How To Build A Strategy In An
/Productschool @ProductSchool /ProductmanagementNY
Senior Product Strategist
Philosophie in NYC
Over 15 years of product and BD
Microsoft, Waze, Horizon
Started my own company, failed
What we will talk about today
● Cautionary tale
● Why does agile work?
● What is strategy?
● Why does agile need strategy?
● How do you create a good strategy?
● What can you do to test the strategy?
● How to link it to day-to-day?
All resources available at: https://goo.gl/pwTqeW
What is bad strategy?
● Failure to face the challenge
● Mistaking goals for strategy
● Bad strategic objectives - just a list of things to do
Why is bad strategy bad?
● Doesn’t link high level with day to day action
● Focuses the team on the wrong things
○ Or doesn’t focus the team
● Avoids tough decisions
● Makes the wrong tradeoffs
○ Or assumes that you have to make tradeoffs at all
A diagnosis: an explanation of the nature of the challenge. A good diagnosis
simplifies the often overwhelming complexity of reality by identifying certain
aspects of the situation as being the critical ones.
A guiding policy: an overall approach chosen to cope with or overcome the
obstacles identified in the diagnosis.
Coherent actions: steps that are coordinated with one another to support the
accomplishment of the guiding policy.
Linked to coherent action plan
Devoid of bias
Balances commitment and flexibility - highest response
in McKinsey survey
Group is convicted to act on strategy - 2nd highest
response in McKinsey survey
Embraces uncertainty - 2nd lowest response in
Depends on privileged insights - lowest response in
Ahead of trends
Granular about where to compete
Taps a true source of advantage
It beats the market
Obeys strategic ‘laws of gravity’ - from Exec McKinsey
KPIs match strategy - from Exec McKinsey article
Balances growth and risk - from Exec McKinsey article
Anticipates the changing future landscape - from Edge
How can product people link strategy to
● Strategy is key to agile groups’ success.
● Strategy isn’t something that you just create, you iterate
● Have that conversation about strategy, write it down, and
make it part of your process every day.
Want to get some help?
Office hours for strategy+agile to be
scheduled, email me for more info at:
All resources available at:
Weekdays: December 6th
Weekends: December 3rd
Rsvp On Eventbrite
Oct 19: Get Hired! Landing the Product Job
Oct 26: How do APIs Scale The Consumer and Partner EcoSystem of Your Product
Nov 9: Product Management Happy Hour
Nov 16: “DESIGN DISRUPTORS” Documentary Screening