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A Real-World, Practice Guide For Launching a Great Product - Modev MVP Conference 5-18-2015

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Want to increase your odds of building a successful software product? Then it’s time to skip all the fluff that masquerades as getting product done – big requirements docs, slideware, fancy graphs, overblown GANTT charts – and actually build the real thing and get it to customers.

Pragmatic Marketing’s 2013 survey revealed that product managers spend over a month’s worth of time writing business cases. These business cases are filled with all sorts of clever analyses and highly assumptive 3- or 5-year projections to support significant upfront investment asks. Yet almost everyone feels writing a business case is a waste of time and hates it.

In this talk, using a real-life example, I’ll show you how you can utilize Lean Startup and Product Management techniques to validate a new product idea, bootstrap its launch, and generate momentum with both internal stakeholders and customers, and come out looking like a Product Hero!

Published in: Business
  • Thanks for sharing this Shardul - using it for a medical app that has been out for over a year but never validated with customers
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A Real-World, Practice Guide For Launching a Great Product - Modev MVP Conference 5-18-2015

  1. 1. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Big$Documents$Suck.$Focus$On$Ac4on$Instead.$ $ A"real'world,"prac.cal"guide"for"launching"a"great"product" Shardul"Mehta" " Presented"at"MVP"Conference"2015" May"18,"2015"
  2. 2. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Founder$ WebDocOffice,"ProductCamp"DC" " Product$Manager$ Healthcare,"retail"services,"financial"services," payments,"F500,"<30"people" " Mentor,$Advisor$ Lean"Startup"Machine,"Startup"Mason," plenty"of"product"people"and"entrepreneurs" " Former$C/C++,$Java$Programmer$ $ VP$Product$ 1" @shardulmehta" streetsmartproductmanager.com"" Hi.$I’m$Shardul.$
  3. 3. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" This$is$a$story$about…$ 2" …innova4on$
  4. 4. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" How$to$Pursue$Innova4on:$Business$School$&$Consul4ng$Edi4on$ 3" Concept" Business" Case/Plan" Get" Approval" Execute" •  Resources" •  Money" •  MRD" •  Strategy"doc"
  5. 5. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" A$new$product$story…$ •  Imagine"a"white"labeled"enterprise"B2B2C"web"app"that:" !  Was"the"first"of"its"kind"in"its"industry" !  So"delighted"B2B"clients"that"they"required"its"delivery"in"their" contracts" !  Helped"close"a"mul[million"dollar"deal"with"the"world’s"largest"home" improvement"specialty"retailer" !  Whose"UX"was"given"4.5"stars"out"of"5"by"its"end"users" !  Delivered"a"UI"framework"that"could"be"leveraged"for"new"mul[ million"dollar"digital"businesses" 4" A$success?$
  6. 6. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Another$product$story$ •  The"Product:" –  No."of"pages"in"PRD:"100+" –  No."of"features"to"be"delivered:" 65" –  No."of"revisions"to"PRD:"6"over"a" 9month"period" •  The"Cost:" –  Planned"direct"spend:"$700,000" •  The"Process:" –  No."of"preapprovals"and"gates" prior"to"final"investment" approval:"6" 5" The"Result:"   No."of"launch"delays:"3"   Concep[on"to"launch:"18" months"   Actual"direct"spend:"$1.6" million"   %"of"features"finally" delivered:"57%" A$success?$
  7. 7. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Same$product$ 6" ! First"of"its"kind"in"its"industry" ! So"delighted"B2B"clients"that"they" required"its"delivery"in"their" contracts" ! Helped"close"a"mul[million"dollar" deal"with"the"world’s"largest"home" improvement"specialty"retailer" ! UX"was"given"4.5"stars"out"of"5"by" its"end"users" ! Delivered"a"UI"framework"that" could"be"leveraged"for"new"mul[ million"dollar"digital"businesses"  No."of"pages"in"PRD:"72"  No."of"PRD"revisions:"6"over"9" months"  Planned"direct"spend:"$700,000"  No."of"preapprovals"and"gates:"6"  No."of"launch"delays:"3"  Concep[on"to"launch:"18"months"  Actual"direct"spend:"$1.6"million"  %"of"features"finally"delivered:"57%"
