6/11/12 Greg Geracie, President Actuation Consulting 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results

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6/11/12 Greg Geracie, President Actuation Consulting 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results

  1. 1. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9Yr Access To The Groundbreaking Podcast: http://bit.ly/JX15Oq 2012 Study of Product Links: Team Performance Results http://bit.ly/JjHGa4 Whitepaper: http://bit.ly/M0kPBFGreg Geracie, President Actuation Consulting, Addressed The Global Product Management Talk On TheFive Factors Common Among High Performing Product Teams And Other Results Of The 2012 Study OfProduct Team Performance Prior to Widespread Release June 29, 2012 AIPMM WEBINAR: Five Factors That Drive High Performance Product Teams http://bit.ly/MRtBWL Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 1
  2. 2. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrHost @CindyFSolomonCindy F. SolomonHi, This is Cindy F. Solomon coming to you today on June 11, 2012 with the Global Product ManagementTalk in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Global Product Management Talk is a regular mini product campSocratic discussion of pre-posted questions with live audio of thought leader and co-host commenting. Weare designed for product managers and project managers and other product professionals that don’t get achance to leave their desks and participate in product talks in person so we come to you via Twitter andpodcast using the hashtag #ProdMgmtTalk. For more information please visit our websitehttp://www.prodmgmttalk.comIntroductionThe Global Product Management Talk is curated for passionate product professionals and business owners who wantto teach, learn & network about managing products, including Agile practitioners involved with developing, designing &launching products, brands, marketing, project management, and everyone who cares about the entire productmanagement lifecycle process to guarantee successful products and companies.Thank you to our Sponsor, The AIPMMThe Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM), founded in 1998, promotes worldwideexcellence in product management education and provides value to its individual members, corporate members, andsponsors by providing training, education, certification and professional networking opportunities. The AIPMM SevenPhase Product Lifecycle Framework is a vendor independent Product Management and Product Marketing standardthat takes into account best practices used in a wide range of companies and industries. This ensures that the mostmodern and up to date challenges faced in product management and product marketing are addressed for today’senvironment. The Framework is part of the AIPMM Product Body of Knowledge (ProdBOK) that was developed withinput from over 50 experts and endorsed by more than half a dozen consulting companies. The Framework includesseven distinct product phases, from Conceive to End of Life, and covers all aspects during the entire product lifecycle.AIPMM Membership benefits include the national Product Management Educational Conference, regionalconferences, the Career Center, peer Forums, tools, templates, publications and eligibility to enroll in the CertificationPrograms. The Agile Certified Product Manager® (ACPM), Certified Product Manager® (CPM, Certified ProductMarketing Manager® (CPMM), and Certified Innovation Leader (CIL) programs allow individual members todemonstrate their level of expertise and provide corporate members an assurance that their product professionals areoperating at peak performance. Please visit our sponsor at http://www.aipmm.com http://bit.ly/y78RcKCindyToday I am delighted to be joined by Greg Geracie, and we are talking about a recent study of product teamperformance results.About The StudyThe groundbreaking findings of the 2012 global study of product team performance conducted by ActuationConsulting, and Enterprise Agility is being released early for the Global Product Management Talk community bythe Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM). The study, sponsored by theAIPMM and a range of professional associations and organizations, showed that only 12% of productorganizations report that they bring products to market on time, on scope, and on budget.Access to the groundbreaking 2012 Study of Product Team Performance Results Whitepaper areavailable for purchase here: http://www.actuationconsultingllc.com/buy Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 2
  3. 3. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrKindle version: http://amzn.to/KYFYAFWhat do these organizations do differently or better than the other 88%?The 2012 Study of Product Team Performance sheds light on common issues in product organizations andsurfaced five factors shared among the high performers. In the absence of these five factors, the likelihood of aproduct team performing effectively is a dismal 2%! The likelihood of a product team performing at a high level byhaving these five factors in place is 67%. The whitepaper details these five factors and offers suggestions forhow you can apply them to your own product development practices.ABOUT GREG GERACIEGreg Geracie is the President of Actuation Consulting, a world-class provider of product management advisoryservices and training courses to some of the nation’s most well known organizations. Actuation Consultingprovides popular training courses for product managers as well as product teams.Mr. Geracie is the author of the global best seller Take Charge Product Management© and the Editor-in-Chief ofThe Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge© (ProdBOK). This is an industry-wideeffort to standardize the practice of product management sponsored by the Association of International ProductManagement and Marketing (AIPMM).He is also an Adjunct Professor at DePaul Universitys College of Computing and Digital Media where he teachesa course on high-tech product management. Mr. Geracie earned undergraduate degrees from the University ofVermont and continued his executive education at Harvard, MIT, and the Wharton School.Mr. Geracie is a Certified Product Manager (CPM) and Certified Product Marketing Manager (CPMM). He hasbeen nominated to the Certification Standards Board for The Association of International Product Marketing andManagement (AIPMM).Mr. Geracie is a contributing writer to a wide variety of industry publications. Recent articles have been publishedby the Silicon Valley Product Management Association, the Boston Product Management Association, theAssociation of International Product Marketing and Management, the Project Times, asapm, IPMA and theBusiness Analyst Times. He also actively contributes to webinars and blogs and speaks frequently on the subjectof product management and product team collaboration.CindyI’m delighted to have you joining us today, Greg. Was there anything I left out of the introduction?GregHi Cindy, It’s a pleasure to be here today with you and your audience. In fact, you did such a fantastic jobdoing my background that I don’t really have anything else that I can add to it.CindyGreat. Please provide some context for exactly what is this study and what led you to develop and conductthis. Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 3
