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I was the guest speaker at SVPMA (Sept 3, 2014) and discussed how Product Managers play a profound role in creating the environment around product development teams. I explored various ways they can influence these products to move up from mediocrity and how to avoid micromanagement and “flavor of the month” feature ideas.
I discussed specific ways to set clear goals and establish the right metrics. Dipping into my eBay days, I shared a little known story of the importance of asking for forgiveness rather than permission in driving innovation (eBay iPhone app).
Some other takeaways from this talk include:
How to focus on the right, few, customer adoption metrics (e.g. AAARR). More is often not better and can distract from the main goal
How defining your product’s purpose often improves working relationships with designers and engineers so you aren’t left arguing about the “what” or the “how
How to avoid getting in the executive micromanagement web especially if they are distracted by the “flavor of the month” or “pet feature” ideas
How to drive stealth projects or go through quick business case or product prototyping within a big company
The event was held at the Comcast Silicon Valley Innovation Center where I work.