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Product Management              - Dispelling the myths and getting it right!                    Sanchan Sahai SaxenaPresen...
Myth # 1Product managers facilitate things (likemeetings etc.) and do stuff that nobody elsewants to do.
Credit – Bug Bash
Have you heard this before? Oh yeah, let’s ask our PM to set up and facilitate a meeting with the other team to get this r...
Have you heard this before? Oh yeah, let’s ask our PM to set up     We got a request to provide and facilitate a meeting w...
Have you heard this before? Oh yeah, let’s ask our PM to set up                We got a request to provide and facilitate ...
So what do Product Managers really do?
Product Managers…  Myth #1 Discover and launch the right product to the      right customers at the right time.
Product Managers…  Myth #1 Discover and launch the right product to the      right customers at the right time.
Product Managers…  Myth #1 Discover and launch the right product to the      right customers at the right time.
Product Managers…  Myth #1 Discover and launch the right product to the      right customers at the right time.
Product Managers… …act as the CEO of the product and are always willing to do whatever it takes to make the product and th...
Product Managers… …act as the CEO of the product and are always willing to do whatever it takes to make the product and th...
Product Manager Activities…  Myth #1                              Credit – Pragmatic Marketing Framework
Reality # 1Product Managers have real responsibilitiesbut are willing to do whatever it takes to makethe product successful.
Myth # 2Product Manager is a cool job. All they do iscome up with crazy ideas and then askdevelopers to code them.
How many of you think this is how PMs work and come up with ideas?
So how do PMs decide what to build?
So how do PMs decide what to build?There is no magic formula for this, but here are a few guidelines…
Understand customers           Research and identify the right target customers for the right    vs           products.
Understand customers           Research and identify the right target customers for the right    vs           products.   ...
Understand customers           Research and identify the right target customers for the right    vs           products.   ...
Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice                                  Listening to    Opinion        Data                ...
Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice                                               Listening to    Opinion           Data...
Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice                                                                  Listening to    Opi...
Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice                                                            Listening to    Opinion  ...
Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice                                                                  Listening to    Opi...
Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice                                                              Listening to    Opinion...
Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice                                                                  Listening to    Opi...
Know your competition       Understand the capabilities, market dynamics, and limitations of       their competitors. Know...
Know your competition       Understand the capabilities, market dynamics, and limitations of       their competitors. Know...
Iterative and Experimental approach        Understand that their vision is a collection of hypothesis.
Iterative and Experimental approach        Understand that their vision is a collection of hypothesis.            Your    ...
Iterative and Experimental approach        Understand that a vision is a collection of hypothesis.            Your        ...
Iterative and Experimental approach        Understand that a vision is a collection of hypothesis.            Your        ...
Reality # 2Product Managers bring a deep understanding ofthe customer, the market and the competition tothe decision makin...
Myth # 3PM is a highly leveraged position. Having agreat PM is the difference between asuccessful product vs a failed prod...
Great PMs…  Myth #1 Understand that successful products are a result of a      great team work and not one individual.
Decision making and accountability per discipline   Myth #1                   Program/Project Managers                  En...
Great PMs…  Myth #1   Understand that they manage products and not teams.
Great PMs…  Myth #1   Understand that they manage products and not teams.   Understand that to be successful, they need to...
Influence without direct authority  Myth #1                                     Credit – Cooper Journal
Influence without direct authority  Myth #1                                                 PMs lead (not manage)         ...
Reality # 3PMs lead teams and manage products. Theyclearly understand where their role adds valueand where they need the c...
Thank You!
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Transcript of "Product management dispelling the myths and getting it right"

  1. 1. Product Management - Dispelling the myths and getting it right! Sanchan Sahai SaxenaPresented at the “Speaker Series” for UCLA Anderson MBA Students
  2. 2. Myth # 1Product managers facilitate things (likemeetings etc.) and do stuff that nobody elsewants to do.
  3. 3. Credit – Bug Bash
  4. 4. Have you heard this before? Oh yeah, let’s ask our PM to set up and facilitate a meeting with the other team to get this resolved asap. Myth #1 He knows the right folks in the team and can get the conversation going.
  5. 5. Have you heard this before? Oh yeah, let’s ask our PM to set up We got a request to provide and facilitate a meeting with the documentation for our APIs. Let’s other team to get this resolved asap. ask our PM to write it up and not Myth #1 He knows the right folks in the team and can get the conversation going. randomize our developers.
  6. 6. Have you heard this before? Oh yeah, let’s ask our PM to set up We got a request to provide and facilitate a meeting with the documentation for our APIs. Let’s other team to get this resolved asap. ask our PM to write it up and not Myth #1 He knows the right folks in the team and can get the conversation going. randomize our developers. There are too many customer support requests coming in. Let’s have our PMs be the first point of contact so they can triage them before it gets to our developers.
  7. 7. So what do Product Managers really do?
