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Product Manager or Product Janitor: It's Your Choice

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Product Manager or Product Janitor: It's Your Choice

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The Product Management role is often poorly defined. Developing clarity and a common understanding of what you and others do is essential to being effective in your job.

While this can be a dry topic, this presentation adds a bit of humor and gives compelling reasons to clarify your role.

The Product Management role is often poorly defined. Developing clarity and a common understanding of what you and others do is essential to being effective in your job.

While this can be a dry topic, this presentation adds a bit of humor and gives compelling reasons to clarify your role.

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Product Manager or Product Janitor: It's Your Choice

  1. 1. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. Product Manager or Product Janitor: It’s Your Choice Pro-duct Man-a-ger noun • Someone with all of the responsibility and little or no authority • A person who loves bringing great products to life • The one person who has the ability to dramatically affect a product’s success or failure. Charles Myers Product Camp Boston 2015 May 2, 2015
  2. 2. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 2 • Why Product Management? • Typical Roles and Responsibilities • Party Time • Bringing It Home • The Choice Agenda
  3. 3. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 3 Chuck Myers • Senior Consultant and Trainer, 280 Group • Software developer and engineering manager • Thirty five years Director & VP level Engineering, Product Management, Business Development, Technical Marketing – Desktop Software - Frame Technology FrameMaker, Adobe Acrobat, eBook Reader – Server Software (J2EE, SaaS) - Adobe Reader Extensions Server, Datalogics WebAPI, Adobe LiveCycle – Ecosystem Development - Partner and sales enablement, Training creation, delivery and certification • Domain expertise beyond product management – Publishing, Document formats (XML, PDF), Metadata, Accessibility – Standards Process – Root Cause Analysis, Process Improvement - Six Sigma/DMAIC – Agile process, Software Quality • Electrical Engineer, Purdue https://www.linkedin.com/in/cmyers4
  4. 4. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 4 Mission We help individuals and companies do GREAT Product Management using our Optimal Product Process™ framework. Consulting – Contractors –Training –Templates – Books – Coaching – Certifications 4
  5. 5. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 5 Download: http://go.280group.com/pcamp-ppm Take Our Survey: http://go.280group.com/pcamp-survey (Challenges In Product Management)
  6. 6. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 6 280 Group Optimal Product Process™
  7. 7. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 7 Source: CBS News2013poll of corporate executives • CEO • Senior Executives • General Manager • Product Manager Fourth MOST Important in Corporate America
  8. 8. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 8 Evolution of Product Management Originating in the ’30s, Proctor & Gamble creates Product Management role within Marketing (aka Brand Manager) High tech industry places Product Management within Engineering During the ’80s, Product Management becomes part of Marketing Late ’90s Product Management promoted to autonomous corporate entity
  9. 9. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 9 • Why be a product manager or product marketing manager? – Ability to be change agent, solve problems, see all aspects of company's business. • Focus on value and business motivations • Make a real impact on the business • Fulfilling and interesting career The Excitement of Product Management
  10. 10. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 10 PM Sales Customers Support Channel Operations ExecutivesPartners Finance Engineering Marketing Press/Analysts • Central point of communication • Whole product • Define Product Strategy • Define Go-To-Market Strategy • Gather requirements (VOC) • Guide Engineering • Guide Sales and Marketing Unique Position or PM and PMM
  11. 11. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 11 • Few people understand it • No standard definitions or processes • Job defined by expectations of people outside PM • Lots of responsibility – Reliant on influence – No intrinsic authority • Highly dependent on context – Dependent on team dynamics – Agile to heavyweight – Wide variation by company and culture Challenges of Product Management One size does not fit all
  12. 12. Agenda Roles and Responsibilities
  13. 13. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 13 Product Management and Product Marketing Roles and Responsibilities Get product onto shelves Get product off shelves Conceive Plan Develop Qualify Launch Maximize Retire Product Management Determining user needs Product Marketing Conveying value to buyerNegotiated Overlap
