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How to be a good (product) manager

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Describe my experience as a product manager, focus on the team management aspect. I explain how I use a version of SCRUM that I keep improving with the team, how I handle team issues and individual growth.
I gave that presentation in Tokyo during "ProductTank #4 - What Does it Take to be a Great Product Manager?" https://www.meetup.com/ProductTank-Tokyo/events/257918671/

Published in: Leadership & Management
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How to be a good (product) manager

  1. 1. How to be a good (Product) Manager Ugo Bataillard - 2019-02-28
  2. 2. Who am i?
  3. 3. Ugo Bataillard ● French citizen ● Software engineer by training ● 10 years in Japan ● Have only worked in Japan ● 4 companies (FR, JP, US, JP) ● Researcher -> Technical Manager -> Product Manager -> CTO/CPO @ Shippio
  4. 4. Research cycle Ideation Planning/partnership Prototyping Funding 60 projects300 projects3,700 researchers 1 year
  5. 5. Projects Turbo button “Boost your data speed only when you need it” Tap’n’go “Get a movie in less than 5s”
  6. 6. Shameless plug
  7. 7. We send containers
  8. 8. And smaller packages
  9. 9. By plane
  10. 10. By ship
  11. 11. And trucks!
  12. 12. All over the world
  13. 13. We are only orchestrating
  14. 14. We don’t own any planes or ships
  15. 15. It’s actually harder than Japan post @+ + =
  16. 16. SaaS to the rescue!
  17. 17. Integrates!
  18. 18. Can we start now?
  19. 19. What? Why? How? My Experience
  20. 20. Have a well defined framework
  21. 21. Why have a well defined framework? ● Less overhead of micro management ● Communication standardized and timeboxed ● Progress/Failure easily observable ● Easier onboarding of new recruits ● Commit time for process improvement
  22. 22. How to have a well defined framework? ● Be knowledgeable on the standards ○ SCRUM ○ Kanban ○ Waterfall ● They never fit ● Make your own!
  23. 23. My experience ● Certified SCRUM Master and PO ● With small teams start with the minimum ○ Backlog, Sprint Planning, Demo and RETROSPECTIVE ● Introduce new elements when needed ● Borrowed Kanban capacity ● Use retrospective like questions for one on one
  24. 24. Understand your team
  25. 25. Why understand your team? ● Optimize your team performance ● Find the right motivators ● Anticipate problems ● Adapt roadmap ● Hire better
  26. 26. How to understand your team? ● Be involved in the life of the team ● Participate in conversations ● Prove area of expertise ● Always be observing
  27. 27. My experience ● People clusters happen easily ● Projected image is as important as reality ● Bilingual meetings are hard
  28. 28. Know your people
  29. 29. Why know your people? ● Optimize role for happiness and efficiency ● Solve problems better and faster ● Help them grow ● Minimize churn
  30. 30. How to know your people? ● Poll information don’t wait for push ● “Hey, how are you doing?”, “How is that thing going?” ● Structured one on ones ○ Plan for long term ○ Look at the past ○ Adjust short term to progress toward long term ● Be genuinely interested in people
  31. 31. My experience ● Saved many hours of people being stuck by poking them ● Solved a lot of intra team problems ● Helped people by knowing issues outside of work ● Discovered desire of several members to be more involved in conception process ● People enjoy one on ones
  32. 32. Be a leader
  33. 33. Why be a leader? ● Inspiration is the best fuel ● You can ask more from them ● Less time arguing ● Your team will have your back when you need it
  34. 34. ● “Extreme ownership”: any failure of the team is your failure ● Protect your team from stakeholders ● Have their back when they need it ● Be honest even when it hurts How be a leader?
  35. 35. My experience ● Owning your team failures may seem scary, but it is actually rewarding ● Framework helps protecting team members from stakeholders but is not enough ● Respect comes more easily if you show you can get your hands dirty ● Giving really bad reviews in a constructive way is hard
  36. 36. Empower your people
  37. 37. Why empower people? ● I’m lazy ● Makes people feel good ● Cheaper to have leaders you groomed than to hire them ● Already integrated the framework
  38. 38. How to empower people? ● Prepare them for it ● Have a framework ● Clearly communicate it to the team ● Trust your people ● Let them fail ● No need for titles
  39. 39. My experience ● Organization authority: SCRUM Master ● Technical authority: senior developer ● Tech marketing ● GV Design sprint ● Team members can become PO of an epic
  40. 40. Thank you

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