  4. 4. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrGregThe Study of Product Team Performance 2012 was an idea that was generated between my partners StevenStarke, who is an author of a book called Stop – The Product Management Survival Plan as well as DavidHeidt, who is the president of Enterprise Agility and also the President of IIBA Chicagoland.And so the history of how the study came together was really in a meeting between the three of us when wewere talking about the challenges that professionals basically have in really understanding the dynamics ofproduct team performance. The reason that we think that its challenging for people to understand this isbecause almost all of us, regardless of our function, whether we’re a project manager, a program manager, aproduct manager or a business analyst, engineer, product marketer – we tend to actually think within thecontext of our professions and less interest or less training is actually given on those areas where there ishand-offs between the various functions. As we were actually thinking about the challenges in terms of whattakes place with organizations in terms of producing successful products, we decided we wanted to focus inon trying to get our arms around a cross-functional view of how product teams function – what are thechallenges, what are the opportunities for performance improvement. It started in a 3-way conversationbetween all of us and what ended up happening was we hit upon the idea of actually looking at crossfunctional performance – the dynamics of it – but wanting to work with a variety of industry associationsbecause we felt that while each of us could generate interest from our own followers or client bases – one ofthe challenges we had (and that anyone would have attempting this) was trying to get that cross functionalview supported by the leading organizations.Briefly overview the parties that helped sponsor the study:AIPMM was one of our lead sponsors as well as IIBA Chicagoland representing IIBA, the Business Analystcommunity and association and we had one vendor, Accept Software, as well as Diversified Communicationswhich is a large media and conference organization which publishes The Project Times and The BusinessAnalysis Time. All five of those organizations were the primary sponsors, so we were able to basically get 3major associations to sign on as sponsors for the study and they helped push out email requests for theirassociation members to participate in the study which enabled us then to collect a robust cross-functionalview. In fact we ended up with 1150 responses from participants worldwide of which 607 completed the entiresurvey and that became the basis for the regression analysis that we ultimately conducted.To wrap up my answer to your question, Cindy, the genesis of the idea was really our view that it’s difficult toget outside the boundaries of a particular profession and really look at product team performance dynamics.And in fact to be able to successfully do that, we needed to work with strong partner associations as well asvendors and publishing companies where we could work up a build up a big enough composite view of whatwas happening across these various functions to get a statistically significant enough sample to then dive in tothe market dynamics. And that’s how everything came together.CindyThat’s something that I didn’t fully appreciate, Greg, is that this is a cross-functional study. And generallywhen studies of this nature are done, its focused on one specific profession or one specific industry. Its so _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 4
  5. 5. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9Yrimportant to a product team performance, especially from the product management perspective since we’reworking cross-functionally.GregAbsolutely. If I might add on for a second Cindy; that is one of the things that makes this study I think trulyunique. I don’t believe there’s ever been - these 3 organizations have never before collaborated to thedegree that they did to help support the findings of this study. It is a truly unique experience for which I’m verygrateful for all our sponsors, and in fact – going into next year, because we’re going to conduct this studyannually, we believe we’ve already got 4 or 5 other organizations that want to help support and round out thisview. We feel very fortunate that, you know, we’re getting this type of support, not only within our respectiveprofessions, but across them as well.CindyWere you surprised at some of the results? I mean I assume you had some hypotheses going in.GregFrom our perspective, we were actually going in with a set of assumptions that actually we didn’t walk outwith. Our assumptions were that we were going to actually get our arms around how the various functions,you know the functional views, either aligned or contrasted with the other counterparts of part of the productteam.Let me back up for a second, Cindy, and just briefly talk about the target group and then I’ll explain what weended up with and why it was different than our going-in assumption. So, in terms of the targets for the study,we were looking at members of core product teams.We defined core product teams as; product managers and product owners, project managers and programmanagers, business analysts, engineers, user design, product marketing and brand managers. And thereason we included brand managers is product management typically has two branches to the tree; one, youknow, moves in the direction of consumer products where product management is practiced a bit different, ifyou will, then it is on the