Basics of proDUCT management, presented to PMI-SV for proJECT and proGRAM managers. How are these the same? different? #prodmgmt is responsible for commercial success, while project mgmt marshalls resources and schedules and staff
Who has PMs? Who doesn’t?Where does PM report up through?What distinguishes good PMs from weak in your org?Categories: technical skills; org power; reporting path; customer knowledge; work products; who’s driving/deciding?; title confusion…
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
Earn your pay on days when you make decisions, not just oversee processes
Balanced focus between what markets/segments want and what development team can deliver
Experiential component that’s not well taught or certified. Contrasts with PMI PMP. No governing authority, no rating system other than personal references.Program/project managers see the resource/marshaling part of the product role, but not always the selling/organizational/outbound part.Dev consistently wants to promote good engineers into product roles. Mostly they lack relevant field experience, organizational savvy, customer skills, ability to handle uncertainty.
Valley does not check with me before assigning roles, titles or work mix
Essential question: who worries about market acceptance? Sales targets? Competition?
Not cleanly divided. Good PMs and PgMs are intertwined.
Ask about use cases and customer problemsVs. wanting PMs to settle internal technical/architecture disputesDon’t demand PMs as technical as you areYou have architects and senior devs to be the most technicalNot every user story gets its own ROI Not every field, button, featurelet can be independently justified. Customer-relevant value may roll up dozens of small bits.Expect PMs to translate features into customer-relevant benefitsThey have to turn your how-it-works into a sales team’s why-you-careAsk about forecasts, shipments and revenueShows you care about the business as well as the tech, and you’ll learn somethingQUIETLY sit in on some customer meetingsIf you talk out of turn, you won’t get invited back.Channel your inner Product ManagerOnce in a while, pretend you’re the PM and consider how you’d think through whole product issues. WWPMD?
PMI-SV: ProDUCT Mgmt Basics for ProJECT Mgrs
ProDUCT Management Essentials for ProJECT and ProGRAM Managers Rich Mironov June 18, 20121 www.mironov.com
About Rich Mironov Veteran product manager/exec/strategist Organizing product organizations Business models, pricing, agile “What do customers want?” 6 startups, including as CEO/founder Author of “The Art of Product Management” and Product Bytes blog Founded Product Camp, chaired first product stage at annual Agile conference 2 www.mironov.com
Agenda Backlog of questions / issues from the front lines What does a product manager do, anyway? Product vs. Project/Program Management 7 ways to help your product manager 3 www.mironov.com 3
Backlog of Questions and Issues4 from the Front Lines www.mironov.com
Agenda Backlog of questions / issues from the front lines What does a product manager do, anyway? Product vs. Project/Program Management 7 ways to help your product manager 5 www.mironov.com 5
What Does a Product Manager Do? For commercial / revenue software… Drives delivery and market acceptance of whole products Targets market segments, not individual customers Sets priorities For strategic internal development… Resolves competing priorities Drives acceptance and adoption 6 www.mironov.com
What Does a Product Manager Do? budgets, staff, strategy, forecasts, commitments, roadmaps, targets competitive intelligence Executivesmarket information, priorities,requirements, roadmaps, MRDs, Field input,personas, user stories… Product Market feedback Management Mktg & Markets & Development Sales Customers software Segmentation, messages, benefits/features, pricing, qualification, demos… 7 www.mironov.com
Product Mgmt Planning Horizons many years Strategy years Exec Portfolio many mons Product Prod Release 2-9 mon Mgr Sprint 2 wk Dev Team Daily8 www.mironov.com
Nature of Product Role No natural sequence for Product Mgmt 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 www.mironov.com
Good product managers drive customer-relevant decisions (choices) despite uncertainty and contradictory goals11 www.mironov.com
Market Failure Modes for Product MgrsInward-looking failure modes Weak on real-world value: pricing, packaging, upgrades, service models, discounting, competitive dynamics Disconnected from cross-functional teams (Marketing, Sales, Support…) Trading off company-wide product strategy for product-level features Belief in rational users and accurate ROI Generalizing from too few customers 13 www.mironov.com
“How Hard Could It Be?” Imagine that I create a two-day seminar for “Senior Enterprise Software Architects” Anyone can enroll We talk about enterprise architecture All attendees get a “Senior Enterprise Software Architect” certificate Are they senior architects? 14 www.mironov.com
Agenda Backlog of questions / issues from the front lines What does a product manager do, anyway? Product vs. Project/Program Management 7 ways to help your product manager 15 www.mironov.com 15
Product, Project, Program?Disclaimer No role/title consistency Execs create novel organizations Unclear division of labor Each tech company is uniquely dysfunctional Good teams make things work in spite of titles and roles 16 www.mironov.com
In My Opinion… Product Management: more outward-facing market- visible decisions What FEATURES are market segments demanding? WHICH must-ship feature will we DROP first? SALES impact of slipped dates? Commitments? How are we POSITIONED and PRICED versus competitors? Project/Program Management: more inward-facing resource allocation decisions HOW should we get this done? WHO works on what? WHEN will it actually ship? Have we defined and met QUALITY goals? What outside RESOURCES could speed things up? 17 www.mironov.com
One Problem, Two ViewpointsTwo sides of the problem: Project/Program Managers tasked with how to deliver Not-so-secretly worry about market success Product Managers tasked with what to build (and when) Not-so-secretly worry about delivery, quality, completeness 18 www.mironov.com
Understanding Customer RealitiesProduct managers track the market by… Helping close deals Trading off conflicting commitments Intervening with complex customer problems Sweating price/volume forecasts Anchoring opinions with lots of Source: Pragmatic Marketing first person customer/field input 19 www.mironov.com
Agenda Backlog of questions / issues from the front lines What does a product manager do, anyway? Product vs. Project/Program Management 7 ways to help product managers 20 www.mironov.com 20
7 Good Ways to Help Product Mgrs1. Push for explicit decisions and trade-offs2. Ask about use cases and customer problems3. Don’t demand uber-technical product managers4. Not every sub-feature gets its own ROI5. Expect product managers to translate features into customer-relevant benefits6. Ask about forecasts, shipments and revenue7. Channel your inner Product Manager 21 www.mironov.com
Contact Information +1-650-315-7394 firstname.lastname@example.org www.mironov.com @RichMironov www.linkedin.com/in/richmironov22 www.mironov.com
ProDUCT Management Essentials for ProJECT and ProGRAM Managers Rich Mironov June 18, 201223 www.mironov.com