  8. 8. Product Managers… Myth #1 Discover and launch the right product to the right customers at the right time.
  9. 9. Product Managers… Myth #1 Discover and launch the right product to the right customers at the right time.
  10. 10. Product Managers… Myth #1 Discover and launch the right product to the right customers at the right time.
  11. 11. Product Managers… Myth #1 Discover and launch the right product to the right customers at the right time.
  12. 12. Product Managers… …act as the CEO of the product and are always willing to do whatever it takes to make the product and the team successful. Myth #1
  13. 13. Product Managers… …act as the CEO of the product and are always willing to do whatever it takes to make the product and the team successful. Myth #1 Sometimes, that might include:  Organizing meetings  Circulating notes  Organizing launch or morale events  Testing their product  Etc.
  14. 14. Product Manager Activities… Myth #1 Credit – Pragmatic Marketing Framework
  15. 15. Reality # 1Product Managers have real responsibilitiesbut are willing to do whatever it takes to makethe product successful.
  16. 16. Myth # 2Product Manager is a cool job. All they do iscome up with crazy ideas and then askdevelopers to code them.
  17. 17. How many of you think this is how PMs work and come up with ideas?
  18. 18. So how do PMs decide what to build?
  19. 19. So how do PMs decide what to build?There is no magic formula for this, but here are a few guidelines…
  20. 20. Understand customers Research and identify the right target customers for the right vs products.
  21. 21. Understand customers Research and identify the right target customers for the right vs products. Deeply understand target customer personas, their problems, their motivations, frustrations and desires.
  22. 22. Understand customers Research and identify the right target customers for the right vs products. Deeply understand target customer personas, their problems, their motivations, frustrations and desires. Act as a customer advocate and represent the customer’s voice through the product development process
  23. 23. Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice Listening to Opinion Data Customer
  24. 24. Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice Listening to Opinion Data Customer Successful PMs value opinions
  25. 25. Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice Listening to Opinion Data Customer Successful PMs value opinions but understand that building products based on opinions is light shooting in the dark and hoping that you hit the bull’s eye.
  26. 26. Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice Listening to Opinion Data Customer Successful PMs are data informed, not data lead.
  27. 27. Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice Listening to Opinion Data Customer Successful PMs are data informed, not data lead. PMs understand that blindly following data will lead to finding a local maxima, resulting in a narrow focus and potentially missing the global maxima.
  28. 28. Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice Listening to Opinion Data Customer PMs listen to their customers, but know when not to.
  29. 29. Balance Opinion, Data, Customer Voice Listening to Opinion Data Customer PMs listen to their customers, but know when not to. If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. - Henry Ford
  30. 30. Know your competition Understand the capabilities, market dynamics, and limitations of their competitors. Know where the competitors can go easily and cant go at all. Myth #1
  31. 31. Know your competition Understand the capabilities, market dynamics, and limitations of their competitors. Know where the competitors can go easily and cant go at all. Myth #1 Great PMs use their competition’s product with potential customers to understand what not to build.
  32. 32. Iterative and Experimental approach Understand that their vision is a collection of hypothesis.
  33. 33. Iterative and Experimental approach Understand that their vision is a collection of hypothesis. Your Hypo- Hypo- Hypo- Vision thesis1 thesis2 thesisN
  34. 34. Iterative and Experimental approach Understand that a vision is a collection of hypothesis. Your Hypo- Hypo- Hypo- Vision thesis1 thesis2 thesisN Validating critical hypotheses early on in the product lifecycle through experimentation
  35. 35. Iterative and Experimental approach Understand that a vision is a collection of hypothesis. Your Hypo- Hypo- Hypo- Vision thesis1 thesis2 thesisN Validating critical hypotheses early on in the product lifecycle through experimentation Understand that iteratively launching products early on and often is better than waiting until everything is right the first time
  36. 36. Reality # 2Product Managers bring a deep understanding ofthe customer, the market and the competition tothe decision making process.
  37. 37. Myth # 3PM is a highly leveraged position. Having agreat PM is the difference between asuccessful product vs a failed product.
  38. 38. Great PMs… Myth #1 Understand that successful products are a result of a great team work and not one individual.
  39. 39. Decision making and accountability per discipline Myth #1 Program/Project Managers Ensuring things get done right Credit – Jeff Lash
  40. 40. Great PMs… Myth #1 Understand that they manage products and not teams.
  41. 41. Great PMs… Myth #1 Understand that they manage products and not teams. Understand that to be successful, they need to lead and influence a team.
  42. 42. Influence without direct authority Myth #1 Credit – Cooper Journal
  43. 43. Influence without direct authority Myth #1 PMs lead (not manage) different disciplines. Influencing without authority requires leadership skills (beyond the scope of this presentation) Credit – Cooper Journal
  44. 44. Reality # 3PMs lead teams and manage products. Theyclearly understand where their role adds valueand where they need the complementaryskills of others to be successful.
  45. 45. Thank You!
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