product Managers
      Agile Community
      Nearly empty, very lonely
    • 5. What Does a Product Manager Do?
      For commercial / revenue software…
      PM drives delivery and market acceptance of whole products
      PM targets market segments, not individual customers
      For strategic internal development…
      PM resolves competing priorities
      PM drives acceptance and adoption
    • 6. Product
      Management
      Executives
      Development
      What Does a Product Manager Do?
      strategy, forecasts, commitments, roadmaps,competitive intelligence
      budgets, staff,
      targets
      market information, priorities,
      requirements, roadmaps, MRDs,
      personas, user stories…
      Field input,
      Market feedback
      Mktg & Sales
      Markets & Customers
      software
      Segmentation, messages, benefits/features, pricing, qualification, demos…
    • 7. Product Mgmt Planning Horizons
      many years
      Exec
      Strategy
      years
      Portfolio
      many mons
      PM
      Product
      2-9 mon
      Release
      Dev
      Team
      Sprint
      2 wk
      Daily
    • 8. Pragmatic Marketing® Framework
      Dir, Prod Strategy
      Prod Mktg Mgr
      Tech Prod Mgr
      BusinessPlan
      MarketingPlan
      Positioning
      Pricing
      Market Problems
      Customer Acquisition
      BuyingProcess
      Market Definition
      Buy, Build or Partner
      Win/Loss Analysis
      Customer Retention
      Buyer Personas
      Distribution Strategy
      Product Profitability
      Distinctive Competence
      Program Effectiveness
      UserPersonas
      Product Portfolio
      Business
      Market
      Programs
      Planning
      Strategy
      Support
      Readiness
      Business
      Market
      Programs
      Planning
      Strategy
      Support
      Readiness
      Innovation
      Competitive Landscape
      LaunchPlan
      Require- ments
      Product Roadmap
      Presentations & Demos
      SalesProcess
      Technology Assessment
      Thought Leadership
      UseScenarios
      “Special”Calls
      Collateral
      Lead Generation
      Status Dashboard
      EventSupport
      SalesTools
      Referrals & References
      ChannelSupport
      Channel Training
      © 1993-2009 Pragmatic Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved
    • 9. Nature of PM Role
      No natural sequence for PM
      Must work all aspects in parallel
      Entire planning onion
      Intensely interrupt-driven
      Bottoms-up shapes top-down, top-down shapes bottoms-up
      Product Management must provide strategy, judgment and integration as well as execution
    • 10. Agenda
      10
      What does a product manager do?
      Agile overview
      Agile and product managers/owners
      Conclusions
    • 11. What is Agile?
      Umbrella term for various software project management and engineering practices
      Incremental, iterative and collaborative
      More frequent delivery of smaller increments
      Building quality in, not adding it at the end
      Goal of potentially shippable at every iteration
      Active user involvement (or customer proxy)
      Self-managing teams
      Incremental process improvements
    • 12. Discussions about Agile…
      Part philosophy and religion
      Part process, tools, techniques, methods
      Part organizational design
    • 13. Why Not Waterfall?
      Requirements and estimates
      Design
      Coding and
      unit test
      System integration & QA
      Operation and maintenance
      Waterfall projects rarely deliver according to plan
    • 14. Agile (Scrum) Model
      Plan out 1-4 weeks work
      Meet daily
      Create product needs
      Review product
      Strategic planning
      Improve process
      After: Gabrielle Benefield
    • 15. Fixed Vs. Variable
      Waterfall
      Agile
      Fixed
      Requirements
      Time
      Resources
      Value
      Driven
      Plan
      Driven
      Estimated
      Time
      Resources
      Features
      The Plan creates cost/schedule estimates
      Release themes and feature intent drive estimates
    • 16. Agile’s Inner Loop (Development)
      After: Mike Cohn
    • 17. Agile’s Strategic Outer Loop (PM)
    • Agenda
      18
      What does a product manager do?
      Agile overview
      Agile and product managers/owners
      Conclusions
    • 29. 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 are primary method of customer input
      Most product managers are not agilists
      Majority of work to deliver products (revenue) happens outside Engineering
      Interacts with markets directly, not filtered through Sales or Marketing
      Servicing multiple inbound and outbound queues
    • 30. Product Owner’s Calendar
      Borrowed from Catherine Connor, Rally
    • 31. product
      owner
      Executives
      Marketing/Sales
      Customers
      Development
      “small p” product owner
      priorities, requirements,
      personas, user stories…
      software
    • 32. 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”
    • 33. Product Owner Failure Modes
      Solo Product Owner fails the market if…
      Weak on actualeconomic value: pricing, packaging, upgrades, servicemodels,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 a few customers at showcase / demo represent the market
    • 34. PO/PM Organizational Map
      GM - VP PM - VP Eng/CTO
      Product Management Organization
      product owners
      more technical
      more market-focused
    • 35. Agenda
      25
      What does a product manager do?
      Agile overview
      Agile and product managers/owners
      Conclusions
    • 36. Conclusions
      Product management bridgesengineering, markets and strategic planning
      Agile’sfocus is on improving developmentprocesses
      Inherent agile bias toward known customers
      Agile success requires strongly technical but market-oriented product managers
      Agile PM
    • 37. Contact Information
      +1-650-315-7394
      rich@mironov.com
      www.mironov.com/articles/
      feeds.feedburner.com/RichMironovProductBytes
      @RichMironov
      www.linkedin.com/in/richmironov