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Organizational Challenge of Enterprise Roadmapping

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At INDUSTRY EUROPE conference (Dublin, April 2019): Especially at enterprise software companies, there are some inherent mis-alignments among internal stakeholders that can complicate our product planning. This talk was an occasionally humorous look at the systemic conflicts between single-account-focused sales teams, market-focused product managers, and executives. How do we respect and understand each other when we may have very different objectives?

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Organizational Challenge of Enterprise Roadmapping

  1. 1. @RichMironov @ProdCollective The Organizational Challenge of Enterprise Roadmapping Rich Mironov INDUSTRY Dublin 16 April 2019
  2. 2. @RichMironov @ProdCollective 1. Conflicts about prioritization are inevitable 2. Algorithms are good, but insufficient 3. Differences driven by incentives, organizations, sampling bias Enterprise Roadmapping Patterns
  3. 3. @RichMironov @ProdCollective Development Costs, Customer Revenue Goal is not to minimize costs but to maximize revenue • Your development team of 6-9 costs… • Implied revenue commitment… • Incremental cost per user/unit… €1M/year € 6M/year < 3% @RichMironov @ProdCollective
  4. 4. @RichMironov @ProdCollective In the software business, all of the profits are in the nth copy, subscriber, unit or transaction @RichMironov @ProdCollective
  5. 5. @RichMironov @ProdCollective • Arrives every day with hundreds of good ideas • From customers, sales, support, execs, engineers, analysts… • Universalized from single instances • “Everyone needs…” Good Idea Train
  6. 6. @RichMironov @ProdCollective Customer Support/Tech Support Current users with high-irritation bugs Customer Success/Onboarding New customers with incomplete instructions; bumpy integrations; wrong problems Inside Sales/Telesales Very satisfied freemium users; very unsatisfied freemium users; overly generalized benefits Enterprise Sales Single customer’s outlier feature; competitor FUD; “product/engineering can’t hit roadmaps;” Engineering Technical debt; DevOps infrastructure; roadmap instability Executive team Upsell features; innovation; shiny objects Stakeholder Sampling Bias
  7. 7. @RichMironov @ProdCollective Product Investment Portfolio visible features: must do, upsell -ilities: scalability, security, availability, usability… test automation, bugs, DevOps validation, design, sizing
  8. 8. @RichMironov @ProdCollective • No product is a perfect fit • Roadmap is starting point for negotiation Every Enterprise Customer Wants Something Special @RichMironov @ProdCollective
  9. 9. @RichMironov @ProdCollective Hired, trained, rewarded, promoted for • Persistence, optimism, single account focus • Persuasive positioning • Finding champions, escalating to decision makers Paid to subvert product plan B2B/Enterprise Sales Teams @RichMironov @ProdCollective
  10. 10. @RichMironov @ProdCollective “If Product just understood how important this deal is… Every customer wants what this customer wants… How hard could it be? Probably only 10 lines of code… They need to be more responsive or work harder.” “If Product just understood how important this deal is… Every customer wants what my customer wants… How hard could it be? Probably only 10 lines of code… Product/Development need to be more responsive.” Internal Salesmanship responsive
  11. 11. @RichMironov @ProdCollective Product Investment Portfolio visible features: must do, upsell -ilities: scalability, security, availability, usability… test automation, bugs, DevOps validation, design, sizing
  12. 12. @RichMironov @ProdCollective Theory: One Tiny Deal-Specific Item this one thing visible features: must do, upsell -ilities: scalability, security, availability, usability… test automation, bugs, DevOps validation, design, sizing
  13. 13. @RichMironov @ProdCollective Real Impact (One Deal) visible features -ilities: scalability, security, availability, usability… test automation, bugs, DevOps validation this one thing
  14. 14. @RichMironov @ProdCollective Cumulative Impact visible features validation sales-driven -ilities: scalability, security, availability, usability… test automation, bugs, DevOps
  15. 15. @RichMironov @ProdCollective • Very visible scorekeeping • Explicit “specials” allocation • Sales VP shares scarcity No Magic Bullets, But…
  16. 16. @RichMironov @ProdCollective Salespeople do what we pay them to do, not what we want them to do. What if we… • Delayed half of deal commission until customer achieved real value? • Comped on software licenses but not on professional services or “specials”? • Paid extra for cross-selling during annual renewal? Sales Compensation Thought Experiment
  17. 17. @RichMironov @ProdCollective 1. Look for patterns 2. Prioritization conflict is about irreconcilable choices and incentives, not capacity or inattention 3. Product leaders highlight aggregate impact of specials, one-offs, interrupts 4. Enlist functional leaders to share trade-offs (especially Sales) Enterprise Roadmapping Takeaways
  18. 18. @RichMironov @ProdCollective Rich Mironov Mironov Consulting San Francisco, CA www.mironov.com +1-650-315-7394 rich@mironov.com @richmironov

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