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What Makes a
Great Product Manager?
Jen Handler (VMware) with:
Ken McDougall (Kessel Run)
Adrien Hensley (The Boeing Compa...
2
What brings you here?
● I want to learn more about Product Management
● I might want to be a Product Manager
● I am a Pr...
3
What we’ll cover today
● What is Product Management?
● What do Product Managers do?
● What are the qualities of great pr...
4
About us
Jen Handler
VMware
15+ years
Ken McDougall
Kessel Run
8 years
Adrien Hensley
The Boeing Company
9.5 years
Mike ...
5
What is Product Management?
What do Product Managers do?
Art credit: Bart Laugs, from Noun Project
6
Product Management is...
The practice of leading teams
to discover and deliver products
that create meaningful value
for...
7
Will it be useful, usable
and even desirable?
What’s the leanest way
to build it?
Will it be valuable for the
business?
...
8
Product Managers facilitate decision making
in service of shipping successful features
9
Will it be useful, usable
and even desirable?
What’s the leanest way
to build it?
Will it be valuable for the
business?
...
10
This means…
● Knowing the result/outcome you’re after
● Identifying good leading indicators
● Framing every feature as ...
11
“If I ran out of money today,
would there be value?”
Product Managers are ruthless prioritizers
Art credit: Pelin Kahra...
12
● Find the assumptions
● Attack the riskiest ones
● Experiment
● Learn
● Repeat
Product Managers love de-risking value
13
Product Managers keep work and outcomes tied
together
Vision
The WHAT and WHY
Strategy
HOW we will REALIZE the vision
R...
14
Orienting toward outcomes
Ruthless prioritization
De-risking product
Absorbing + adapting to change
Sustainable pace fo...
15
What are some qualities of
great product managers?
Art credit: myiconfinder, from Noun Projectc
16
People who are…
● Passionate about solving big problems
● Understand the value of outcomes over outputs
● Obsessed with...
17
People who are…
● Driven by ego
● Trepidatious about decision making with
imperfect information
● Passive
● Unable to i...
18
Where do great product
managers come from?
Art credit: myiconfinder, from Noun Project
19
Source: VMware
20
Source: Kessel Run
21
Source: LinkedIn (Jen’s network)
22
Three stories...
23
What do great product
managers need to deliver
their best?
Art credit: Andrei Yushchenko, from Noun Project
24
Connect with us (we love talking about this stuff)
Jen Handler
https://www.linkedin.com/in
/jenweisshandler/
Ken McDoug...
25
Questions?
(Join us after!)
Art credit: Birckhead Creative, from Noun Project
26
Thank you!
Art credit: Adrien Coquet, from Noun Project
Further reading
Here are some additional resources to learn more about Product
Management:
● Good Product Manager/Bad Prod...
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What Makes a Great Product Manager

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SpringOne 2020
What Makes a Great Product Manager

Michael Gresham, Sr. Product Manager at VMWare
Jennifer Handler, Services Strategy & Product Management Lead at VMware
Adrien Hensley, Agile Transformation Coach at The Boeing Company
Kenneth McDougall, Director of Product at Kessel Run

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What Makes a Great Product Manager