technology and services branch which is the other branch of the tree – so we wantedto make sure that we got a 360 view of the brand manager, product manager and product owner perspectivefrom the product management side. So there was a robust group of targets that we actually went after.So in terms of what we were going in after – we were going in after trying to understand every professions’unique view of how they view the dynamics of their product team from their own functional perspective. Andwe wanted to be able to compare and contrast the differences between how a project manager views thesuccess or failure of the things that are working or not working within their product teams vs. those of theproduct manager or the product owner or any of the other members of the core product team. And so wewanted to say “here are the commonalities of what people believed regardless of their roles, are working, andhere are the things that are not working.” _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 5
  6. 6. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrBut in fact, our going in assumptions - while we have the data to be able to do that - it was during the periodwhere we handed the data over for regression analysis to an outside professional statistician – in fact aWharton trained statistician – who went through and actually looked at the data and came back with astaggering finding – that in fact none of us actually believed was there in the first place. We weren’t looking forthis and as you had mentioned earlier in the set up for the piece, it was really in the discovery of those keyfive factors that were in fact common across high performing product teams that was our number one shock.In fact, as you mentioned earlier, what we found was that the likelihood of a product team performing at a highlevel is 67% if all five factors are effectively in place and a miserable 2% if they’re absent. And this was notsomething we were looking for – in fact it was sort of akin to we felt like we had found a secret sauce when wediscovered it.While there’s a lot of other really important information that this study turned up, one of the other things that Iwould point to as a very valuable piece of information was we took a very close look across these 607organizations at the different methodologies that were being used by organizations. These included leanmethodologies to produce the product, Agile – even though Agile represents a broader, iterative, incrementalset of processes; extreme programming, Scrum, etc. – we bracketed them as Agile for this year’s study, andthen we had blended methodologies and Waterfall. And one of the other findings that we had that sort of runsa little bit counter, I guess, the buzz that one would expect based on the amount of noise about Agile – theactual statistics that came back from the study actually indicated that pure Waterfall organizations, in factthere are more of those than there are actually pure Agile organizations. And we were not absolutely stunnedto find but we were shocked by how dominant blended methodologies had actually become. In addition, Leanmethodologies remain relatively constant except when you get to the larger size organization. And so there’sa lot of information and we broke it down actually in the white paper you were mentioning earlier – breaking itout by methodology and size of company. And it’s really interesting to see the evolution of thesemethodologies because going forward in our next study, now that we’ve established the base line, we’ll beable to track how the adoption of these methodologies continues to evolve.So I point to those two, but to be honest, there’s probably ten or more really salient points that you can’t findanywhere else that sort of emerged out of the study that are rather eye opening.CindyOne of the things that is exciting to me in terms of who you invited to participate, in all of those different titles,I’m calling those people “product professionals” and I’m seeing that as organizations are becoming more andmore flat, that the title of the person is less important than what their focus is or their interaction with theproduct at its various stages. When I talk to various people from program managers to brand managers,they’re managing the product to a certain extent…GregYeah, would you like me to add on to that, Cindy?CindyPlease! _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 6
  7. 7. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrGregWell, first of all, we share your view of this - in fact my view of this is while – and I may be biased because Icome out of the product management profession and have been a nearly lifelong product managementprofessional. I’ve done a stint in marketing and in sales before getting into product management and businessdevelopment. Most of my career has actually been in product management so I admit my bias upfront. But,from my vantage point, I agree. What our organization actually believes is that product managers are reallythe leaders because they’re the only ones that actually stay with the product throughout the entire productmanagement lifecycle from conception to its ultimate retirement. But the fact of the matter is, and in fact allour training courses from our organization are based on this concept, that product managers can’t succeedalone. You can be the most proficient product manager in the world, but if you don’t have the support of yourteam behind you, you’re never going to be able to deliver the results that the organization and your customersexpect. So we very much hear your vantage point, Cindy, about the importance of the entire product team.And in today’s environment, as you know, product managers generally, for the most part, drive the majority oftheir results through influence and through shared organizational goals and objectives.So product managers are one of, I would say, a series of leaders that are equal. I would also call out theprogram or project manager as sort of being the vertical leadership aspect and product management beingthe horizontal leadership aspect of how product teams should jell and the types of leadership that’s requiredfor successful teams. But one of the study’s findings was that a shared sense of ownership that was organicto the team – was not imposed from the outside – is critical obviously for the successful release of products.And the more that that can be cultivated within the team itself, the higher likelihood that you’ll have that yourproducts