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158 - Product Management for Enterprise-Grade platforms


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ProductCamp Boston is the world's largest and most exciting crowd-sourced one-day event for product people. It's organized by and for product managers, product marketers and entrepreneurs, so attendees get the most out of the day.

Attendees learn about and discuss topics in product management and product marketing, product discovery, product development & design, go-to-market, product strategy and lifecycle management, and product management 101, startups, and career development.

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158 - Product Management for Enterprise-Grade platforms

  1. 1. © 2017 Pegasystems, Inc. CONFIDENTIAL Product Management for Enterprise- grade Platforms Product Camp 2019 Chetan Chaudhari Senior Product Manager, Data Engine – Core platform Pegasystems
  2. 2. What we’ll discuss Where’s the PM’s place in the value chain? What and how you deliver value? What Stakeholders, customers, constituencies you serve? How you get requirements? And prioritize them into your roadmap? What kind of skills do you need to be successful? What kind of documentation do you need to deliver? Differences Product versus Platform Small B2C versus large company Focus is on back-end aspects of the platform, and not front-end
  3. 3. What is a platform? Platform is a software that provides basic building blocks that a product or application can use to provide a solution to end-users APIs, microservices, services, frameworks, components Products could be by the same company or 3rd party/ other companies Not considering networking platforms that simply bring together producers and consumers Product2 Product3Product1 End-user
  4. 4. What is a enterprise-grade? Software used by large companies/enterprises for attracting, signing up, engaging, retaining, supporting, and monetizing a customer. • Sales automation, marketing automation, CRM • Customer support, call center • Engaging customer, offering more services • Customer workflows, customer portals Every enterprise product/platform is B2B, but not other way round • Products that are used for businesses for internal operations are simply B2B • For example, collaboration software like Slack; recruiting software; office- productivity software like MS Office, gsuite; video-conferencing software like Webex, GoToMeeting (mostly) are B2B, but not enterprise products Large company
  5. 5. Your place in the value chain End-user PM End-user Product Platform Product2 Product3 Product4 Product5Product1 PM Platform Product Service1 Service2 Service3 Service4 Core1 Core2 Area1 Area2 Area3 Value Product PM is delivering value directly to the end-user Platform PM is delivering value to the end-user through a few layers
  6. 6. Stakeholders, customers, constituencies you serve End-user Product2 Product3 Product4 Product1 PM & developers You Platform Service1 Service2 Service3 Service4 Core1 Core2 Product5 PM & developers Requirements Platform PM is a few levels from the end-user. Immediate customers may be developers and PMs inside the platform. Customers include the developers and PMs of applications/solutions. More number of stakeholders!
  7. 7. Stakeholders, customers, constituencies: Enterprise platform Product1 PM & developers You Platform Service1 Service2 Service3 Service4 Core1 Core2 Requirements End-user Solution consultants System integrators Solution architects System architects Customer support L1 and L2 Cloud support Cloud Engineering Even more stakeholders!
  8. 8. Requirements: Sources Sources of requirements • End-user of any application or solution (any or multiple personas) • PM or developers of applications or solutions • PM or developers higher in the value chain End-user Product2 You Service2 Platform Sources for a requirement – enterprise platform • Solution architects, consultants, system architects may sub for end-user • System integrators – 3rd party IT vendors – partners • Employed by clients to implement a solution • Often more knowledgeable than client’s employees • Various flavors of customer support • Can have different sets of requirements Solutioning, integrators
  9. 9. Requirements: Use cases and stakeholders Use cases • Product P1 or service S1 may request a feature • But you need to consider use cases for P2, P3, etc. and S2, S3 etc. if the change impacts their work flows • So you have a lot more use cases to consider Stakeholders for a requirement • Need to listen to stakeholders for not just the originating use cases, but also for the impacted uses cases • You need substantially more time to finalize the requirements • Increases risk if you miss out on listening to any one
  10. 10. Roadmap: Requirements & Prioritization Internal customers • You can collaborate with them more easily as compared to external customers • The lower you’re in the value chain, the more internal customers you have How to prioritize • Who’s the most important stakeholder/customer you have • The immediately higher internal team/PM/developers ? • End-user ? • Where is it to create biggest impact? • Deliver a feature used by most products but less end-users? • Deliver a feature used by most end-user but less products?
  11. 11. Requirements: Enterprise platform implications Large company issues • There are a lot of teams.. • You may need to collaborate with stakeholders in many teams in divisions you don’t even know exist • Team/organization structure keeps changing • Your boss/his boss may not point you easily to stakeholders you need to connect • You’ve to find corporate tools/ knowledge management tools • to navigate the complex hierarchy • find out team structures • Figure out areas of expertise, prior work of teams • You may need multiple tools to synthesize information
  12. 12. Solutioning and Delivery Timeline Implications of being away from the end-user • When a feature needs to be delivered, every one else may be dependent on you • Your changes would flows up to the end-user • So you need to deliver fast and unblock others • Pressure is high on the team to deliver • There may be bigger time lag between you delivering a feature and it getting used by end-users • Less so in some cases Large company Implications • You need to investigate more to find out if similar functionality or reusable functionality exists somewhere • People around you, even long timers, may know only part of the platform Enterprise implications • You need to see if solutioning teams have any workaround created that you can leverage or learn from
  13. 13. What do you deliver Basic building blocks for products, applications and solutions • APIs • REST, SOAP etc. • Parameters, return values • Microservices • “Do one thing and do it well” • Perform a specific task like authentication • Each microservice has it’s own datastore • Provide a few APIs
  14. 14. What do you deliver: Microservices
  15. 15. What do you deliver: Frameworks and services Framework or services • An elaborate functionality • Provides configuration/set up • Initialization • Run time APIs • Example: Search service • Configuration of the indexer • Bulk indexing at the start • Incremental indexing • Search API
  16. 16. What do you deliver: NFRs Non-functional requirements become important deliverables • Performance • You can’t rely on your cloud provider to throw more compute power • You have to improve the performance of APIs with the same compute power • Scalability • Performance of APIs should scale up as you add more nodes • Remove any bottlenecks/ contentions • Reliability • Nodes in a cluster may crash, but service shouldn’t suffer • Rolling upgrades • Zero downtime upgrades
  17. 17. Testing and Documentation Testing • You need to collaborate with testing teams of all impacted teams – internal and external • Testing gets staggered, important to keep following and not let it go out of your sight • You can’t declare your epic done, until one or two layers up have tested successfully Documentation • Apart from release notes and descriptions of features, you need to write technical notes for developers • Updates required on developer forums • Documentation needs to be written at different levels of details for different constituencies • High level documentation for business audience • Low level documentation for developers, provide links from high-level to lower level documentation
  18. 18. What do you deliver: Your focus What are you always thinking of? • In a B2C or front-end PM role, your focus is end-users workflows • In the platform PM role, you’re always thinking of • Sequence diagrams / flow of code • Where does the required API fit into this flow of code • Which flows of code would a change in an API impact and how
  19. 19. Skills required to make you successful Focus on code, developers, and NFRs means.. • Software development experience is really important • Easier for a PM with such an experience to understand workings and architecture of the platform • Easier to understand requirements and collaborate with developers • A very technical mind • Ability to go deep • Passion for software development
  20. 20. Thank you!