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The Product Owner Tax: 5 Inevitable Taxes Every Product Owner & Leader Pays

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Recording of Nicole Smith (Express Scripts) presenting at Twin Cities Product Conf 2019.

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The Product Owner Tax: 5 Inevitable Taxes Every Product Owner & Leader Pays

  1. 1. The 5 Product Owner Taxes Nicole Smith April 29th 2019 INEVITABLE, UNAVOIDABLE, & COSTLY:
  2. 2. 2 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. / About ME
  3. 3. © 2018 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Nicole Smith 14 Years in Production: Product Strategy Agile at Scale Innovation Development & Delivery Team Leadership
  4. 4. 4 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Outcomes: 1. Understand and assign your own value to the five taxes every product owner pays 2. Identify the 5 taxes, & 3 ways to shift reactive taxes to proactive taxes 3. Find 3 ways to free yourself up so your team can reach better decisions quicker, & alleviate context switching 4. High-five someone new (Insert gif)
  5. 5. 5 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 5 At your tables…
  6. 6. 6 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 6
  7. 7. 7 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 7 EVERY PRODUCT OWNER PAYS…
  8. 8. 8 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Every product owner pays a tax oProduct Ownership is like a bank account that needs regular contributions. oIt’s much easier to build it up before you actually need it.
  9. 9. © 2018 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. How I failed to pay my reactive taxes “The PO & the Doubtful Developers”
  10. 10. © 2018 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. I failed. Hard. -New direction -New teams -One conversation …Taxes not paid.
  11. 11. 11 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Product Owner Taxes • 5 Taxes • These can be either reactive, or proactive • Regardless of which tax, or type, these taxes are: • Inevitable • Unavoidable • Costly
  12. 12. 12 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 12 TAX TYPES: -PROACTIVE -REACTIVE
  13. 13. 13 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. / Proactive Taxes
  14. 14. 14 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Proactive Taxes We assume that: 1. Because we’ve had conversations around outcome, the intent was clear. 2. Because we’ve stated the vision, it will be remembered. 3. Meetings are just a way of life
  15. 15. 15 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Proactive Taxes People need to feel complete in order to stay engaged • Hearts/Minds/Words • Beyond just identifying the right tax, how the tax is paid is equally important
  16. 16. 16 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 16 OUR BRAINS DON’T REMEMBER STUFF!
  17. 17. 17 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. / Reactive Taxes 3 Ignored but still unavoidable
  18. 18. 18 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Reactive Taxes • Less/little control over dialogue or narrative • Assumptions over vision and/or intent • Additional burden on team/product/goal to over-socialize • Larger contribution than proactive taxes Without adequate social equity (“bank account deposits”), reactive taxes may require partnership on loan.
  19. 19. 19 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Reactive Taxes • We find ourselves on repeat because our brains remember visuals more than words • Constant disruptions • Your time tax can be managed, but can’t be regained
  20. 20. 20 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Reactive Taxes Examples: • Mis-alignment • Motivation • RCA/A3 • Reprioritization • Tech debt • “Fire Time”
  21. 21. 21 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Reactive Taxes Are Not Always Bad. Your failures will resonate with you more than your wins.
  22. 22. 22 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 22 WHY PAYING TAXES ARE IMPORTANT Proactive or Reactive Taxes
  23. 23. © 2018 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. How I failed to pay my reactive taxes “The PO & the Doubtful Developers”
  24. 24. 24 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. The Goal
  25. 25. 25 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. / The 5 Taxes
  26. 26. 26 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 1. Vision & Strategy 2. Visibility (blocking & tackling) 3. Collaboration 4. Emotional Intelligence 5. Customer/User Community
  27. 27. 27 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Vision & Strategy Vision & Strategy Vision & Strategy Vision & Strategy
  28. 28. 28 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Tax 3: Collaboration People need to feel complete in order to stay engaged Pixar’s 22 Rules of Story Telling
  29. 29. 29 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Tax 1: Vision & Strategy Rule #7: “Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front” Emma Coats, former Pixar Story Artist
  30. 30. 30 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Tax 1: Vision & Strategy • Stakeholder Alignment & Engagement • Dependencies • Staffing & budget
  31. 31. 31 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Tax 1: Vision & Strategy • ANDROGAGY: An·dra·go·gy • “Adults need to know why they need to learn something before undertaking to learn it.”
  32. 32. 32 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 32 AVG ATTENTION SPAN 18 MIN
  33. 33. 33 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 33 OUR BRAINS DON’T REMEMBER STUFF!
  34. 34. 34 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. As a product owner or leader, you can never over communicate your vision, your team’s vision, & your intent. Tax 1: Vision & Strategy
  35. 35. 35 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Visibility Visibility Visibility Visibility
  36. 36. 36 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 36 “200 SENIOR EXECUTIVES FROM DIVERSE INDUSTRIES, ONLY 17% REPORTED THAT THEIR MEETINGS ARE GENERALLY PRODUCTIVE USES OF GROUP AND INDIVIDUAL TIME”. Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2017/07/stop-the-meeting-madness
  37. 37. 37 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. • Either not listening in a way because they think it doesn’t apply to them, or think they’ve heard it. • “Do I need to hear this?” • Pixar rule 16: “What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against” Tax 2: Visibility