will succeed in market and be more successful in terms of however the organization chooses tomanage performance. So I’m a big believer in what it is that you’re saying – we’ve seen this hold true with ourcustomers and clients and its been my experience also when I was practicing as a 3 time VP of ProductManagement – this is a very important dimension of successful product teams.CindyI think you’re saying, it takes a village to birth a product.GregI would agree with that entirely – and they all need to be singing off the same sheet of music.CindyYes. How did you extrapolate this information? What methodology did you use for those five factors to beshowcased?GregThat’s a great question. I wish I had our professional statistician on the call to specifically answer how theregression analysis was conducted. I’m not a statistician and I can’t pretend to be so let me at least give youmy layman’s view of how this was conducted:What happened was, after we had gotten the 1150 responses we met with the statistical analysisorganization, with their lead statistician and handed over the database to them. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 7
  8. 8. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrWe said, “Hey, here’s our going in assumptions in terms of what it is that we’d like to see come out of this.Now, you may find something different in the data as you conduct regression analysis, but here’s what ourthoughts are based on our experience.” And after a 45 minute meeting, basically where we laid out what wethought we’d find in the data, because we came in prepared with our top five theories, the statistician wentaway with the database and our hypotheses and came back about 3 weeks later.He said, “Hey you know guys, I can give you what it is that you’re looking for, but in fact what we foundthrough the regression analysis is more powerful than what it is that you were actually looking for. How doesthis sound?” And then they walked us through the regression analysis and the five factors and the way thatthey were weighted, all the analysis that had been conducted to support that.They said, “We would recommend that you focus on this theme for the white paper. Obviously, we can talkabout these other things if they’re important…” But quite frankly, the white paper ended up being about 20pages and there was so much data that we couldn’t actually fit it all into the white paper, so I’ve been doingsome of the roll over information in blog posts or in webinars and in a variety of other formats because there’smore interesting information than we could contain in the white paper. So what we basically ended up doingwas relying heavily on our third party statistician who had been a Chief Research Officer for a majororganization and took his recommendation to focus in on the five factors which has become the core of thewhite paper.CindyIn terms of going back to the people that participated, did you find that there’s groups that you would like togenerate higher levels of participation in next year’s study, now that this will be an annual endeavor?GregCindy, that is the best question you’ve asked me so far! And the reason why is, the answer is, YES!If there are any user design professionals that are listening, we’d really love to get you more actively engaged.We only had about 1% of the responses come back from the user design community. In large part, if you thinkabout it, its because our sponsors were primarily in the product, program, project, business analysiscommunities and we had very robust participation from those groups. In fact approximately 25% came backfrom the product management community, 26% came back from the project management community, about16% came back from program managers, and I don’t remember the exact percentage, but I think it wassomething like either 12 or 14% from business analysts – and then there was a smattering of I think 4% fromproduct owners, and the rest from sort of mixed with the other focus areas.But we really believe that the product design group in particular is going to be a group that we’re going tofocus on for next year, and we didn’t have the support of a design association to help drive participation to thelevels that we think would be valuable. Next year, we’re going to make a real heavy effort to try to encouragemore participation from that community in particular. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 8
  9. 9. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrWe’d also like to see more involvement from engineering groups. We had more engineering support under the“other” category than is actually reflected when you look at the engineering bar in and of itself because manyof the people that fell into the engineering world actually viewed their role as different than a true engineer inthe purest sense of the word – so they rolled themselves up into the “other” category.And brand managers were also relatively low and we’d like to get more involvement from the brandmanagement community as well. But our primary target for next year, the goal that I’ve set for us, is to reallyget more active engagement from the user design community.CindyGreat, because we’ve had several speakers on the Global Product Management Talk who were UX peopleand from their perspective, they see themselves as the product managers, and certainly in small startups, theUX people will be incorporating design thinking from the beginning of the development, but then they aretasked with everything else that we would think of as product management just from a resource point of view.And that’s something that I’ve been seeing converging especially in light of some recent blog postings about“Do we need product management?” because they think that UX is doing product management. Sitting in theirshoes, it does look like they’re doing product management but from a traditional product management point ofview, we see everything else that needs to be added to contribute to the success of that product.GregI would agree with you, Cindy. As you say, in startup organizations in particular, its not unusual to see designprofessionals actually taking on more responsibility than they might otherwise in a more mature organization.But its rarer in my experience, anyway, that user design professionals actually stay with the product all theway from conception to retirement, which I view as the primary responsibility of a product manager in terms ofoptimizing results and not only creating, but maintaining, the