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User Experience and Product Management: Two Peas in the Same Pod?

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What is the difference between User Experience and Product Management? Where do you draw the line between the two? How can UXers work better with Product Managers? How can a UXer transition into product management? All these questions and more, answered in this presentation by Jeff Lash for the 2011 St. Louis User Experience conference on Feb 25, 2011.

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  • Interesting presentation! Find here updated information about Product Experience Management: https://blog.saleslayer.com/what-is-product-experience-manager
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  • Hey, this slideshare was featured in a BIG roundup of the Top 45 Product Management Slideshares you shouldn’t miss if you’re into PM https://userbrain.net/blog/product-management-slideshare-presentations
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  • Is there a place where I can find the actual presentation? I'd love to hear the story behind some of those slides.
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User Experience and Product Management: Two Peas in the Same Pod?

  1. 1. User Experience and Product Management: Two Peas in the Same Pod? Jeff Lash STL UX 2011 www.goodproductmanager.com [email_address]
  2. 2. What is user experience?
  3. 3. What is product management?
  4. 4. PM UX 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  5. 5. Job Posting #1 <ul><li>“ Understand and evangelize the needs of the Insight customer base and user community” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Job Posting #2 <ul><li>“ Develop creative plans for new product initiatives” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Job Posting #3 <ul><li>“ You should be someone who can bring consumer experience with user interaction and design, and the technical chops to design powerful discovery and recommendation tools” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Job Posting #4 <ul><li>“ Work closely with stakeholders across the product department and the company, including the CEO and VP of Product, to manage the product experience & technical roadmap and ensure the successful implementation of [company]’s vision” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Job Posting #5 <ul><li>“ Analyze and prioritize new feature requests” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Job Posting #6 <ul><li>“ Developing product personas that can be used to understand user needs” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Job Posting #7 <ul><li>“ Define product requirements focusing on customer efficiency and ease-of-use” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Job Posting #8 <ul><li>“ Work with world-class engineers to develop and launch new products and continuously improve existing products” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Job Posting #9 <ul><li>“ Identify use cases and communicate actionable requirements to developers” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Job Posting #10 <ul><li>“ Identify and define user needs” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Job Posting #1 <ul><li>“ Understand and evangelize the needs of the Insight customer base and user community” </li></ul><ul><li>Sr. Product Manager </li></ul><ul><li>(Adobe) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Job Posting #2 <ul><li>“ Develop creative plans for new product initiatives” </li></ul><ul><li>Information Architect </li></ul><ul><li>(Publisher's Clearing House) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Job Posting #3 <ul><li>“ You should be someone who can bring consumer experience with user interaction and design, and the technical chops to design powerful discovery and recommendation tools” </li></ul><ul><li>Product Manager, Google TV User Experience </li></ul><ul><li>(Google) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Job Posting #4 <ul><li>“ Work closely with stakeholders across the product department and the company, including the CEO and VP of Product, to manage the product experience & technical roadmap and ensure the successful implementation of [company]’s vision” </li></ul><ul><li>Director of User Experience </li></ul><ul><li>(Groupon) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Job Posting #5 <ul><li>“ Analyze and prioritize new feature requests” </li></ul><ul><li>Product Manager </li></ul><ul><li>(Lulu.com) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Job Posting #6 <ul><li>“ Developing product personas that can be used to understand user needs” </li></ul><ul><li>Sr. Manager - Product Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>(Charles Schwab) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Job Posting #7 <ul><li>“ Define product requirements focusing on customer efficiency and ease-of-use” </li></ul><ul><li>Senior User Experience Designer </li></ul><ul><li>(Fiserv) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Job Posting #8 <ul><li>“ Work with world-class engineers to develop and launch new products and continuously improve existing products” </li></ul><ul><li>Product Manager </li></ul><ul><li>(Indeed) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Job Posting #9 <ul><li>“ Identify use cases and communicate actionable requirements to developers” </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Product Manager </li></ul><ul><li>(CityGrid Media) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Job Posting #10 <ul><li>“ Identify and define user needs” </li></ul><ul><li>Project Manager </li></ul><ul><li>(FrontRange Solutions) </li></ul>
  25. 25. PM UX 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 x* 7 x 8 x 9 x 10 neither, really
  26. 26. If product management is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:DVader.jpeg
  27. 27. … then we’re all http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Stormtrooper.jpg
  28. 28. So what’s the difference?
  29. 29. <ul><li>When I describe what I do to people who have not encountered the term “interaction design” before, I say first that “I look at users’ needs, figure out what kind of product best addresses them, and create a behavior specification for that product which the development team then uses as requirements to drive their work.” </li></ul><ul><li>Often people say, “In my organization, we call that a ‘product manager.’” </li></ul>Source: Where do product managers fit?; Jonathan Korman http://www.cooper.com/content/insights/newsletters/2004_issue03/Where_do_product_managers_fit.asp
