How to survive as a Product Manager


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How to survive as a Product Manager

  1. 1. How to survive as a product managerThe enemies and allies in different environments
  2. 2. Photo: Kaptain Kobold ,
  3. 3. The START UP environmentFounderEngineerDesignerMarketingVC/AngelFirst customer Photo: crisis_crs, photos/33774513@N08/4737480125/
  4. 4. The GROWN UP company environmentExecutive Management, VPs,DirectorsProduct ManagersProduct Marketing ManagersEngineering, QAUX, Research, DesignBI, Sales, Community,Finance, Customer Support, ... Photo: Brent Moore, photos/brent_nashville/4781919499/
  5. 5. How to survivein the enterprise environment? I have no clue - left afterthree month, realizing I don‘t have the power to do things there. Photo: Lee LeFever, photos/leelefever/5095425212/
  6. 6. Photo: Joe Shlabotnik, and Allies
  7. 7. The FounderCharacteristics How to cope with him In most cases the There often is no founder is the natural other product manager product lead - deep in the beginning knowledge about Try to get insights market and customers from real customers Either strong in besides the founder business and Learn from the marketing or founders market engineering (weak on insights the other side) Establish processesPhoto: Dunechaser,
  8. 8. The EngineerCharacteristics How to cope with him The engineer has a Develop some strong opinion about engineering knowledge the product Show him real users „Users are f*** i*** using the product that just don‘t get it“ Protect them from „Product Managers outside disruption (Marketing, UX, etc) are just a hurdle in Give them time for getting things done“ experimentsPhoto: RobethK,
  9. 9. The TesterCharacteristics How to cope with him This species often only Integrate them in exists in the more your communication grown up organization workflow with the They seem to slow engineers things down, but Make your priorities actually they help you clear to them don‘t release shit They tend to know your They are edge case app in even more detail explorers - use this then your developers knowledge to simplify your applicationPhoto: mattdwen,
  10. 10. The UX PersonCharacteristics How to cope with him Don‘t miss them in Share a desk with your team him (figuratively) They ask probing Give them the questions, better freedom to define be prepared (5 the details Whys) Share market and Eye and ear to business details your customers with himPhoto: Jordan Cooper,
  11. 11. The VC/Finance GuyCharacteristics How to cope with him He asks probing Know your numbers questions about numbers How much Sometimes don‘t How many understand what How long you do Have a story He eats numbers prepared to foster understandingPhoto: dunechaser,
  12. 12. The MarketeerCharacteristics How to cope with him He tells the world Make him an integral about the product part of your roadmap communication He tends to dream up Have always a positive things that doesn‘t attitude towards him - he exist yet is just trying to help you get new/active customers He knows how to measure and will Prepare copy and produce numbers marketing texts with him about people to speak with one voicePhoto: dunechaser,
  13. 13. The Customer supporterCharacteristics How to cope with him He has to deal with Fix the top things that stupidity and ignorance produce the highest on both sides amount of tickets He knows things about Go work with him from your software you don‘t time to time want to know Review his standard/ The better he knows automatic answers your plans the better he will help keep your Invite him to review customers happy meetings and partiesPhoto: dunechaser,
  14. 14. The Sales PersonCharacteristics How to cope with him Deep insights on Prepare sales market and material with them customers Provide them with Want to dictate useful numbers to functionality that support sales they can sell easily Regular outlook on roadmap planningPhoto: dunechaser,
  15. 15. The CustomerCharacteristics How to cope with him Diverse Know some of them in person Depends on your continent (market) Talk to them directly Most of the time they are eager to help Involve UX - Dealing with them is time consumingPhoto: dunechaser,
  16. 16. The Product ManagerCharacteristics How to cope with him Communicates strongly and regularly Speak out your mind Thinks big Have arguments not Simplifies: get 80% for 20% opinions Prioritizes: Quick wins vs platform investments Executes: nothing can stop him shipping his product Understands tech and design Convincing rather than commanding Endless positivePhoto: dunechaser,
  17. 17. Photo: cjdc, tactics
  18. 18. Build AlliesWhom How Make your production team Share instead of keep your ally Talk to people without Your peers as well having something in Look for people in areas mind you are weak Have an open ear and You can‘t be successful without support from c- help even if it‘s not level your turf Make your customers your Go to lunches and ally brunches
  19. 19. CommunicateWhom How Talk about what you Shared backlog and board, no hidden agenda (asana, trello, jira, do and why you do it post its on a reachable wall) inside and outside of Show in big letters how you doing on KPIs your company Present regularly what you have done and what you plan to do in Talk about your the future plans and visions Blog inside and outside the company Even more Speak at conferences Engage in your community
  20. 20. Trust and respectWhom HowTrust and respect Know your shitthe people you are Talk with people not about themworking with Respond fastTrust and respect If you are emotionallyyour customers touched, wait a day Don‘t interrupt peopleDivorce from peoplethat exploit that Be available and on time Do stuff according to what you said
  21. 21. Photo: LEGO Bro, Skills
  22. 22. weak strong Customer knowledge Tech knowledge Market knowledge Team collaboration Stakeholder management Product vision Product discovery Product optimization Product evangelism Financial knowledge Leadership skills Time management skills to be UX knowledge as isSource:, From a session with Marty Cagan
  23. 23. Whats a typical day like for a product manager at Asana? Ideal world Other: Repro Bugs, comm w/ team/others, Customer research presenting to board 18% 25% Personal Development Work with team 5% 18% (Brainstorming, Reviewing prototypes, Recruiting 5% discuss ideas, ...) Project management 15% 15% High level thinking PM/Backlog work(Vision, explore strategic ideas, Roadmap) (prioritize, write stories, write blog posts and best practices, ...) Source:
  24. 24. Product Management vs. other roles„Product managers are responsible for what theproduct should do; other roles are responsible for howthe product does that.“ Jonathan Korman
  25. 25. Questions?
  26. 26. Thank you! Karsten @komplettsystem
  27. 27. More sourcesBoxes and arrows: Transitioning from User Experience to Product Management Korman: Where do product managers fit?
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