  38. 38. 38 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. • “Cognitive Modality Identification” • Middle childhood to early adulthood retention declined after 7 days if heard first instead of seen & heard first • Connect your what, in a way that resonates, and repeat it. Show it. Say It. Show it.
  39. 39. 39 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. BY NEARLY DOUBLE. 1 Day Lag: You’ll remember more you see first.
  40. 40. 40 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Collaboration CollaborationCollaboration Collaboration
  41. 41. 41 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Tax 3: Collaboration • React vs Respond • Team stakeholders • Developer Empathy • Trusted vs. forming partnerships • Team Currency* Email me for more info
  42. 42. 42 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Tax 3: Collaboration • Who’s feelings and personality have the potential to be the most disruptive & influential? How explicit can you make those feelings? • How many of these characters or supporters do you have?
  43. 43. 43 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Tax 3: Collaboration People need to feel complete in order to stay engaged • Pixar’s 22 Rules of Story Telling: Good Stuff.
  44. 44. 44 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Tax 3: Collaboration People need to feel complete in order to stay engaged • Find a hero your team is rallying around. Keep the focus on this so everyone’s message is guided by the same end result. • Pixar rule 16: “What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against”
  45. 45. 45 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Tax 3: Collaboration • UX: Are you data informed, or data driven? • Team’s shared understanding of UX needs is just as important as anything else • Emphasis on partnerships • Culture of parallel development aka “The Greyhound Affect”
  46. 46. 46 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Emotional Intelligence Emotional Intelligence Emotional Intelligence Emotional Intelligence
  47. 47. 47 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Tax 4: Emotional Intelligence • EQ • Yourself • Your team • Disrupters While we may promote leaders for leading, or for being a SME, how often do we encounter peers or folks with low self-awareness in positions of power? How can we help them?
  48. 48. 48 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. EQ: Emotional Intelligence • What prevents you from doing your deep work? • How much time in a week do you/your team get for deep work?
  49. 49. 49 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. EQ: Emotional Intelligence “It takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.” https://www.fastcompany.com/944128/worker-interrupted-cost-task- switching “While we’ve all heard various times on this, the point that context switching does hurt our brains, is what’s most relevant. No matter how long, it still takes our brain time to change gears. Let’s help protect our teams from this cost.” Nicole Smith
  50. 50. 50 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 50 EVERY TEAM HAS A CURRENCY THAT IS THE SUM OF THEIR STRENGTHS, SUPPORTERS, DEPENDENCIES, & FOES. EQ: Emotional Intelligence
  51. 51. 51 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. EQ: Emotional Intelligence & Our Work
  52. 52. 52 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. EQ: Emotional Intelligence & Our Work • The double-edged availability sword • How can you and your team make decisions quicker? • Be available to stop, collaborate & listen
  53. 53. 53 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Community Community Community Community
  54. 54. 54 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Tax 5: Customer/ User Community • Responses from your most loyal people gives you an increased degree of confidence • Your products & funnels should tell a story for both new & existing customers • Qualitative & quantitative data from your community IS possible! • Community & data should be BFF’s. • Reframe the “sunk cost” perspective on community.
  55. 55. 55 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. SUMMARY Deposits into your Savings Account 1. Vision and Strategy 2. Visibility (blocking and tackling) 3. Collaboration 4. Emotional Intelligence 5. Customer/User Community gradient solid color
  56. 56. 56 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. / Let’s Pay one Tax Now! 4 1. Find two meetings of the same topic/product/activity 2. Find a new time to combine them or group them 3. Find one meeting with an unclear outcome 4. Ask for an agenda 5. Create your budget Where do you need to save more, and where are you spending too much?
  57. 57. 57 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 1. Meeting Title: • New Time: 2. Meeting Title: • Reminder set to manage list? 3. Meeting Title: • Agenda Owner: Proactive Tax Time
  58. 58. 58 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. Feel Weird Suddenly Asking For an Agenda? • I want to make sure I come prepared to talk about __________________ next time we meet. So I can make sure our time together is useful, would you be able to send an agenda at least a day before? • I’m double booked, but want to join. Would it be possible to know which portion of the agenda I’m slotted for and how much time I have to present?
  59. 59. 59 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. HOW CAN YOU DECIDE MORE EFFECTIVELY & COHESIVELY? …PAY YOUR TAXES.
  60. 60. 60 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. SUMMARY Deposits into your Savings Account 1. Vision and Strategy 2. Visibility (blocking and tackling) 3. Collaboration 4. Emotional Intelligence 5. Customer/User Community gradient solid color
  61. 61. 61 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. SUMMARY Deposits into your Savings Account 1. Which taxes are most valuable to you? 2. Which taxes has your team not paid? 3. Which of these are you paying reactively and reactively? Move your taxes from reactive to proactive in 2019. gradient solid color
  62. 62. 62 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. 5 Let’s Chat. Nicole Smith Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nerdyniki/ Email: Nsmith5@express-scripts.com Cell: 775-741-3012 Steam/LoL: PxL VxN
  63. 63. 63 © 2019 Express Scripts. All Rights Reserved. REFERENCES • Average presentation attention span • Scientific Study of Modality Identification/Retention in adults/children • What is adult learning/retention? • US learning Library of Medicine: Androgogy • Stop the meeting madness: Harvard Business Review • Pixar’s 22 Rules of Great Story Telling • Context Switching

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