  30. 30. Why the confusion + conflict? <ul><li>Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often the appropriate resources are not available for research, design, and documentation, so Product Managers fill the role </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many product manages have (or think they have) the skills to complete these tasks to some degree </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Product Managers are ultimately accountable to the success of the product, while others often are not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Misplaced accountability can lead to micromanaging </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. How it should work <ul><li>Product Managers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible for overall success of the product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes requirements and design, but also marketing, pricing, technical aspects, portfolio, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ President” of the product </li></ul></ul><ul><li>User Experience Practitioners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible for ensuring product is designed to meet users needs and be easy to use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective advocate for user needs and good design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Member of the product “Cabinet” (along with Marketing, Sales, Development, etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Source: Putting people together to create new products; Jonathan Korman http://www.cooper.com/newsletters/2001_09/putting_people_together_to_create_new_products.htm
  33. 33. So why doesn’t that always work?
  34. 34. Product Managers should: <ul><li>Be market-focused </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct research with customers and users </li></ul><ul><li>Create a product and portfolio strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Manage product roadmap and lifecycle </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and manage requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a go-to-market plan </li></ul><ul><li>Be more strategic than tactical </li></ul>
  35. 35. Instead, Product Managers often: <ul><li>Are internally-focused </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t conduct research themselves (if at all) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t create a product or portfolio strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the short-term plan </li></ul><ul><li>Create and manage specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Throw information over the wall to Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Are more tactical than strategic </li></ul>
  36. 36. User Experience Practitioners should: <ul><li>Understand business context </li></ul><ul><li>Clarify roles and responsibilities and drive for understanding with team members </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate for a user centered process but understand other factors involved </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on end goals and how deliverables can help achieve those goals </li></ul>
  37. 37. Instead, UX practitioners often: <ul><li>Ignore, do not care about, or are not interested in business context </li></ul><ul><li>Assume others understand the UX roles, responsibilities, and deliverables </li></ul><ul><li>Only focus on the “ideal” UCD process and do not acknowledge other forces at work </li></ul><ul><li>Focus more on deliverables and process than the end product </li></ul>
  38. 38. The challenge is in the middle <ul><li>Where do you draw the line between Product Management and User Experience? </li></ul>Need Solution
  39. 39. Requirements vs. specifications <ul><li>A requirement is short statement of the problem </li></ul><ul><li>A specification is how to solve the problem </li></ul>Source: On Reqs and Specs: The Roles and Behaviors for Effective Product Definition http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/topics/09/on-reqs-and-specs Product Management Engineering UX
  40. 40. Who does what? <ul><li>The product manager finds and quantifies market problems, articulating them in the form of requirements </li></ul><ul><li>The product architect (or designer ) writes a functional specification describing the approach to solving the problem </li></ul><ul><li>The product developer creates a technical specification that fully describes how the functional specification will be implemented </li></ul>Source: On Reqs and Specs: The Roles and Behaviors for Effective Product Definition http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/topics/09/on-reqs-and-specs
  41. 41. How can UX work better with PMs? <ul><li>Take the initiative – don’t wait to be asked </li></ul><ul><li>Make strong recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Help PMs understand decisions they need to make and help them make them </li></ul><ul><li>Seek to understand the “big picture” – market, competition, sales process, strategy, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t divide user needs and business needs -- these should be one in the same </li></ul><ul><li>Get them out of the office to meet with users! </li></ul><ul><li>Ask Product Managers, “How can I help you meet your goals?” </li></ul>
  42. 42. So you want to be a Product Manager?
  43. 43. Strategic Tactical Single Discipline Multiple Disciplines Product Manager CEO C-level functional managers (e.g. CFO, CTO) UI Designer Software Architect UCD Manager Software Developer Business Analyst Project Manager User Researcher
  44. 44. What you’ll get to do <ul><li>Focus product strategy on customer and end user needs </li></ul><ul><li>Help ensure user focus throughout entire product – not just the design, but communications, policies – the entire “customer experience” </li></ul><ul><li>Work with marketing, sales, and other stakeholders to effectively communicate unique benefits of your product </li></ul><ul><li>Have opportunity to provide input on strategies for other products within the organization </li></ul>
  45. 45. What you’ll have to do <ul><li>Attempt to influence and coordinate people over whom you have no actual (read: org chart) power </li></ul><ul><li>Mediate disputes between stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Make and justify tough decisions, which invariably will upset many key allies </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to demands from upper management and be accountable for product decisions </li></ul>
  46. 46. What you won’t get to do <ul><li>Pore over the details of a design </li></ul><ul><li>Make recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Pass the buck </li></ul><ul><li>Blend in to the scenery </li></ul><ul><li>Answer with “It depends…” </li></ul>
  47. 47. Product Management Resources <ul><li>Articles / White Papers </li></ul><ul><li>The Strategic Role of Product Management </li></ul><ul><li>Where Do Product Managers Fit? </li></ul><ul><li>Transitioning from User Experience to Product Management </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs, Books, and other resources </li></ul><ul><li>How to Be A Good Product Manager: Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Local organizations </li></ul><ul><li>St. Louis Product Management Group </li></ul><ul><li>Product Development and Management Association (PDMA): St. Louis Chapter </li></ul>
  48. 48. Broaden your horizons
  49. 49. Closing thought… <ul><li>A good product requires a good user experience.  And a good user experience requires the close collaboration of product management and design. </li></ul>Source: Product vs. Design; Silicon Valley Product Group http://www.svproduct.com/SVPG/BLOG/6D28BD5A-844F-4046-98DD-64CFE7939E5B.html
  50. 50. Questions? Jeff Lash STL UX 2011 www.goodproductmanager.com [email_address]

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