  14. 14. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 14 • Market expert – Customer and market research – Identifies customer needs – Voice of the customer • Strategy – Owns vision and roadmap – Portfolio management – Manages product lifecycle – Bridges engineering and marketing • Business Case development and realization • Presents “needs” – Not the problem solver – Does not design features • Feature, schedule, and cost tradeoffs – Minimum Viable Product • Brings products to market – Valuable and differentiated – Whole product definition – Beta programs – Market plan realization • Responsible for value delivery through business ecosystem – Internal value chain – Suppliers, partners, and 3rd party vendors Role: Product Management Roles and Responsibilities
  15. 15. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 15 Market Engineering Business PM • Market expert • Voice of the customer • Competitive analysis • Positioning strategy • Business strategy • Portfolio management • Market requirements Product Manager Directions Roles and Responsibilities Technology PM • Product/technology expert • Design and scoping • Architectural vision • Defect management • Feature definition • Usability
  16. 16. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 16 • Marketing expert – Competitive analysis – Ensures consistency of messages across media – Product pricing – Works with MarCom • Strategy – Success in the market – Launches new products and ongoing marketing • Supports sales – Demand generation – Sales tools and training – Compelling reason to buy • Guides marketing programs – Balance revenues with program costs – Positioning, value proposition, messaging, feature/benefits, unique selling proposition Role: Product Marketing Roles and Responsibilities
  17. 17. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 17 Marketing Sales Business PMM • Marketing expert • Market Strategy • Key messages and content for collateral, web site, press releases, ads, sales tools, etc. • New product launches • Marketing programs definition Product Marketing Manager Direction Roles and Responsibilities Sales PMM • Current product revenue focus • Sales call focus • Marketing programs operational role
  18. 18. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 18 Technical Sales and Marketing • Product Architect • Project/ Program Manager • Scrum Master • UX • Sales • Sales Engineer • Corporate Marketing Complementary Job Roles Roles and Responsibilities Key team members and stakeholders
  19. 19. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 19 • Do you define roles and responsibilities in your company differently than as presented here? • Are you missing something in how you define them? • Are you missing roles which need definition or clarity? • Any specific challenges? What’s It Like In Your Company Roles and Responsibilities
  20. 20. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 20 Beach Party We have always had a summer party Business just improved But cash is tight, so it’ll be potluck
  21. 21. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 21 • Driver: VP of HR • Approver: CEO • Contributor: Employee Activity Council, CFO • Informed: All employees and their families Step 1: Decide Location and Date
  22. 22. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 22 • Responsible: All Employees for one or more tasks, by area • Accountable: Committee Leads • Consulted: Execs • Informed: Non-Volunteer Step 2: Get Event Preparations Done
  23. 23. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 23 Beach Potluck RACI Work Area Executive Management Organizing Commitee Volunteer- Beer Vounuteer- SoftDrinks Voulunteer- Snacks Vounteer- Grills Volunteer- Meat Volunteer- Games Volunteer- Signs Non- Volunteer Beer C A R I Soft Drinks and Water C A R I Snacks C A R I Grills C A R I Meat for Grilling C A R I Games and Activities C A, R R I Signs C A R I Key: R = Responsible A = Accountable C = Consulted I = Informed
  24. 24. Agenda Bringing It Home
  25. 25. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 25 • Take ownership of defining your role and responsibility • Rarely one person good at multiple roles Achieving Excellence Best Practices Define team roles Decide on process and methodology Clarify roles and responsibilities "Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly." - The Dalai Lama
  26. 26. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 26 • Seek agreement and move forward • Assess team culture – Personalities, work style, history, management – Be transparent and respectful – Work as team with key members • No surprises • Interim discussion, input, and buy-in – Discuss contentious or high-risk beforehand • Allow sufficient time for discussions, negotiations Best Practice Best Practices
  27. 27. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 27 Tell People What You Do – and Don’t Do
  28. 28. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 28 1. Form Operating Group (if doing on large scale) – Collaborative Activity, Cross-Functional – Program Managers are Essential 2. Define Role Names 3. Define Standard DACI for Decisions 4. Define Standard RACI for Activities • Handle Specific Cases first to get familiarity (start at #4) • Start by defining yourself and your department, let it spread Steps in Role and Responsibility Definition
