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Agile205: Intro to Agile Product Management

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Product owner is a critical role for agile/scrum teams, as a key stakeholder and representative of users, customers or markets. Commercial software companies have a broader role -- product manager -- responsible for identifying market needs/opportunities, making product-level decisions about offerings/benefits/pricing/packaging/channels/financial goals, and managing sales/customer relationships on behalf of executives. Since products often span multiple scrum teams, some products have a mix of product owners and product managers. We'll introduce product owners, map that against software product managers, and talk through approaches to meet all of the product needs for a market-successful product.

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Agile205: Intro to Agile Product Management

  1. 1. Intro to Agile Product Management Rich Mironov 5 August 2015 ©  Rich  Mironov,  2015   w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 1
  2. 2. •  Veteran  product  manager/so<ware  exec   •  “What  do  customers  want?”   •  Business  models,  pricing,  agile/lean   •  Organizing  product  organizaCons   •  6  startups,  including  as  CEO/founder   •  “The  Art  of  Product  Management”     •  First  agile  product  manager/owner  tracks   About Rich Mironov w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 2
  3. 3. •  What’s a Product Manager? Product Owner? •  Scope and Failure Modes •  Starter Organizational Models Agenda w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 3
  4. 4. •  Commercial software companies •  Responsible for technical delivery AND revenue results •  Scaled-up agile organizations •  At product / portfolio / strategy levels Usually a formal position Focus on jobs-to-be-done and skills, not titles Where Do We Find Agile Product Managers? 4w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  5. 5. Scrum Teams 5ScrumTeam.jpg (from Exploring Scrum- the Fundamentals, by Dan Rawsthorne & Doug Shimp)
  6. 6. •  Usually one PO per team, not one PO per product •  Provides intense sprint-level focus: stories, backlog, prioritization, acceptance •  Represents the customer’s interest in backlog prioritization and requirements questions... available to the team at any time •  Balances interests of competing stakeholders •  Feeds the hungry agile beast What Does a Product Owner Do? 6w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  7. 7. Steam engine “firemen” need to shovel coal constantly, otherwise the train will stop Feeding the Agile Beast w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 7
  8. 8. Product   Backlog     Epics  &     User  Stories   Release   Backlog     Epics  &     User  Stories   Sprint   Backlog     User  Stories   Poten5ally   releasable     so8ware   So8ware   release   Accepted   story   (“DONE”)   Review   Demo,   feedback   Retrospec-ve   Process     improvement   1  day   Daily   Standup   Sprint:  1  to  3  weeks   No  changes  in  dura5on  or  goal     Release     planning   Sprint   planning   Charter   Release   Retrospec-ve   Process     improvement   N  sprints   Agile/Scrum: Product Owner Focus w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 8 product owner focus
  9. 9. •  Drives delivery and market acceptance of whole products •  Targets market segments, not individual customers •  “What does this segment need/what will it pay for?” •  Technical features, acceptance and adoption •  Resolves inevitable competing priorities •  Motivates/aligns functional groups beyond development (marketing, sales, support, partners, finance…) What Does a Product Manager Do? w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 9
  10. 10. w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 10
  11. 11. •  By definition, commercial software has many customers •  Profitability is completely about scale •  2nd copy of identical software costs $0 to build •  Customers rarely compute value/ROI for us •  We propose value to prospects during sales process •  “If you use our ergonomic standing desks, your staff will be 15% healthier and 10% more productive” •  We segment markets for similar customers •  Exclude those who want very different solutions •  Exclude those who don’t accept our proposed value Product Managers Define Value for Specific Target Segments 11w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  12. 12. Conversations, market information, priorities, requirements, roadmaps, epics, user stories, backlogs, personas… product bits strategy, forecasts, commitments, roadmaps, competitive intelligence budgets, staff, targets Field input, Market feedback Segmentation, messages, benefits/features, pricing, qualification, demos… Markets & CustomersDevelopment Marketing & Sales Executives Product Management What Does a Product Manager Do? w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 12
  13. 13. •  ACTIVITY and OUTPUT (what people see) •  Write epics/stories, meet customers, cajole, pitch prospects, call meetings, accept epics/stories, praise teams, distract Sales, present roadmaps, catch arrows •  OUTCOME (where we earn our salaries): •  Make technical/market trade-offs for revenue and adoption •  Deflect interruptions •  Turn away poor deals, customers and partners •  Think about this quarter and next year; revenue and architecture What Does a Product Manager Do? w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 13
  14. 14. •  Logic and facts are not sufficient •  Engineering demand >> supply •  Sales teams paid to close individual deals •  HIPPO •  Responsibility without authority •  Where strategy meets implementation Product Management: Inherently Political w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 14
