product management champion 140301
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product management champion 140301



Need help selling product management in your organization? This slide deck explores the role of product management beyond just the product.

Need help selling product management in your organization? This slide deck explores the role of product management beyond just the product.



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  • What are some of the common problems you hear internally? Why do you win and lose deals? “Is it our product? Our promotion? Our sales team? Our reputation? We just don’t know.”How do you measure product success? How to define product management. DISCUSS:Use this slide to solicit other problems and concerns.
  • Unfortunately, product management spends a lot of time in firefighting mode. (Source than fight fires, product management should be helping prevent those fires.DISCUSS: Does that seem about right for your organization?
  • Eric Ries applies agile product management principles to starting new companies. One of the key ideas is to build something, get some early customer feedback and revise the product accordingly. That’s a good definition of what product management has been doing all along.
  • But with today’s rapid deployment and short-term deliverables in agile, we need to be cautious not to be so busy building the product fast that we build the wrong product.
  • Steve Johnson is co-founder of Applied Frameworks, and a coach for building world-class product management teams.
  • What’s product management then? It’s listening to the market: sales people, customers, non-customers, competitor’s customers, analysts. Then looking for themes to articulate a product or feature idea. And then empowering others. We empower management to make the right strategic decisions using a business case or roadmap. We empower development in the form of prioritized features and user stories. We empower sales people using sales enablement tools.
  • Executives often ask, “How big should product management be?” The product management team can be small if other departments staff with the appropriate number of business analysts, product marketing managers, and sales engineers. Otherwise they look to product management to provide technical and domain expertise. That’s probably where all the fire-fighting comes from.DISCUSS: what do the executives expect from product management. Is it business planning? Or technical product support for others?
  • At the AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford University in July 2009, Bill Campbell was asked: “So let’s just say you have a first round draft pick; after the founder and CEO, who would be the first draft pick?”
  • Let’s take a different view. The product manager shepherds an idea through business and market definition, to design of the product. They help deliver the product to market by empowering promotion, sales enablement, operational preparation. Most importantly, they take periodic retrospectives to see how the product is attaining the business and market goals so they can be refinements—to product, promotion, sales, and operations.
  • For some teams, product managers and product owners have been focused only on the technology of the product. Certainly with many teams, they have been pulled in daily issues and firefighting. For instance, providing support to the development and support teams. One team reported their product managers spend two hours a day on defect management.
  • Let’s extend our view beyond product and technology to encompass the entire product life cycle.
  • Steve Jobs is probably the best poster-child for product management. He combined knowledge of customers and their real problems with a passion for elegant design. Most of all, he reminded us that we can’t say “yes” to every request. product managers should aggregate the requests, prioritize them, and choose what we call the “vital few” instead of the “compelling many.”
  • These are the principles for product management. It’s about doing it right (once) so you don’t have to do it over (and over and over). We need to look at things from the buyer’s point of view – not just opinions from executives and sales people and developers. Limit the number of documents. Only build a few living documents and keep them current.Re-use methods whenever possible. The basic idea of Kanban is to make a long list of everything you want to do, prioritize the list, and work until you run out of time or money. Shouldn’t you use that technique with product (feature) planning? And also promotion (program) planning?Take a retrospective view to see what’s work (so you can do more of it) and stop doing what isn’t working. Are you getting valuable leads from tradeshows? No, then stop going to tradeshows, even though the marketing and sales people will raise a stink. Are you getting leads from Google adwords? No, then stop doing it, even though people in your firm will raise a stink about it. Our resources are too limited to continue doing things that OUGHT to work. We have to focus on things that ACTUALLY work.
  • How do you make change stick in an organization? People must know why they’re changingThey must have the skills and tools to make the change. They must have leaders who support the change. And this has to be visible. Are your bonus and compensation plans aligned with the change you seek? They frequently are not! One exec team wanted to reduce the reliance sales people had on product management--yet they ran a campaign called “Meet your product manager.” Once the sales people knew the product managers and their skills, the sales people wanted the product managers on every customer visit.
  • At Applied Frameworks, we’re focused on building world-class product management organizations. We help teams define the right organization and job descriptions, roles and responsibilities, and a nimble planning process with a few key artifacts. Remember, most organizations need a small number of living documents—fewer than 10.
  • Do you need help?

product management champion 140301 product management champion 140301 Presentation Transcript

  • World-class product management provided by Under10 Consulting
  • We’re losing clients and we don’t know why. How should we measure success? What is product management anyway? We’re winning deals and we don’t know why.
  • 48% of time spent in unplanned activity
  • Companies can be agile too!
  • But with agile methods, we can now build the wrong product faster than ever.
  • Development is about building the product right. Product management is about building the right product. Steve Johnson Under10 Consulting
  • Working with other teams How large should a product management team be? business analyst or product owner Mktg Exec product marketing manager Product management sales engineer Dev Sales
  • “A guiding thing for me would be [to hire] the best Product Marketing guy, somebody that understands how to apply technology in the market.” Bill Campbell Chairman, Intuit AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford University, July 2009
  • Just enough process Product Business Promotion Market Business Sales Market Operations Define Design & deliver Refine
  • Before: focus on product Product Business Promotion Market Business Sales Market Operations Define Design & deliver Refine
  • Now: extend your view Product Business Promotion Market Business Sales Market Operations Define Design & deliver Refine
  • Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. That's true for companies, and it's true for products.
  • 5 fundamental principles      Do it right (once), so you don’t do it over Look at everything from the buyer’s view Create a few living documents Re-use methods whenever possible Do more of what’s working, and stop the rest
  • 1 People must know why they’re changing 2 People must have the skills, tools, and coaching to change 3 People they respect must support the change
  •  Create a world-class product organization  Define effective organizational structures  Assign roles and responsibilities  Audit existing process and artifacts  Most organizations need a small number of living documents—fewer than 10  Define your idea-toproduct and go-tomarket processes
  • Need help? Steven Johnson