  8. 8. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" But$I$followed$the$process$I$was$taught!$ 7" Concept" Business" Case" Get" Approval" Execute" You have few facts Your need: learning Execs’ need: growth (a.k.a., write a big document) Have you built something customers want? (Too late to learn!) Unfortunately,$that$process$is$extremely$risky$and$wasteful$
  9. 9. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" 8" The"tradi[onal"product"innova[on"process"doesn’t"work"
  10. 10. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" People$hate$the$current$process$ 9" Building"the"Business"Case" “It’s$a$necessary$evil.$But$it’s$a$wasteful$process.”$ “It’s"a"joke.”" “It’s"a"manager"figh[ng"with"an"Excel"spreadsheet" for"a"month.”" “I’m$forced$to$project$revenues$out$of$thin$air.$ [This]$is$a$nonsensical$exercise.”$ “A"business"case"is"just"a"lifeless"PowerPoint"deck.”" “Currently,"we"have"to"fill"out"a"Project" Engagement"Request"Form"that"asks"for"numbers." But"it’s"all"guesswork."It’s"a"waste.”" “Financial"analysis"–"it’s"really"just"pretend.”" Selling"the"Business"Case" “Typically"what"happens"is"you"build"the"business" case,"and"then"because"you"can’t"guarantee"the" results"the"execs"ask"you"to"do"more"research.”" “You$are$describing$ my$life!”$ “People$inflate$their$numbers.”$ “It"took"months"and"months"to"get"through"the" business"case.”" “I"need"to"build"a"horse"by"commi1ee"and"I"got"a" camel.”" “There’s$a$desire$to$apply$exis4ng$ [corporate]$structure$to$pursuing$ideas.$It$ results$in$the$pursuit$of$metrics$that$you$ want$to$tell$your$version$of$the$story$[as$ opposed$to$the$customer’s].$The$product$ plan,$even$when$approved,$is$o[en$very$ lame,$4mid$and$only$designed$to$help$ achieve$metrics$sufficient$to$secure$bonus$ payouts.”$
  11. 11. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" 10" So"what’s"a"Product"Manager"to"do?"
  12. 12. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Lean$Startup?$ 11"
  13. 13. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Lean$Startup$ •  The"applica[on"of"lean"thinking"to"the"process"of"innova[on" •  Characterized"by:" –  Extremely"fast"cycle"[me" –  Focus"on"what"customers"want" (without"asking"them)" –  Scien[fic"approach"to"decision"making:" •  Formula[ng"hypotheses" •  Running"experiments" •  Rigorous"tes[ng"of"assump[ons" •  Started"(and"trademarked)"by"Eric"Ries" 12" Customer$ Development$ Agile$ Development$ Lean$ Manufacturing$ Principles$ Lean Startup
  14. 14. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Reality$check$–$Product$Innova4on:$Enterprise$Edi4on$ 13"
  15. 15. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Big$ques4on$ •  Can"Lean"Startup"principles"be"leveraged"for"new"product" innova[on"inside"an"exis[ng"company?" 14" •  How"can"I"generate"customer"trac[on"earlier"in"the"product"development" lifecycle?" •  Rather"than"a"big"ask"with"a"long"ROI"realiza[on,"is"there"a"be1er" investment"approach"that"delivers"ROI"throughout"the"process?" •  How"can"I"obtain"and"retain"stakeholder"support"throughout"the"product" development"process?" Suppor.ng"ques.ons"
  16. 16. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Our$approach:$bootstrap$using$validated$learning$milestones$ 1.  Quickly"sketched"out"product"vision/strategy" 15"