optimal balance of value throughout theproduct’s entire life. So based on that definition, I really don’t see user design folks going the full distancealthough they play a critical role in many organizations particularly in creating the initial products for anorganization. In fact, in many of the organizations where I was a VP of product management, we used tocouple a very strategic product manager with a user design person in terms of building out particularly new,disruptive, innovative products – we found that to be the optimal paring. So, I think, both functions have theirspecific value, but working together they create more value than either party could create alone and that’swhat I’d like to see more of.CindyTo complete the theme, I’m told by UX people, young people in startups here in San Francisco, the UX peoplehave had a rigorous education around UX issues and around product development and they don’t see thatthere’s an equal availability of rigorous product management educational opportunities at the university levelanyway. And so that’s something that’s frustrating for me but also is an opportunity because as I meet moreand more product management thought leaders and thought leaders in this arena, I see that there’s all kindsof educational opportunities available for product management but again not reaching UX people, notreaching other people who don’t think of themselves under the product management umbrella. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 9
  10. 10. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrGregYeah, I think you’re pointing to something that I know to be true. I’ve done a little bit of research on this andwhat I’ve basically found is that to my knowledge anyways, there’s only 3 undergraduate programs, orcolleges that teach undergraduates the principles of product management. One of them is DePaul Universitywhere I teach a course on High Tech Product Management for their College of Computing and Digital Media.There are 2 others on the East Coast, although I don’t know the names of the specific colleges off the top ofmy head. In fact I was informed by someone in the AIPMM about the other 2 programs. I believe there’s onlypossibly 3 programs that are actually in place at the undergraduate level for training emerging productmanagers regardless of whether they’re coming out of, let’s say, focusing on the user design space or anyother of the various adjourning professions that generally create newly minted product managers – so that is achallenge.Shifting gears just briefly for a second from the study, I believe that part of the problem that we have is – if youlook across at the other professions, particularly the project management profession where PMI has createdtheir PMBok, or the BA (business analysis) community where they have BABok, or any of the other oneswhere they put their cornerstone, their BOK (Body of Knowledge) in place that defines the boundaries of theprofession, it’s a lot easier for academic institutions to then adopt a standard, an industry standard, thatbecomes a text book for training emergent product managers. But even though we’ve been around, I wouldargue for around 70 years, the product management profession has yet to actually lay down its cornerstone,and as you alluded to earlier, AIPMM has engaged me as editor-in-chief to help ensure that we do lay thiscornerstone down. I’m confident that in the very near future, we’ll be able to help facilitate academic learningby putting a consensus standard, for lack of a better term, in place that will help guide academic training forfuture product managers.CindyI didn’t want to take the focus off of the study, but for me, this is all part and parcel of the importance of thestudy and the direction that its pointing to for product teams – the Global Product Management Talk isproviding the vehicle for debate around these things also.GregWell, what I would say is I’m not so sure we necessarily strayed too far off topic because these things are allconnected. The more that we can understand the vantages of our various partners in terms of creating valueand sustaining it for organizations whether its understanding the perspectives of the other parties or makingsure we’ll the best product managers that we can be and that we as an industry are creating better productmanagers because we’re now enabling academic training before they step out and are forced to learn by trialand error which is how most, or by trial by fire might be a better term, how most product managers learntoday. So these things aren’t completely divergent – there is a connection between both pieces.CindyYou asked 26 questions in the survey, and of those 26 questions – which is quite involved – that was acommitment required of the respondents to have taken at least 45 minutes to respond, because I’m assumingthat they were also thought provoking questions that weren’t a Yes, No, True, False, answer. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 10
  11. 11. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrGregThat’s true. So let me back up a little bit, because we’d obviously like your audience to help support nextyear’s study as well. We’d be happy with having a couple thousand responses next year. Let me just brieflyoverview the amount of time that was required and the types of questions in terms of format that we asked ourrespondents.So there were 26 questions; 22 were closed ended and 4 were open ended where we asked things such askey things that differentiate your successful product initiatives from those that have failed or struggled – thatwas one of the open ended questions. So that was an example of the type of open ended questions that wegot and then we basically were able to derive from the statistical sample about ten themes that emerged fromconcentrations if you will, in terms of responses. We got some fantastic verbatims that people had produced.Some of them actually made me laugh when I was reading them. The study was anonymous and peoplereally took that to heart. We didn’t collect any email information, no identifying information whatsoever. So theresponses were exceptionally candid. At some point I’m going to do a bloopers list from some of theresponses because they were so humorous, I think other people will enjoy them as well.So there were 26 questions in all; 22 were closed ended, 4 were open ended and the amount of time,because we were able to track this through the survey tool, that it took was on average about 22 