How to Be A Successful Agile Product Manager

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  • 1. Ready to be a Successful Agile Product Manager? Anupam Kundu / Twitter: mydibba
  • 2. Short Story of Business And IT
  • 3. The Product Management Ecosystem strategy, forecasts, commitments, roadmaps,budgets, staff, Development Mktg & Sales Executives Product Management market information, priorities, requirements, roadmaps, MRDs, personas, user stories… software/ product commitments, roadmaps, competitive intelligence budgets, staff, targets Field input, Market feedback Markets & Customers product Segmentation, messages, benefits/features, pricing, qualification, demos… Inspired from Rich Mironov, author of “The Art of Product Management”
  • 4. The Common Thread: 2011
  • 5. Where are the Good Product People?
  • 6. Who is a Product Manager? …who investigates, selects and develop one or more products for an organization... …delivers more value…delivers more value than the competition …creates a sustainable competitive difference …generates business…generates business benefit to the organization Wikipedia
  • 7. Pragmatic Marketing Framework Talks toBuilds the Listens to the Market Talks to the Market Builds the Product
  • 8. market information, priorities, requirements, roadmaps, wireframes, alpha launch, beta testing, minimum viable product, Product Development is a Continuous Process wireframes, personas, user stories minimum viable product, build know-how monitoring and ideas / refinement five whys, product roadmap, forecast, competitive intelligence, Stakeholder inputs Real-time monitoring, alerts, funnel analysis, pricing feedback, segmentation , NPS monitoring and listening analyze product- market fit refinement
  • 9. “We are Agile” Product Owners…who makes decisions about what the product should do while taking into account what people who make buying decisions actually want... Jeff PattonJeff Patton • Create and nurture a product vision for the team • Establish priorities to track business value • Act as ‘the customer’ for developer questions • Work with team to do release planning • Plan, elaborate and accept user stories and iterations • Works side by side with engineering
  • 10. Resetting Expectations PM Responsibilities Traditional Agile Understand Customer Needs Upfront and Discontinuous Constant feedback driven process Documentation Fully elaborated (MRD, FS) Coarsely defined (Vision, Epics) Scheduling Six month to Six Year Release Continuous short term release roadmaps Prioritization Never or one time in MRD Continuous Validation NA – “We have QA” Continuous – more frequent than ever Change Management Prohibit or delay changes due to cost Inspect and adapt frequently (release boundaries) Assess Status Milestone Reviews Docs Inspect code and feature quality frequently Release Planning Crystal Ball Transparent , Collaborative and fact driven
  • 11. ....pause....
  • 12. Product Owner Challenges • Spheres of Influence • Organizational Model & Culture • Business model validation• Business model validation • Ignorance & Arrogance
  • 13. Spheres of Influence Portfolio Division level objectives and goals Prioritized product road map Strategy Product roadmap and business strategy Daily Release What business objectives will each release achieve? What capabilities will the release offer? Release plan Product Business objectives fulfilled by the product Product Vision Product life cycle road map business strategy Daily story backlog Story Details Acceptance Tests Sprint Planning What stories must be included in the sprint to achieve release objectives? Iteration Plan Sprint velocity/capacity
  • 14. Classic Symptoms Absentee Product Team •Product Vision is not well defined or undefined •Limited interaction with engineering and marketing •Too many commitments and priorities fighting for attention •Mismanagement of stakeholder expectations across layers •Late feedback
  • 15. Organizational Model & Culture • Innovation & Risk taking • Stability & Control • Attention to detail • Outcome orientation • People orientation • Team orientation • Aggressiveness
  • 16. Classic Symptoms Un-empowered Product Team •Decisions are overridden by other departments andby other departments and individuals •Limited or no influence on technology staffing and selection •This is way things get done•This is way things get done around here •Late feedback
  • 17. Business Model Validation MISSING!
