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Product Management or the Intricate Art of Getting (the Right) Things Done

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Being a product manager is a rewarding yet challenging gig. Balancing product strategies with financial realities, strategic thinking with tactical needs, and customer desires with technical constraints can leave us frazzled and frustrated.

As product managers there is a lot that's not in our control. We do have, however, some important levers we can pull to help us influence, decide, and advocate on behalf of our products.

In this webinar we will explore the fascinating world of today’s product management, those aforementioned levers, and much more.

Join us as Anne Steiner, Vice President of Product Agility, discusses three common roles within a product organization and the multiple ways they have to influence varying types of product decisions and make things happen.

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Product Management or the Intricate Art of Getting (the Right) Things Done

  1. 1. Product Management: The Intricate Art of Getting (the Right) Things Done February 22, 2019
  2. 2. Intros About me… • 10 years as a FE developer • 7 years as a product manager • 5 years as a leader and coach • VP of Product Agility at Cprime About this webinar… • About Product Management • How we work… • One Product, One Team • One Product, Several Teams • Many Products, Many Teams
  3. 3. Product Management at a Glance More than the “voice of the customer”
  4. 4. Superheroes, Umpires, and Steve Jobs Influencing + • An unfortunate title • All the authority vs. none Making a call + • Non-binary umpiring Advocating for your product = • So much more than the “voice of the customer” Superheroes
  5. 5. There’s No Managing in Product Management What we can do • Influence • Advocate for • Define • Decide • Answer the questions who, what, why, and in what order What we can’t do • Dictate • Control • Design • Make everyone happy • Answer the questions how or how much
  6. 6. Structures of Product-Based Organizations One Product, One Team One Product, Several Teams Many Products, Many Teams
  7. 7. One Product, One Team The Product Manager Purple Squirrel
  8. 8. One Product, One Team Influences • Vision, strategy, & roadmap • Pricing strategy • Growth strategy • Product team’s confidence in product strategy Decides • Roadmap details, release composition, and sequence for dev • New features investment vs. other • Cross-group time investment • Product story and its definition Advocates For • More help for your product • R&D investment • Marketing • Sales • Customer support • The product team • Buyers and users
  9. 9. One Product, One Team Struggles • Too many balls to juggle • Not having all the necessary skills Traps • Juggling traps • Trying to do & control it all • Focusing only on business side • Focusing only on tech side • Not taking time to communicate, lead, & influence • Skills traps • Ignoring areas you aren’t good at • Over-focusing on areas you are good at • Not listening • Not taking the time to invest in your learning
  10. 10. One Product, One Team Struggles • Trying to please everyone Traps • Pleasing everyone traps • Becoming overly reactive to requests • Getting mired in tactical tasks • Being driven by the last customer conversation • Continuously switching product direction or flip flopping • Getting into “feature chase”
  11. 11. Winning Is… • Balance for you and your product • Thoughtful investment of time • Focus on relationships and communication • Enjoy this time while you have it
  12. 12. One Product, Several Teams Product Managers, Product Owners, and Spreading the Fun
  13. 13. Product Managers and Product Owners Now you have… • Help & teammates • Conflict & confusion • A collectively stronger skill set So how do we work together? Product Manager Product Owner Product Manager Product Owner
  14. 14. One Product, Several Teams – The PM Influences • Vision & strategy • “Go to market” & product positioning • Pricing strategy • Growth strategy • Product team’s confidence in product strategy Decides • High-level intent of what, why and who we build product for • Product roadmap • Investment in new features vs. other • Cross-group time investment • Product story Advocates For • More help for your product • R&D investment • Marketing • Sales • Customer support • The product owners • The product team • Buyers and users
  15. 15. One Product, Several Teams – The PO Influences • Product manager • Product team and other stakeholders • Product roadmap & product designs Decides • Definition of the product story (backlog items) • Behavior & design questions • Sequence for development • Balance between support & new feature dev within sprint Advocates For • Product team & fellow product owners • Users over buyers • Product technical health
  16. 16. One Product, Several Teams Struggles • Getting into adversarial relationships Traps • Getting into adversarial relationships traps • Thinking you are in charge; “I say -> you do” • Not listening to people around you • Struggling to see big picture or being overly focused on tactical objectives • Pushing the pressure you feel down
  17. 17. One Product, Several Teams Struggles • Falling asleep or falling too far into the weeds • Managing up, down, and sideways Traps • Falling asleep or into the weeds traps • Not trusting others to make decisions • Obsession with perfection or perception • Falling asleep at the wheel; “I’m big picture now; that’s not my problem.” • Becoming too aligned with delivery concerns at the sake of strategy • Managing up, down, and sideways traps • Not communicating or sharing context • Playing too much politics or not enough • Getting into adversarial relationships with your peer set
  18. 18. Winning Is… • Keep the entire product group moving as one • Communicate, communicate, communicate • Excel at the people piece • Leverage unique strengths of others for benefit of team • Stay humble • Respect PO’s and know the grass isn’t always greener
  19. 19. Many Products, Many Teams When Stuff Gets Real
  20. 20. The Big Time • Congrats and buckle your seat belt • You lead a product line/family • You lead an organization of product people • Your peers may be executives in other organizations • You now have business ownership (P&L, C-team)
  21. 21. Many Products, Many Teams Influences • Corporate vision and strategy • Other business functions and how they work with & within your product line • Investment in your product line; where does the funding go Decides • Product line vision and strategy • Investment allocation within the product line • By bet • By product • By client • By PM • Staffing and hiring • Composition and culture of team • Assignments of PM’s to products Advocates For • Your team • Your business • Your products and their customers • Product management’s place at the table in the company • The teams of people that market, sell, build, and support your products • Company goals
  22. 22. Many Products, Many Teams Struggles • Business vs. strategy vs. people • Falling asleep or falling too far into the weeds Traps • Business vs. strategy vs. people traps • Choices are in direct conflict • Your bonus is typically tied to the short term objectives. The sales leader’s bonus most certainly is. • Thinking short term can limit the potential of your product line and your company. • Falling asleep or into the weeds traps • Stay in your lane • Invest your time wisely • Balance comes with supervision • Show interest without micro-managing
  23. 23. Many Products, Many Teams Struggles • Playing too much politics or not enough Traps • Playing too much politics or not enough traps • Too much politics becomes a distraction to more meaningful work • Obsession with politics can affect your mental state and cause burnout • Keep your conscience; this isn’t a reality TV show • Play enough so you can effectively influence and advocate; you need friends and allies
  24. 24. Winning Is… • Manage your energy • Stay sane • Continue to do the right thing for the company, products, and people • Stay in the fight • Find a support system outside your company
  25. 25. Next Steps • Learn more about how Cprime can help: https://www.cprime.com/product-management/ • Next week: Webinar with Anne Steiner & David Laribee • Scaling Product Thinking with SAFe-Secret Sauce for Meaningful Impacts • Check out our upcoming webinars; read our blog, download whitepapers/case studies & more: www.cprime.com/resources • Share with us what topics you are interested in, ask us questions or give us feedback! • learn@cprime.com • Share in the conversation on Social Media and keep updated on thought leadership, events & more • www.linkedin.com/company/cprime-inc • @CprimeInc on Twitter
  26. 26. Q&A

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