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Leading The Product 2017 - Trent Mankelow - Speaker Slides


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Title: Rowing in the same direction: How we scaled product management at Trade Me.
Presented at Leading The Product 2017 - Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.

Published in: Education
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Leading The Product 2017 - Trent Mankelow - Speaker Slides

  1. 1. Leading The Product 2017 Speaker Slides Melbourne and Sydney, Australia Trent Mankelow Trade Me For more information go to
  2. 2. Use this space to add an image. Insert an image and change the scale to cover this box. Rowing in the same direction: How we scaled product management at Trade Me Trent Mankelow, Chief Customer Officer @trentmankelow
  3. 3. 1999
  4. 4. Listings per day 1999-2001 3,500 3,000 2,000 1,500 500 1,000 2,500
  5. 5. 2003
  6. 6. 2005
  7. 7. 2006
  8. 8. 2007
  9. 9. 2011
  10. 10. Listings per day 1999-2001 3,500 3,000 2,000 1,500 500 1,000 2,500
  11. 11. - 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 Listings per day 1999-2016 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000
  12. 12. Jan 2014
  13. 13. Users BusinessTechnology Me h/t Martin Eriksson
  14. 14. Oct 2014
  15. 15. 38 interviews Oct - Nov 2014
  16. 16. Jan 2015
  17. 17. “We are very patchy and hit and miss, it’s a bit ‘seat of the pants’ still” “[Our roadmap] only gets reviewed when Jon asks what’s coming up” “We are pretty young…product management is all very new” “There is no science in the roadmaps” “It’s still really early days. We still don’t have a ‘Trade Me Way’ of doing product management” “There needs to be more rigour around product strategy” “It’s a bit sink or swim”
  18. 18. Today, product management at Trade Me looks quite different
  19. 19. Adrienne, back in August “Yeah, yeah, but how did you get them to do what you said?”
  20. 20. (More at
  21. 21. Jan 2015
  22. 22. Apr 2015
  23. 23. 1. Recruit product managers to help with the change
  24. 24. Hi everyone. As you know, we are well on the road to having a consistent and robust product management practice at Trade Me. Since our offsite in late January, we’ve been focussing on finalising our toolset. We have: • Figured out our rules of engagement, • Chosen a tool for roadmapping and prioritization, and • We (nearly!) have a revised one-pager built into the wiki (with reference to OKRs, VCARDI, and our new HEARRT metrics framework) Our next steps are to start using these tools in anger, and to start following a more consistent product management process. As part of this, I am suggesting changes to our process that I would like your feedback on. In particular, I would like to: 1. Establish a Product Council It’s one thing that we have these tools and processes, but how do we make sure that they are used correctly? Who are you accountable to in regards to following a robust process? I recommend that we establish a Product Council to provide a level of oversight, and ultimately ensure we choose the right products to build. I recommend that it is a small group - at the moment I’m thinking Ruth (representing UX and Design) and Simon (representing Tech and Mobile) and myself (as overlord). Just to be clear, it’s not for me or the Council to tell any of you what to build. Our role is to make sure that we are following the product management processes and that our product priorities aren’t subjective. The Council will also have a role to play to in fostering co-development and co-operation on similar product initiatives across Trade Me. “Hey Jobs, did you know Motors was doing a similar thing?” etc Q: Does this make sense? Is the Product Council made up of the right people? What worries do you have? 2. Ensure that every one-pager is formally signed off by the Product Council I am also proposing that every idea requiring more than 4 weeks’ effort or that is strategic in nature requires a one-pager, which needs to be formally signed off by the appropriate business unit head and the Product Council. The Council sign-off would normally happen at a once weekly meeting. It’s at these sessions that we’ll be kicking the tyres – did the PM correctly use the HEARRT and VCARDI frameworks, is the elevator pitch sharp, is the problem statement clear, is there enough detail? We’ll also be encouraging you to send through early drafts so that we are less of an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. In the interests of speed, I think there is a get-out-of-jail free card – if you don’t hear back within 24 hours of a council meeting, you should assume sign-off. FWIW, we are expecting no more than 2 one-pagers to review per week. And for the avoidance of doubt, work should not start before sign-off and I’ll be arse kicking if it does. Q: Is there anything here that makes your skin crawl? Any risks or worries? 3. Run governance sessions for product managers every 30 days These will be shortly before the other 30-day sessions, and again the idea is that bake in the accountability and rigour. At these sessions will have a standing agenda that forces us to step back from the individual one-pagers and ask questions like: • What has changed in your roadmap since last time? Why? • What’s been delivered since we last met? • How are the metrics tracking on initiatives we’ve released in the last 3 – 6 months? What have we learnt? • Have you released anything that wasn’t covered by a one-pager? (This is to make sure things aren’t sneaking through without a one-pager) • Is your roadmap well-balanced between customer requests, features that move metrics, etc? • When was the last time you took time out to think about the bigger picture? • What are you most proud of? • What wins have you had? On re-reading these sound a little bit confrontational, but don’t worry – the sessions should be an equal mix of encouragement and challenge. I also think that is a good string to your bow for those of you who haven’t had much exposure to governance before. There will be one of these governance sessions per business unit, so in Marketplace there will be a 30-day session that includes Rick, Gabor, Simon, Tim and Phil. The Heads-Of will likely attend these sessions too. Note that these changes will apply to everyone, including people like Jay and Andrew who wear multiple hats. I appreciate that while you may be wary of the extra overhead, but when I asked you what you’d change about how we do product management at Trade Me back in January, a clear theme was around improving our processes and tools. I also think this might look worse than it really is – the idea is that it is lightweight-ish and flexible-ish and that we’ll tweak and iterate when we need to. I think that once the habits are there, we may not need as much oversight. Of course, then it’ll be onto the next thing - we are nowhere near done on this. If I could get feedback from you by COB Friday, that would be great. Looking forward to your thoughts! Thanks, Trent Apr 2015
  25. 25. Apr 2015
  26. 26. 2. Use the authority of the CPO position
  27. 27. 3. Be open to change
  28. 28. Process Governance
  29. 29. 4. Systematise the governance rituals
  30. 30. REDACTED
  31. 31. 5. Ask high quality questions
  32. 32. Jan 2015
  33. 33. 6. Give permission to have fun
  34. 34. Six tips on scaling product management 1.Recruit product managers to help with the change 2.Use the authority of the CPO position 3.Be open to change 4.Systematise the governance rituals 5.Ask high quality questions 6.Give permission to have fun
  35. 35. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team “If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
  36. 36. P.S. We’re hiring Thanks