  15. 15. •  Business value error bars > engineering error bars •  Blending of •  Promises of future revenue •  Promises of future operational savings •  Promises of future development efficiencies (tech debt) •  Quality forced onto a linear scale •  Simplistic models of buyer behavior •  Gaming, logrolling Allocating our scarcest, most valuable resource Someone (some team) must force-rank programs Business Value: Slightly Estimatable 15w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  16. 16. Hypothesis: •  Epic/project business value estimates are +/- 70% •  1 in 10 will deliver zero value How would that change your portfolio planning? Your interactions with stakeholders? Discussion/Exercise (5 Minutes) 16w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  17. 17. There’s nothing more wasteful than brilliantly engineering a product that doesn’t sell, or a project that doesn’t matter. w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 17
  18. 18. •  Pulls into product station every day •  From customers, sales, support, execs, engineers, analysts… •  Delivers hundreds of “good ideas” each day •  Few are new or earthshaking Good Idea Train w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 18
  19. 19. •  Emotional needs vs. commitment •  Japanese “hai” is alternative to “NO” •  "Thank you! That's a really interesting idea. Let me put it into the idea backlog. And let’s talk more about the root cause of the problem you have.” •  NEVER agree without Dev sizing Humbly Accepting Input w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 19
  20. 20. backlog, priorities, epics, user stories, personas, demo feedback product bits Markets & CustomersDevelopment Marketing & Sales Executives Product Owner ‘Small p’ Product Owner w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 20 showcase customers
  21. 21. •  Engineering output •  Product features •  Order of delivery •  Product/market/business model •  Pricing •  Competitive positioning •  Partners and Channels •  Services and Support •  Fit with corporate strategy •  Product split, merge or EOL Product Manager Has More Levers Product manager Product owner A@er:  Greg  Cohen   w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 21
  22. 22. Not what we intended, but… •  Most product management teams are already understaffed •  Product ownership adds 40-60% more critical work •  Urgency of stories, backlog grooming, sprint planning, standups, acceptance •  One person can “do it all” for a single agile team •  But typical Dev:PDM ratio is 25:1, not 10:1 Product Managers: Oversubscribed, Overcommitted, Burning Out w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 22
  23. 23. Not what we intended, but… •  Selection (hiring) focuses on SME/BA, technical skills, story writing •  Little appreciation for market-side experience •  Engineering’s belief in rational/technical customers •  Requirements are out there to be “gathered” •  No recognition of organizational blocking skills •  Short-term assignments or career path? Product Owners: Typically Under-Spec’d, Underpaid, Lacking Clout 23w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  24. 24. Product Manager Failure Modes Product Manager fails agile team(s) when… •  Part-timer, not engaged with team(s) •  Lack of detail on stories/handwaving •  Stale backlog •  Best of intentions, but pulled in too many directions
  25. 25. Product Owner Failure Modes Product Owner fails “the business” when… •  Weak on market realities: whole product, competitive dynamics, value error bars, benefits, pricing models •  Unable to hold back interrupt stream •  Confuses showcase customers with broad market
  26. 26. Commercial Product Failures w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 26 Product   Backlog     Epics  &     User  Stories   Release   Backlog     Epics  &     User  Stories   Sprint   Backlog     User  Stories   Poten5ally   releasable     so8ware   So8ware   release   Accepted   story   (“DONE”)   Review   Demo,   feedback   Retrospec-ve   Process     improvement   1  day   Daily   Standup   Sprint:  1  to  3  weeks   No  changes  in  dura5on  or  goal     Release     planning   Sprint   planning   Charter   Release   Retrospec-ve   Process     improvement   N   sprints   Most  product  failures     happen  here  
  27. 27. Shared PO/PDM Scope w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 27 Product   Backlog     Epics  &     User  Stories   Release   Backlog     Epics  &     User  Stories   Sprint   Backlog     User  Stories   Poten5ally   releasable     so8ware   So8ware   release   Accepted   story   (“DONE”)   Review   Demo,   feedback   Retrospec-ve   Process     improvement   1  day   Daily   Standup   Sprint:  1  to  3  weeks   No  changes  in  dura5on  or  goal     Release     planning   Sprint   planning   Charter   Release   Retrospec-ve   Process     improvement   N   sprints   product manager focus product owner focus
  28. 28. Minimal PDM/PO “Organization” w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 28 VP or Founders more technical more market-focused Heroic Single Product Manager/Owner + team “management”
  29. 29. Dysfunctional Product Organization w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 29 VP Eng Product Owners + team more technical more market-focused VP Marketing “management” Product Managers
  30. 30. PDM/PO Organizational Map: Product Peers w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 30 PDM Director/ Product Strategist GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO more technical more market-focused “management”
  31. 31. PDM/PO Organizational Map: Market Mentoring w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 31 GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO more technical more market-focused Product Owner + team Senior Product Manager “management”
  32. 32. •  Product management scope includes market success as well as technical delivery •  Agile stretches/stresses commercial product organizations •  Teaming, collaboration and skills more important than titles •  Find balance among collaboration, deflection, buffering, interrupts Agile Product Take-Aways 32w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  33. 33. CONTACT Rich Mironov, CEO Mironov Consulting 233 Franklin St, Suite #308 San Francisco, CA 94102 RichMironov   @RichMironov Rich@Mironov.com   +1-­‐650-­‐315-­‐7394  

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