minutes tocomplete the study. I suspect the reason for that is largely that we had so many closed ended questionswhere they could select from a range of options as opposed to having to go free form that it allowed them toget through the study more quickly than you might have thought, Cindy.CindySo which areas of the study generate the most dialogue in your presenting – because I understand that you’realmost on a tour of presenting the findings to a wide audience.GregThat’s a fair point. Between webinars and actually road show like presentations, I’ve been quite busy. Wewere at the Orange County Product Managers Association two weeks ago, I was at the Chicago ProductManagement Association last week. We’ve got 6 webinars lined up - overview of the study’s findings. We’vebeen quite busy – there’s a lot of interest.In terms of the areas that are the most compelling in terms of the live discussion – the two areas that reallystand out are around the methodologies. For example, when we ask the question about “which productdevelopment methodologies were the most prevalent” – this generates almost 30 minutes worth of questionand answer every single time that we do this. Its because, as I alluded to earlier, I think a misconceptionabout how deeply penetrated Agile, pure Agile, actually is. If you listen to industry social networking ormarketing materials – things along those lines, you walk away with the perspective that pure Agile is actuallythe dominant methodology that’s in play out there. When in fact that’s not the case – or at least as far as thestudy’s findings came back. With blended methodologies, meaning that organizations are attempting tocombine Waterfall and some variant of Agile within the context of the organization. What’s interesting is when _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 11
  12. 12. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9Yryou really dig under this data, and look at this grid that I was alluding to that’s in the white paper or in any ofthe presentations – many of the presentations that we do – what you basically see is that blendedmethodologies remain constant almost across all sizes of organization from less than 50mil to 499mil up to2bil or across 2bil – the number is statistically the same basically. This generates a lot of conversationbecause while I think that many people probably instinctively sense that this is the case – that organizationshaven’t either been able to successfully make a clean cut to Agile because of all the things that are required interms of retraining the organization or displacing existing methodologies or perhaps that Agile might not bethe right methodology as you get bigger for very complex enterprise wide projects and it might be moredifficult to be able to go fully Agile with those types of scenarios.So the other thing that actually generates a lot of interest is the fact that Waterfall, even though its sort ofbecome a dirty word, and I don’t mean that in a bad way, but its like product managers or productmanagement professionals almost don’t want to own up to the fact nowadays that their organizations are purewaterfall because its got this old school connotation. But the fact of the matter is that there really are moreorganizations today that actually are practicing pure waterfall than pure Agile based on the survey responses.So you can imagine the types of conversations that take place as people try to understand the dynamics thatunderly this data. One of the exercises that I do, when I do this live, is to ask for a show of hands from theparticipants based on methodology. Almost every single time – there’s only been one slight variation wherewe were off by about 4 or 5 people where they wouldn’t own up to being Waterfall or they weren’t Waterfall –the numbers tie out almost exactly. I’ve used this as a gut check because I’ve had one person challenge this– they had asked for a show of hand from the audience and thankfully it tied out almost exactly.That’s been the number one discussion point – it takes about 30 minutes generally to answer all the questionsthat emerge just from those 2 pieces of information – the bar chart that basically shows the demographics ofhow people responded and my attempt at statistical analysis underneath it where I put this into a grid andthen broke it out by size of company and methodology which is really fascinating to actually see and will formthe baseline for the future.And then the second area where we get into a lot of discussion is the five factors themselves becauseorganizations and the people that I’ve been talking to innately ask themselves,“Where are we on this continuum as an organization? How many of these factors are we truly doingeffectively? What kinds of things can we do or are there ones that we should target specifically that wouldhelp us reach higher levels of performance?”Let me back out for a second on this. One of the other findings from the study was that only 12% oforganizations self reported that they were indeed operating at a high level in terms of high performance. 88%of organizations acknowledged that there was either room for improvement or that they were missing morethan they were hitting or performing less than optimally. So there’s a lot of room for improvement based onthe respondents’ responses and these 5 factors are another one that kicks up a lot of sand and as people tryto understand what they are and how they can more effectively implement them. Sorry to be a bit longwinded, but those are the two areas that generate the most conversation. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 12
