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Silicon Valley View of
Product Owner/Product Manager
Challenges
Rich Mironov
Agile@Cork
13 April 2015
© Rich Mironov, 2015
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• Veteran product manager/exec/strategist
• Business models, pricing, agile product organizations
• “What do customers want?”
• 6 startups, including as CEO/founder
• “The Art of Product Management”
• Chaired first agile product manager/owner
tracks, founded Product Camp,
ABOUT RICH MIRONOV
w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
 What we’re obsessed with in Silicon Valley
 Narrow definition of Product Owners
 Thinking broadly about
product success
AGENDA
3
• Except for people, software startups cost nothing
• Talent and speed-to-market matter
• Find the smartest people at any price
• Validate, build, launch, repeat
• Profitability is entirely about scale
• Can we reach 1M users? 10M? 1B?
SOFTWARE ECONOMICS IS ABOUT
TALENT, SPEED AND GROWTH
4
• Every corporate function/department: Engineering,
Finance, Sales, Marketing, HR, Real Estate…
• Transportation: Uber, Google autonomous car, Tesla,
SpaceX
• Mobile: software IP crushing handsets
• Wearable computing
• Biotech: bioengineering components
• Internet of Things: billions of smart devices
• Manufacturing: DIY 3D printing
• Automated investment portfolios
INNOVATION AND DISRUPTION:
“SOFTWARE IS EATING THE
WORLD”
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SOCIAL NETWORKING
6
• Free or cheap for
thousands of attendees
• “We can validate any
product idea and build a
paper prototype by
Sunday afternoon”
• Build/measure/learn at
warp speed
LEAN STARTUP WEEKENDS AND
HACKATHONS
7
• Biggest waste is building a product the
market doesn’t want
• Agile without good validation risks building
the wrong thing twice as fast
OUTPUT vs. OUTCOME
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• “…represents the customer’s interest in backlog
prioritization and requirements questions...
available to the team at any time.”
• Provides intense sprint-level focus: stories,
backlog, prioritization, acceptance
• Agile redefinition of classic product management
WHAT DOES A PRODUCT OWNER
DO?
w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 9
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Steam engine
“firemen” need to
shovel coal
constantly,
otherwise the train
will stop
FEEDING THE AGILE BEAST
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PRODUCT OWNER FOCUS
Product
Backlog
Epics &
User Stories
Release
Backlog
Epics &
User Stories
Sprint
Backlog
User Stories
Potentially
releasable
software
Software
release
Accepted
story
(“DONE”)
Review
Demo,
feedback
Retrospective
Process
improvement
1 day
Daily
Standup
Sprint: 1 to 4 weeks
No changes in duration or goal
Release
planning
Sprint
planning
Charter Release
Retrospective
Process
improvement
N
sprints
product owner focus
• Makes sense for well-behaved IT projects
• Budget/ROI approved by “the business”
• Problem, stakeholders, users already defined
• Rough timeline or acceptance criteria
• Then scrum team and PO assigned
• Success = on time, on spec, with quality
• Makes sense for contract development
• Customer writes cheque and requirements
• Success = on time, on spec, with quality
PRODUCT OWNER: ENGINEERING
VIEW OF THE PRODUCT PROBLEM
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IT = internally consumed
Professional service = built
or tailored for each client
Product = something standard we
can sell to thousands (millions) of
customers with little modification or
incremental effort
IT and PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
vs. PRODUCTS
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Most success/failure happens during product framing
• “What problem should we solve that thousands of
customers will pay for?”
• Product/market fit
• Validate, validate, validate, validate, validate, validate, validate
• Prospects rarely agree on features or priorities
• Choose user, segment, value/benefit, positioning
• Savvy competitors in every niche
• No one is required to buy your product
NARROW PRODUCT OWNER:
INSUFFICIENT FOR REVENUE
SOFTWARE
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COMMERCIAL PRODUCT FAILURES
Product
Backlog
Epics &
User Stories
Release
Backlog
Epics &
User Stories
Sprint
Backlog
User Stories
Potentially
releasable
software
Software
release
Accepted
story
(“DONE”)
Review
Demo,
feedback
Retrospective
Process
improvement
1 day
Daily
Standup
Sprint: 1 to 4 weeks
No changes in duration or goal
Release
planning
Sprint
planning
Charter Release
Retrospective
Process
improvement
N
sprints
Most product failures
happen here
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market information, priorities,
requirements, roadmaps, epics,
user stories, backlogs,
personas, MRDs…
product
bits
strategy, forecasts,
commitments, roadmaps,
competitive intelligence
budgets, staff,
targets
Field input,
Market feedback
Segmentation, messages,
benefits/features, pricing,
qualification, demos…
Markets &
CustomersDevelopment
Marketing
& Sales
Executives
Product
Management
WHAT DOES A PRODUCT MANAGER
DO?