  17. 17. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Customer$Segment$ $ For"whom"are"we"solving"a" problem?" For"whom"are"we"crea[ng" value?" " " " " " " " Early$Adopter:" " Who"is"a"poten[al"early" user"of"the"solu[on?" " Problem$ " What"are"the"top"35" problems"faced"by"our"target" Customer"Segment?" Unique$Value$Proposi4on$ " How"are"we"uniquely"going"to"solve" our"customer’s"problems"or"sa[sfy" their"needs?" A"single,"clear,"compelling"message" that"states"why"you"are"different"and" worth"buying." Solu4on$ " What"are"the"top"35"ways" we"are"going"to"solve"the" problems"faced"by"our" Customer"Segment?" " Key$Success$ Factors$ " How"will"we"measure" success?" What"key"metrics"are"we" trying"to"move?" Exis4ng$Alterna4ves" " How"are"they"solving"the" problem"today?" " Channels" " How"will"we"get"(acquire),"keep" (retain)"and"grow"(sell"more"to" exis[ng)"customers?" Get/Acquire:"How"will"we"drive" awareness,"interest,"ac[va[on," usage?" Keep/Retain:"How"will"we"keep" customers"coming"back?" Grow:"How"will"we"upsell/crosssell" customers,"encourage"referrals?" Unfair$Advantage$ " What"makes"us"uniquely" different?" What"is"it"about"our"product" or"business"that"can’t"be" easily"copied"or"bought?" " Key$Resources$&$ Partners$ " What"are"the"cri[cal" internal"and"external" resources"we"need"to" deliver"the"solu[on"to"the" customer?" $ Revenue/Business$Value$ $ What"is"the"business"value"of"delivering"the"product/service/capability?"(E.g.," drive"revenue,"save"money,"increase"CSAT,"compe[[ve"differen[ator,"market" posi[oning,"etc.)" Cost$Structure$ $ What"are"most"important"costs"inherent"in"our"product"model?" Which"Key"Resources"are"most"expensive?" Which"key"ac[vi[es"are"most"expensive"–"product"development,"marke[ng," customer"support?" MARKET/CUSTOMER$ PRODUCT/BUSINESS$ Product$CanvasTM$
  18. 18. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Our$approach:$bootstrap$using$validated$learning$milestones$ 1.  Quickly"sketched"out"product"vision/strategy" 2.  Decomposed"product"idea"into"cri[cal"learning"milestones" meant"to"answer"the"most"important"ques[ons"in"my" product"strategy" –  How"does"our"target"customer"describe"the"problem?" –  How"are"they"solving"it"today?" –  Why"is"that"solu[on"not"working"for"them?"In"other"words,"why"is"the" problem"s[ll"a"pain"for"them?" –  How"can"we"know"before"we"invest"a"lot"in"development,"sales"and" marke[ng,"that"the"solu[on"we’re"thinking"of"building"really"solves" the"problem?" –  How"quickly"can"we"get"our"first"customer?" –  What"are"the"musthave"features"we"need"to"have"in"our"goto market"product?" 17"
  19. 19. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Our$approach:$bootstrap$using$validated$learning$milestones$ 1.  Quickly"sketched"out"my"product"vision/strategy" 2.  Decomposed"product"idea"into"cri[cal"learning"milestones" meant"to"answer"the"most"important"ques[ons"in"my" product"strategy" 3.  Figured"out"the"least"amount"of"work"needed"to"be"done"to" maximize"learning"for"each"milestone" 4.  Broke"down"the"investment"need"into"these"milestones," showing"how"ROI"could"be"tangibly"achieved"based"on" measurable"results" 18"
  20. 20. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Customer$learning$driven$investment$strategy$ 19" Customer/ Problem"Fit" Problem/ Solu[on"Fit" Minimum" Viable" Product" Minimum" Sellable" Product" Goal$ Validate"customer" and"problem" hypotheses" Validate"solu[on" hypothesis" Validate"product" Gotomarket" Chief$ Ac4vity$ Customer" interviews" Customer"interviews" with"mockup" Build"and"deliver"MVP"to" early"customers" Gotomarket" Investment$ Needed$ $0"–"just"[me" $0"or"small"$"to"build" mockup" $$"to"build"MVP" $$"to"build"MSP" ROI$ Cri4cal$learning$ about$the$target$ customer’s$pain$ 1. Cri4cal$learning$ about$whether$the$ solu4on$resonates$ with$customers$ 2. Early$customers$ willing$to$use$MVP$ 3. MVP$defini4on$ 1. Real$product$delivered$ to$customers$ 2. “Earlyvangelists”$to$ help$define$gohtoh market$and$inform$ product$roadmap$ 3. Revenue$(possibly)$ Revenue$
  21. 21. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Benefits$&$ROI$through$produc4on$availability$ 20" Product$1$“So[$Launch”$ Product$2$“Beta”$ Approach$ Tradi4onal$Approach$ Bootstrapped$Approach$ (Adapted$Lean$Startup$Approach)$ Solu4on$ Valida4on$ •  Time"to"obtain"="6"months" •  Cost"="$171,000" •  Time"to"obtain"="2"months"(1/3rd'less)' •  Cost"="$11,000"(94%'less)' Customers$ •  14"customers"in"first"3"months" a0er"sou"launch" •  5"MVP"customers"2"months"prior"to"MVP" availability" •  14"Beta"customers"1"month"prior"to"Beta" availability" Investment$ (and$Product$ Valida4on)$ $250,000"over"10"months" 78"dedicated"people" $85,000"over"6"months" $20k"for"demo"+"technical"proofofconcept" +"$50k"for"MVP" +"$15k"for"Beta" 34"dedicated"people" !'66%'less'$’s,'60%'of'the'<me,'50%'less' people' Rela4ve$Product$ Complexity$ O(1)" O(n^2)"