  29. 29. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 29 Role Responsibility Deliverable Expertise Product Manager Understand customer needs and document market problem • Business Case • Market needs • Roadmap Market and customers Product Architect, Technical Lead Design solution • Product description • Technical specifications • Roadmap Product and technology Sales Engineer Pre- and post-sales support Demos, roadmap and technical presentations Product and technology, and customer relationships Product Marketer Develop go-to-market plan and materials • Market Strategy • Launch Plan • Market Plan • Sales tools Marketing Program/Project Manager Keep project on track Schedule, budget, staffing plan, risk plan and charter Project management User Experience Understand user behavior and design user experience • Personas • Problem Scenarios, Use Cases User experience Development Team, Operations Build the solution, Manufacturing • The Product • Packaged and Shippable Technology, Implementation, Quality, Release Management Core Team Roles and Responsibilities
  30. 30. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 30 DACI: Example Decision Executive Management Product Management Product Marketing Corporate Marketing Public Relations Sales Development Product pricing A D C C I C I Product Launch Schedule C C C C I A D Marketing Budget A C D C I I I Market Needs A D C I I C I Product features C C I I I A D Business Model A D C I I C I Marketing mix C C D A I C I Competitive Positioning A D C I I C I Localization Strategy C D C C C A I PR strategy A I C C D C I Advertising Strategy A I C D I C I Customer Training Strategy I D I I I A I Key: D = Driver A = Approver C = Contributor I = Informed
  31. 31. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 31 RACI: Example – Product Release Decision Executive Management Product Management Product Marketing TechPubs Release Engineering Support Development Engineering Management Program Management Release Level (Major, Minor Patch) I R C I R C I A R Release Notes C R C C C A Documentation Update C R C A Samples Update C C C C R R A Installer Build I I C R C A Upload Product to FTP Site R A Update Doc on Developer Site R R A Customer Notification I C R I I R I A Internal Notification I R C I I C C C A Sales Training I R R C C I C A Launch Readiness Meeting A R R C C C C R R Key: R = Responsible A = Accountable C = Consulted I = Informed
  32. 32. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 32 • Distributed Control of Teams requires extra care • RACI+F (Facilitation): Especially appropriate for Agile Teams • Delegation Boards between management and self-organizing Agile teams Agile Teams Need R&R Clarity
  33. 33. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 33 1. Tell – You make a decision for others and you may explain your motivation. A discussion about it is neither desired nor assumed. 2. Sell – You make a decision for others but try to convince them that you made the right choice, and you help them feel involved. 3. Consult – You ask for input first, which you take it into consideration before making a decision that respects people’s opinions. 4. Agree – You enter into a discussion with everyone involved, and as a group you reach consensus about the decision. 5. Advise – You will offer others your opinion and hope they listen to your wise words, but it will be their decision, not yours. 6. Inquire – You first leave it to the others to decide, and afterwards, you ask them to convince you of the wisdom of their decision. 7. Delegate – You leave the decision to them and you don’t even want to know about details that would just clutter your brain. Delegation Board Levels
  34. 34. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 34 Strategic Product Manager or Product Janitor? Roles and Responsibilities
  35. 35. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 35 Strategic PM Product Janitor Based on knowledge & confidence Opinions Owns success of product Too many factors outside their control CEO of Product Marketing resource for engineering Drives the what & why Defines the how Grows the business Builds bells & whistles Tells the story Presents features Defines their role Others define role Strategic Product Manager vs. Product Janitor Roles and Responsibilities Based Upon: Ben Horowitz, 1996
  36. 36. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 36 • Role and responsibility clarification will identify gaps in organization where nobody is responsible – This helps the whole organization, not just you • Defines product management role and responsibilities better and allows easier headcount growth • Clarification is often done as part of a larger organization transformation or assessment effort How to Justify This Effort to Managers
  37. 37. © 2011-2015 280 Group LLC. 37 • The Optimal Product Process eBook – go.280group.com/pcamp-opp • The Phenomenal Product Manager eBook – go.280group.com/pcamp-ppm • Challenges In Product Management Survey – go.280group.com/pcamp-survey – https://www.linkedin.com/in/cmyers4 Thank You – Free Downloads and Survey

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