BOSSES, DEALS AND CODE MANAGING UP OUT AND IN
Jay Bourland	

jay.bourland@gmail.com	

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jay-bour...
THREE ROLES OF A PRODUCT
MANAGER

Executive	

Sales	

Technical
EXECUTIVE

Defining a Market - “Is it real?”	

Product lifecycle	

Operational readiness
IT ALL STARTS WITH A
PROBLEM…
What problem are you solving?	

Who has this problem?	

Who are you selling to?	

How many a...
ACT YOUR AGE…

You have to know where you are in
the product’s lifecycle. The decisions
we make in the beginning are very
...
ALL OF THE RESPONSIBILITY,
NONE OF THE AUTHORITY
You need to own (or act like you own) your P&L	

Can your organization bu...
SALES

Understanding your customers’ needs - “Can we win?"	

Turning needs into releases	

Turning needs into marketing me...
RELIEVING PAIN

Your product is solving a pain point for your user	

The critical question - “If there are two solutions t...
FEATURE QUADRANT

Differentiation

Plot each feature based on
importance to customer and
differentiation in market	


Part...
A MORE RIGOROUS APPROACH
Interview several users/buyers of your
product (not just your customers)	


FEATURE

Develop a se...
DON’T BE THESE GUYS
PLANNING A RELEASE
Lifecycle is critical	

Market matters - understand the uncompromisable parts	

You won’t really unders...
TECHNICAL

Roadmaps matter - “Is it worth it?”	

Bugs and features	

Working with the product team
“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower
IT’S NOT SHELF WARE (I HOPE)
One customer does not make a
market	

Markets are made of single
customers	

Turn your custom...
EMPOWER YOUR TEAM
Engineering practice will tell you to
be available about 80% of the time	

Market practice will tell you...
PARTING ADVICE…
“Fall in love with the problem, not the product”
–Charlie O’Donnell	

http://www.thisisgoingtobebig.com/blog/2012/7/12/fal...
REFERENCES
Crossing the Chasm - Geoffrey Moore	

Dealing with Darwin - Geoffrey Moore	

Setting the Table - Danny Meyer	

...
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Bosses Deals and Code

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Presentation to the Boulder Product Meetup on February 27, 2014. Focusing on the three roles of a Product Manager

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Bosses Deals and Code

  1. 1. BOSSES, DEALS AND CODE MANAGING UP OUT AND IN Jay Bourland jay.bourland@gmail.com http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jay-bourland/4/4/499
  2. 2. THREE ROLES OF A PRODUCT MANAGER Executive Sales Technical
  3. 3. EXECUTIVE Defining a Market - “Is it real?” Product lifecycle Operational readiness
  4. 4. IT ALL STARTS WITH A PROBLEM… What problem are you solving? Who has this problem? Who are you selling to? How many are there? How much will they pay? Why will they buy from you?
  5. 5. ACT YOUR AGE… You have to know where you are in the product’s lifecycle. The decisions we make in the beginning are very different from those of a mature product. http://www.chasminstitute.com
  6. 6. ALL OF THE RESPONSIBILITY, NONE OF THE AUTHORITY You need to own (or act like you own) your P&L Can your organization build, deliver, sell and service the solution? Do you understand the abilities of engineering, devops/delivery, marketing, sales and pre-sales, finance, support, services, …? Can you change them if you need to do so?
  7. 7. SALES Understanding your customers’ needs - “Can we win?" Turning needs into releases Turning needs into marketing messages
  8. 8. RELIEVING PAIN Your product is solving a pain point for your user The critical question - “If there are two solutions to the problem, how will the buyer decide which one is better?”
  9. 9. FEATURE QUADRANT Differentiation Plot each feature based on importance to customer and differentiation in market Partner Why Bother? Core Parity Importance The upper right quadrant needs to align with the core of your product team The lower right needs to be good enough - any more is effort that could be spent on stuff that matters Find ways not to spend your precious resources on the left side
  10. 10. A MORE RIGOROUS APPROACH Interview several users/buyers of your product (not just your customers) FEATURE Develop a set of features that strike a common chord in the solution description A 9 8.5 9.5 B 8 5 11 Survey on the importance of the feature and how satisfied the user is currently Look for high importance + high gap Watch out for high importance with small or over-met satisfaction IMPORTANCE SATISFACTION PRIORITY
  11. 11. DON’T BE THESE GUYS
  12. 12. PLANNING A RELEASE Lifecycle is critical Market matters - understand the uncompromisable parts You won’t really understand what the customers’ need until they get it Whatever you’re planning - it’s too much A release starts the work - it doesn’t end it
  13. 13. TECHNICAL Roadmaps matter - “Is it worth it?” Bugs and features Working with the product team
  14. 14. “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
  15. 15. IT’S NOT SHELF WARE (I HOPE) One customer does not make a market Markets are made of single customers Turn your customers into advocates Be skeptical of buying-cycle bugs, focus on your customers
  16. 16. EMPOWER YOUR TEAM Engineering practice will tell you to be available about 80% of the time Market practice will tell you to spend 50% of your time in the field with customers and prospects Managing all of the reporting will probably eat another 20% And then there’s sales, marketing, support,…
  17. 17. PARTING ADVICE…
  18. 18. “Fall in love with the problem, not the product” –Charlie O’Donnell http://www.thisisgoingtobebig.com/blog/2012/7/12/fall-in-love-with-the-problem-not-the-product.html
  19. 19. REFERENCES Crossing the Chasm - Geoffrey Moore Dealing with Darwin - Geoffrey Moore Setting the Table - Danny Meyer What Customers Want - Anthony Ulwick Stand Back and Deliver - Pixton, Nickolaisen, Little, McDonald Is It Real? Can We Win? Is It Worth Doing?: Managing Risk and Reward in an Innovation Portfolio - Harvard Business Review December, 2007 - George S Day
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