  • 18. Classic Symptoms Un-trusted Product Team •Limited engagement of the product folks with strategy, marketing and engineeringmarketing and engineering •Too many organizational buy-in hurdles •Continually delayed launch dates •Extensive rework before launch •Late feedback
  • 19. Arrogant PO / Product Team
  • 20. Classic Symptoms Single point of failure •No respect for any metric produced by the teams on groundground •Public reversal of team decisions •Treats humans as machines •Too much hand waving instead of reality check •Late feedback
  • 21. The Grand Overlap Spheres of Influence No Business Model Validation Organizational Model and Culture Arrogance and Ignorance and Culture
  • 22. Culture Shocks
  • 23. Slow to move or change vs. Change fast Focus on process vs. Focus on outcome Product Owners in large corporations vs. startups Risk averseness vs. Risk adoption Pass the buck vs. Yes, we can Low participation vs. High-impact per person Lack of innovation “soul” vs. Pivoting ideas for new markets Existing business models vs. Find new and repeatable ones No mentoring vs. Constant learning
  • 24. Think Differently
  • 25. Good to Great – Jim Collins What are we deeply passionate about? What drives our economic engine? What can we be the best in the world at?
  • 26. •Start-ups •Incubators Corporate Incubation •Partner Ventures
  • 27. It’s Happening !!!
  • 28. Hire carefully “Culture is incredibly important to us, it took us three months to hire our first employee..” -- Joe Gebbia (Chief Product Officer,
  • 29. Nurture Cross Functional Teams •Harness the intelligence of the whole team •Align authority with responsibility responsibility •Align responsibility with capability
  • 30. Spawn Entrepreneurial Culture “Revenue is >$700 million in 2010, no one has a boss, employees negotiate responsibilities with their peers, everyone can spend the company’s money, and eachthe company’s money, and each individual is responsible for procuring the tools needed to do his or her work…” First, Let’s Fire All The Managers – Gary Hamel in HBR
  • 31. •Continually balance all stakeholder risks against business value Focus on Business Value •Execute iteratively and incrementally
  • 32. •Do not start product enhancements without focusing on value Kill products with high cost to value ratio •Terminate or Postpone and make the decision process visible
  • 33. Define MVP “..MVP is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning aboutvalidated learning about customers with the least effort” -- Eric Ries, Founder, Lean Startup
  • 34. Monitor & Listen (& Change)
  • 35. Collaborative Roadmaps
  • 36. Orchestrate over Manage •Employee turnover reduced to 17% from 54%
  • 37. Engage Stakeholders Highest PriorityJust Priority Impactoftheinitiativeonthestakeholders Highest Priority (involve extensively) High Priority (involve as needed) Just Priority (address concerns) Lowest Priority (keep informed) Impact Impactoftheinitiativeonthestakeholders (involve as needed)(keep informed) Impactoftheinitiativeonthestakeholders Critical to Success Influence of the stakeholders on the success of the initiative
  • 38. Suggested Product Owner Patterns • Spheres of influence • Organizational Model & Culture • Identify the good-to-great shift • Incubate the idea(s) • Hire carefully • Business model validation • Ignorance & Arrogance • Nurture cross functional team • Spawn entrepreneurial culture • Make portfolio planning transparent • Define MVP with business value in mind• Define MVP with business value in mind • Monitor & Listen • Engage stakeholders • Servant leadership
  • 39. Product Centric Development Teams “…high-performing class of “product-centric” development teams that characteristically support their company’s value chain, partner with both theirtheir company’s value chain, partner with both their customers and business stakeholders, and own the business results that their software delivers… “ Forrester Research on Product Centric Development
  • 40. Lets speak of Trends
  • 41. People-centred than process centred Customer focused Did I mention Agile? Customer focused Innovation inclined Move fast Respond to feedback Self-organizing High trustHigh trust Quality obsessed Collective Ownership (sounds like(sounds like(sounds like(sounds like Agile principles)Agile principles)Agile principles)Agile principles)
  • 42. Questions??
  • 43. Anupam Kundu, ThoughtWorks THANK YOU #mydibba Tale of Two Product Owners ( Plight of Product Owners ( 2020 Best CIO Acceptance Speech ( Product Road-mapping using Agile Principles (
  • 44. •Build Cross-functional Teams ( •Spawn Entrepreneurial Culture ( •Business Model Image (Jason Furnell, ThoughtWorks) / Alexander Osterwalder: • • Image Courtesy • •Organizational Culture Symptoms ( •Focus on Business Value (Life Magazine Photography) •Big Corporations Funding Start-ups ( •Arrogant Bastard Ale ( •Organization Culture ( 7.html) •Changing Perspectives ( • Think Differently ( • Lincoln MKZ spy shot ( • Some imagery and clip-arts borrowed from ThoughtWorks• Some imagery and clip-arts borrowed from ThoughtWorks