  22. 22. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Benefits$&$ROI$through$Problem/Solu4on$Fit$ 21" Product$1$ Product$2$ •  $190K"invested"over"7"months" prior"to"“sou”"launch" •  78"dedicated"people" •  $11k"invested"over"~2"months" (first"two"milestones)" •  3"dedicated"people" •  “Guessed”"at"Problem" •  “Guessed”"at"Solu[on"defini[on" •  “Guessed”"at"Target"Customers" •  In'2Bmonths'prior'to'launch'spent' ~700'hrs'of'crossBdepartmental' work'involving'150+'product'fixes' •  Solu.on"Valida.on"done"1"month" before"launch"!"cost"="$171,000" RESULTS$ RESULTS$ !  PROBLEM$VALIDATION$""based"on" direct"customer"feedback" !  SOLUTION$VALIDATION$ #  Technical"risk"valida[on" #  Customer"valida[on"of"solu[on" approach" !  CUSTOMER$VALIDATION$""MVP" customers"signed"up!" ROI:$6.4%$of$cost$of$Product$1$valida4on$in$less$than$ 1/3$of$the$4me$with$40%$less$people$resources$ Product$Risks$ Mi4gated$
  23. 23. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Poten4al$early$customers$ “Alpha”$ (CohInnovators)$ “Beta”$ Other$Early$Adopters$ Not$ (“Early$Majority”)$ •  High"sense"of"urgency:" “I"need"it"now!”" •  Problem"domain"SME" •  “Gets”"vision"of"solu[on" •  Willing"to"cotest" •  Urgent,"but"not"alpha" •  Unwilling"to"test"at" early"stage" •  Expressed"high" interest,"but"needs" more"baked"out" solu[on" •  May"need"help" evolving"from"current" process" •  Some"pain,"but"not" an"urgent"problem" to"solve" •  Married"to"current" process" •  Customer"1" •  Customer"2" •  Customer"3" •  Customer"4" •  Customer"5" •  Customer"6" •  Customer"7" •  Customer"8" •  Customer"9" •  Customer"10" •  Customer"11" 22" Help$define$and$build$ MVP$ Help$refine$MVP$ Help$define$MSP$ Create$“Earlyvangelists”$
  24. 24. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Benefits$ •  Informed"minibusiness"cases"at"each"milestone"instead"of"massive" assump[ve"based"one"upfront" –  Quicker"and"easier"to"create" –  Each"stage"informed"by"learnings"from"previous"stage" •  Marketinformed"product"strategy" •  Customerdriven,"defensible"product"roadmap" –  Customer"insights"defined"MVP"vs."MSP"vs."roadmap"vs."nicetohave" •  Focused"product"development"effort" –  Fend"off"internal"“arbitrary”"new"feature"requests" •  “Coinnova[on”"approach"with"customers"created"“earlyvangelists”" –  Leveraging"to"create"market"momentum"for"broader"launch" •  Easier"to"garner,"maintain"and"accelerate"stakeholder"buyin:" –  Clear"milestonebased"investment"plan"with"ROI"to"be"gained"at"each"phase" –  Smaller"con[nual"investments"easier"to"digest"and"support"than"large"upfront"one" –  Each"investment"stage"grounded"in"real"customer"data,"increasing"confidence"to" persevere" –  Stakeholders"felt"involved"in"the"process" 23"
  25. 25. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" Summary$ •  Use"customer"learning"to"drive"our"product"development" •  Less"assump[ve"and"more"empirically"based"investment"asks" •  Con[nuous"tangible"ROI"throughout"the"process" •  Less"documenta[on,"slideware,"overhead" •  Faster"and"more"costeffec[ve" •  Bring"stakeholders"along" 24"
  26. 26. ©"Shardul"Mehta"2015" h1p://streetsmartproductmanager.com"" @shardulmehta" A$Roadmap$For$Launching$A$New$Product$ 25" Avoid"Shiny"Object"Syndrome"and" Bloated"Innova.on"Processes" Want"to"increase"your"odds"of"building"a"successful" souware"product?"Then"it’s"[me"to"skip"all"the"fluff" that"masquerades"as"gezng"product"done"–"big" requirements"docs,"slideware,"fancy"graphs," overblown"GANTT"charts"–"and"actually"build"the"real" thing"and"get"it"to"customers." Available$for$prehorder$at$ hop://streetsmartproductmanager.com$ Get"the"first"3"chapters"now." Need"product"help?"Schedule".me"with"me"at" hop://sohelpful.me/shardulmehta."It’s"FREE!"

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