  13. 13. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrCindyI can understand whenever you’re talking about Agile or Waterfall, I think that we could spend a whole hourtalking about those findings and perhaps we should schedule another time to just go deep in that regard. Butwhile we’re still talking generally, can you share - maybe just highlight, what those 5 key findings are – you’realluding to them, but I’m not sure that you’ve identified them, and perhaps you don’t want to identify them. Iknow that you have a webinar coming up on June 29 with the AIPMM where I assume you’ll go into depth –since there’ll be the visual component where you can identify those key findings. But could you please give usa taste of what they are.GregSure, so on the webinar that we’ll be doing, by the way, we’ll be doing more of a cross functional discussionwith some of the other white paper authors on the subject matter so it will be more of a cross functional viewthan really the snippets that I will give you in our conversation today. So it will be more of an in depthconversation just so the audience has a reason to come visit us the next time around.In terms of the five factors, the first factor that we found that drove high performance and was common acrossthese product teams, was unwavering executive team support. And I just want to point your attention to theword “team” because what its really alluding to is broader engagement, if you will, from the executives, ratherthan sort of management by crisis or having an individual stakeholder. I will draw the line at factor one at thatlevel but really active engagement from the executive team or members of the executive team, not just asingle stakeholder was the first statistically relevant factor.The second one was strong product team alignment. This has to do with the tighter the alignment the productteam has with the company’s overall business goals and objectives, the more likely the product team is to besuccessful. And what we basically found is there are significant gaps in terms of the tools being used by themajority of product teams particularly at the strategic level that don’t enable the optimal alignment that shouldoccur within product teams and product management organizations that back up to the company’s businessgoals and objectives. The tighter that alignment and the deployment of those tools- that they’re in place helpsinsure tighter alignment - the more likely the product team is to be high performing and to succeed.The third factor…CindyCan I just interrupt you for a second – so, could you give me a summary of that second factor because thereseems to be several aspects to it.GregSure, the core finding is high performance teams insure alignment with the company’s business strategy. But,for example, the majority of organizations today tend to rely on tactical product roadmaps – that was thenumber one response from all our respondents in terms of tools that are being used to insure appropriatealignment with the company’s overall business goals and objectives. But the word “tactical” sort of stands out.So there is a whole strategic set of tools that is actually missing that lie between the company’s businessgoals and objectives and the tactical product roadmap. For example, I’ll name one of them – it could be _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 13
  14. 14. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9Yrportfolio management of products, or it could be multi-year product strategy, for another. So these types oftools have very low adoption rates by the majority of organizations. In fact, I would argue that there’s astrategic void that’s missing between the company’s goals and objectives and the way that teams areattempting to align themselves towards those goals – they’re doing it at a tactical level and not a strategiclevel. And there’s a big hole in the middle that actually, we would argue, should be filled by other strategictools that would help provide better guidelines, if you will, for the team over longer periods of time to ensurethat they’re not only linked back up to the strategic goals and initiatives but are able to look more into thefuture and less on the 6 or 12 month timeframe.So there’s a heavy reliance on tactical activities by the majority of teams today and they’re either notdeploying consciously or don’t understand the importance of the other strategic tools that could add significantalignment value and ensure their success.CindyThat is yet another huge topic area just to not only to identify those tools but you’re pointing to things that areoutside what I think product teams might think are within their jurisdiction.GregThat’s true – but if you think about it this way –if, for example, let’s say that you’re an organization thatactually has a multi-year product strategy, right, and your roadmap should be moving concurrently as youmove through, let’s say, your 3 year strategic plan, so wouldn’t it be helpful for the product team to understandthe context by which the product is actually being guided so that they can make better decisions not only atthe tactical level in the 6-12 month time frame, but over larger time frames, they actually have the context tounderstand what the product team is trying to achieve over the longer term. If you understand that, you aremore likely to be able to make informed decisions both around resources, people, deployment of the right skillsets to insure that you are more efficiently using the resources of the organization in ways that are alignedwith the overall company’s business goals and objectives. Because the strategy should link to that and thencascade down into your roadmaps. It’s almost like teams are acting without the necessary context in certaininstances to be able to understand how to make the best decisions which we would argue that having alonger term view, even if it’s an adaptable one page slide, as opposed to a 20 page planning document – wefind that being able to put something like that in place to guide the team’s decisions adds a lot of value andalso reinforces the linkage back up to what the organization’s attempting to achieve and it becomes moreapparent to everybody involved what the linkage is.In terms of factor 3, the third factor was post product development focus and this really is all about thetransition of a product from development into market launch and on-going operational support. Basically,because we’re running short on time, I’ll just give a brief snippet. What it basically means is that somebodyneeds to bring singular focus to these activities and often there isn’t one person that’s held accountable fordriving this in many organizations. And in fact, the survey basically pointed to program managers as the partyprimarily responsible for doing that – but as we’re talk about on the webinar – not all organizations have themand we’ll suggest alternative methods for managing that effectively. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 14
