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How to be a successful agile product manager


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My presentation at #AgileIndia2012
Any feedback is welcome

Published in: Business, Technology

How to be a successful agile product manager

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