  1. 1. What Makes a Great Product Manager? Jen Handler (VMware) with: Ken McDougall (Kessel Run) Adrien Hensley (The Boeing Company) Mike Gresham (VMware)
  2. 2. 2 What brings you here? ● I want to learn more about Product Management ● I might want to be a Product Manager ● I am a Product Manager, and want to hear your perspective ● I think I might need a Product Manager ● I want to create an environment for Product Managers to succeed
  3. 3. 3 What we’ll cover today ● What is Product Management? ● What do Product Managers do? ● What are the qualities of great product managers? ● Where can you find them? ● How can you support them? ● Q&A
  4. 4. 4 About us Jen Handler VMware 15+ years Ken McDougall Kessel Run 8 years Adrien Hensley The Boeing Company 9.5 years Mike Gresham VMware 7 years
  5. 5. 5 What is Product Management? What do Product Managers do? Art credit: Bart Laugs, from Noun Project
  6. 6. 6 Product Management is... The practice of leading teams to discover and deliver products that create meaningful value for their users and company
  7. 7. 7 Will it be useful, usable and even desirable? What’s the leanest way to build it? Will it be valuable for the business? That’s a hot product! Product Managers think about this ALL THE TIME (Design)(Development)
  8. 8. 8 Product Managers facilitate decision making in service of shipping successful features
  9. 9. 9 Will it be useful, usable and even desirable? What’s the leanest way to build it? Will it be valuable for the business? That’s a hot product! Product Managers think about this ALL THE TIMEDiverse perspectives make this happen (Design)(Development)
  10. 10. 10 This means… ● Knowing the result/outcome you’re after ● Identifying good leading indicators ● Framing every feature as a new opportunity for value ● Shipping as early as value is available ● Measuring progress Product Managers try to get value for the business, ASAP
  11. 11. 11 “If I ran out of money today, would there be value?” Product Managers are ruthless prioritizers Art credit: Pelin Kahraman, from Noun Project
  12. 12. 12 ● Find the assumptions ● Attack the riskiest ones ● Experiment ● Learn ● Repeat Product Managers love de-risking value
  13. 13. 13 Product Managers keep work and outcomes tied together Vision The WHAT and WHY Strategy HOW we will REALIZE the vision Roadmap TIMELINE and TACTICS for how we intend to execute the strategy Backlog The DETAILS we need to create the product More changeLess change Art credits: (Vision) Nook Fulloption, (Strategy) Ibrandify, (Roadmap) Davo Sime, (Backlog) Sharon Showalter, from Noun Project
  14. 14. 14 Orienting toward outcomes Ruthless prioritization De-risking product Absorbing + adapting to change Sustainable pace for the team Awesome product +
  15. 15. 15 What are some qualities of great product managers? Art credit: myiconfinder, from Noun Projectc
  16. 16. 16 People who are… ● Passionate about solving big problems ● Understand the value of outcomes over outputs ● Obsessed with metrics + measurement, as well as learning + improvement ● Good decision makers, who are also good at making decisions easy for others ● Strong at motivating & engaging diverse teams ● Adaptable to change, and able to lead their team and stakeholders through it (Maybe known as change agents) ● Known networkers who invest in relationships ● Opinionated, but humble Things to look for... Art credit: Iconathon, US, from Noun Project
  17. 17. 17 People who are… ● Driven by ego ● Trepidatious about decision making with imperfect information ● Passive ● Unable to influence others ● Prone to hoarding and siloing information ● Prone to being a “hero” by working alone and working long hours to reach goals or save the day Some qualities that may be red flags Art credit:Cristiano Zucas, from Noun Project
  18. 18. 18 Where do great product managers come from? Art credit: myiconfinder, from Noun Project
  19. 19. 19 Source: VMware
  20. 20. 20 Source: Kessel Run
  21. 21. 21 Source: LinkedIn (Jen’s network)
  22. 22. 22 Three stories...
  23. 23. 23 What do great product managers need to deliver their best? Art credit: Andrei Yushchenko, from Noun Project
  24. 24. 24 Connect with us (we love talking about this stuff) Jen Handler https://www.linkedin.com/in /jenweisshandler/ Ken McDougall https://www.linkedin.com/in /kenmcdougall/ Lin Adrien Hensley https://www.linkedin.com/in /adrienhensley/ Mike Gresham http://linkedin.com/in /mikegresham/
  25. 25. 25 Questions? (Join us after!) Art credit: Birckhead Creative, from Noun Project
  26. 26. 26 Thank you! Art credit: Adrien Coquet, from Noun Project
  27. 27. Further reading Here are some additional resources to learn more about Product Management: ● Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager blog posts (original by Ben Horowitz, and more recent, by Hemal Shah) ● Mind the Product: Organization for product management ● Product Management posts from Product Managers @ VMware ● Outcomes over Output (Josh Seiden) ● The North Star Playbook (Amplitude) ● Products over Projects (Martin Fowler) ● The Future of Product Management and Balanced Team (Janice Fraser) ● Testing Business Ideas: A Field Guide for Rapid Experimentation (David J Bland, Alex Osterwalder)
  • fasoulas

    Nov. 7, 2020

SpringOne 2020 What Makes a Great Product Manager Michael Gresham, Sr. Product Manager at VMWare Jennifer Handler, Services Strategy & Product Management Lead at VMware Adrien Hensley, Agile Transformation Coach at The Boeing Company Kenneth McDougall, Director of Product at Kessel Run

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