  15. 15. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrThe fourth factor is assigning core team members. While many organizations, 42% basically report they do agood job of assigning core team members based on the skills needed – the reality is 67% of respondentsreport that projects would be more successful and more profitable if the team was left together after a productcomes through development and goes into launch meaning they either stay with the product over its entire lifecycle, which is rare, or they stay through launch to ensure its success.And the final factor was onboarding product team members. In fact, what we found was 50% of respondentssaid only the product manager or the product owner are the only parties that stay on with the productthroughout its entire product lifecycle, but high performance teams take a more proactive approach toonboarding new team members and put a systemic approach in place for both documentation and domainknowledge transfer. So in fact, those are the five factors, Cindy.CindyI want to thank you Greg for joining us today.GregIt’s been a pleasure.Cindy I didn’t realize how deep the study goes and how far reaching the findings are. It’s far more than just how toincrease the effectiveness of the product manager. The findings go across the entire organization which is soimportant because from a product marketing point of view and a strategic point of view, you certainly haveuncovered data that points to the importance of thinking across the full product lifecycle.GregI’d be honored to come back and contribute in any way that I can, Cindy.CindyThank you! Thank you so much. Again I want to invite the audience to join us on June 29 where Greg willdiscuss with other people the Five Factors that Drive High Performance Product Teams.You can find that webinar by going to the AIPMM website: http://www.aipmm.com  read tweets from the webinar http://bit.ly/LVWqPS  review background articles http://bit.ly/MRtBWL  For Advanced Access To The Groundbreaking Findings Of The 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance: http://bit.ly/M0kPBF  Kindle ebook version: http://amzn.to/KYFYAFI want to thank the AIPMM for sponsoring us today and invite you to join us next week when we’ll be talkingwith Rob La Gesse @Kr8tr. He’s the Chief Disruption Officer at Rackspace. He’ll be talking about “The Valueof Fanatical Support™” Background links: http://bit.ly/LgC2Gx _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 15
  16. 16. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrI suggest that that’s yet another piece to add to the studies going forward of how important customer supportis to the product team performance and expanding what my definition is of the product professional. Actually,Rob has the engineers do customer support which will be very interesting. Listen here: http://bit.ly/LSDZvxFor further discussion, please view the website at http://www.prodmgmttalk.com to see upcoming speakersand to see when Greg will be joining us again to go deeper into these five factors and other findings of thereport. As well, you can get the white paper that goes into depth right now, by going tohttp://www.actuationconsultingllc.com/buy You can download the Study of Product Team Performance 2012today!Thank you again, Greg, for joining us. Please follow us at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/prodmgmttalk Thispodcast will be posted and more information will be available about everything that we’ve mentioned and linksas well as Greg’s book, Take Charge Product Management: Take Charge of Your Product ManagementDevelopment; Tips, Tactics, and Tools to Increase Your Effectiveness as a Product ManagerAlso, I forgot to mention that this past weekend in Boston was Product Camp Boston – you can see contentfrom that product camp and other product camps by going to Storify.com/prodmgmttalk  #PCampBoston content #Storify bit.ly/KpqYpM  Slideview bit.ly/MWjXE5The Global Product Management Talk covers product events and makes them available – curates the contentto make them available to busy product professionals who don’t have time or aren’t able to get to theseevents in person. We make the content available for you to consume in whatever is convenient for you.Thank you again, Greg Geracie, President of Actuation Consulting, and I look forward to continuing theconversation with you.GregThanks so much Cindy.CindyThis is Cindy F. Solomon signing off with the Global Product Management Talk. Please visit our sponsor athttp://www.aipmm.com and follow us at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/prodmgmttalkHave a great week! _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 16
  17. 17. Transcript from June 11, 2012: Global Product Management Talk Greg Geracie, President, Actuation Consulting, & Author 2012 Study Of Product Team Performance Results MAIL: http://bit.ly/ouZN8J FB:http://on.fb.me/ncKUD8 Site: http://bit.ly/dESAcb Hear: http://bit.ly/nbw9YrRecent Global Product Management Talks:June 18 The Value of Fanatical Support™ w/ Rob LaGesse @Kr8tr Chief Disruption Officer @RackspaceListen now: http://bit.ly/LSDZvxJune 25 Discussing Two Recent Books About Business Models w/ Therese Padilla, President @AIPMMListen now: http://bit.ly/NRaux3StartUP Talk Radio Jesper Thomsen of Roozz.com Named 2nd Most Innovative Startup on the PlanetDiscusses How Roozz Implements A Radical Business Model For Changing The Way Software Is ConsumedAnd Used Listen now: http://bit.ly/LK1Xe1Coming Up:July 16: Centralized vs. Decentralized Product Management w/ @HakanKilic Product Management ExpertRSVP: http://bit.ly/Lrh4o0 Resources: http://bit.ly/KKIJW3 Global Product Management TalkTM is a weekly mini-product camp Socraticdiscussion of pre-posted questions with live audio of thought leader and co-hostscommenting. Converse with us #prodmgmttalk http://bit.ly/i4EihK Follow Us on BlogTalkRadio http://bit.ly/nbw9Yr Like Us on Facebook http://on.fb.me/lR0RNP Join Us on LinkedIn http://linkd.in/jRmwRx Speaker Schedule http://t.co/R3OL7BDj Listen on iTunes http://bit.ly/silH98 Android App http://bit.ly/tEeWFx Newsletter http://t.co/IVVFirUe Recaps http://bit.ly/slnpP2 Blog http://bit.ly/eOFmB6 Reach a global audience http://t.co/XTteZ8AW Follow for Reminders! http://bit.ly/nbw9Yr Crowdsourced content of live product, tech, startup & SF events http://bit.ly/JQoUpTFor Product Managers that don’t get a chance to leave their desk and participate in ProductTalks in person, we’ve brought Product Talks to you via podcast and twitter #ProdMgmtTalk _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Please visit our sponsor The Association of International Product Marketing & Management http://www.aipmm.com Sponsor us http://bit.ly/gF0Tt3 Thank you. @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk http://www.prodmgmttalk.com/ 17

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