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backlog, priorities,
epics, user stories,
personas, demo feedback
product
bits
Markets &
CustomersDevelopment
Marketing
& Sales
Executives
Product
Owner
‘small p’ PRODUCT OWNER
showcase
customers
Even if you’re building for internal use…
• Talk with lots of users
• Not only your designated customer / stakeholder
• Look for distinct segments, disagreements, shifting needs
• Validate that real users need your work (=Lean)
• Run the numbers (or make someone else does)
• Play product manager when you can
WHAT TO DO?
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MINIMAL PM/PO PRODUCT
“ORGANIZATION”
20
VP or Founders
more technical more market-focused
Heroic Single
Product Manager/Owner
“management”
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DYSFUNCTIONAL PO/PM
ORGANIZATION
21
VP Eng
Product
Owners
more technical more market-focused
VP Marketing
“management”
Product
Managers
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PM/PO PRODUCT ORGANIZATION:
MARKET MENTORING
22
GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO
more technical more market-focused
“management”
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PM/PO PRODUCT ORGANIZATION:
PRODUCT PEERS
23
PM Director/
Product Strategist
GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO
more technical more market-focused
“management”
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SHARED PO/PM SCOPE
Product
Backlog
Epics &
User Stories
Release
Backlog
Epics &
User Stories
Sprint
Backlog
User Stories
Potentially
releasable
software
Software
release
Accepted
story
(“DONE”)
Review
Demo,
feedback
Retrospective
Process
improvement
1 day
Daily
Standup
Sprint: 1 to 4 weeks
No changes in duration or goal
Release
planning
Sprint
planning
Charter Release
Retrospective
Process
improvement
N
sprints
product manager focus
product owner focus
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CONTACT
Rich Mironov, CEO
Mironov Consulting
233 Franklin St, Suite #308
San Francisco, CA 94102
RichMironov
@RichMironov
Rich@Mironov.com
+1-650-315-7394

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Agile@Cork: Silicon Valley View of Product Owner/Manager Challenges

  • 1. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE Silicon Valley View of Product Owner/Product Manager Challenges Rich Mironov Agile@Cork 13 April 2015 © Rich Mironov, 2015 w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  • 2. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE • Veteran product manager/exec/strategist • Business models, pricing, agile product organizations • “What do customers want?” • 6 startups, including as CEO/founder • “The Art of Product Management” • Chaired first agile product manager/owner tracks, founded Product Camp, ABOUT RICH MIRONOV w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  • 3.  What we’re obsessed with in Silicon Valley  Narrow definition of Product Owners  Thinking broadly about product success AGENDA 3
  • 4. • Except for people, software startups cost nothing • Talent and speed-to-market matter • Find the smartest people at any price • Validate, build, launch, repeat • Profitability is entirely about scale • Can we reach 1M users? 10M? 1B? SOFTWARE ECONOMICS IS ABOUT TALENT, SPEED AND GROWTH 4
  • 5. • Every corporate function/department: Engineering, Finance, Sales, Marketing, HR, Real Estate… • Transportation: Uber, Google autonomous car, Tesla, SpaceX • Mobile: software IP crushing handsets • Wearable computing • Biotech: bioengineering components • Internet of Things: billions of smart devices • Manufacturing: DIY 3D printing • Automated investment portfolios INNOVATION AND DISRUPTION: “SOFTWARE IS EATING THE WORLD” w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  • 7. • Free or cheap for thousands of attendees • “We can validate any product idea and build a paper prototype by Sunday afternoon” • Build/measure/learn at warp speed LEAN STARTUP WEEKENDS AND HACKATHONS 7
  • 8. • Biggest waste is building a product the market doesn’t want • Agile without good validation risks building the wrong thing twice as fast OUTPUT vs. OUTCOME w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  • 9. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE • “…represents the customer’s interest in backlog prioritization and requirements questions... available to the team at any time.” • Provides intense sprint-level focus: stories, backlog, prioritization, acceptance • Agile redefinition of classic product management WHAT DOES A PRODUCT OWNER DO? w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 9
  • 10. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE Steam engine “firemen” need to shovel coal constantly, otherwise the train will stop FEEDING THE AGILE BEAST w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m 10
  • 11. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE PRODUCT OWNER FOCUS Product Backlog Epics & User Stories Release Backlog Epics & User Stories Sprint Backlog User Stories Potentially releasable software Software release Accepted story (“DONE”) Review Demo, feedback Retrospective Process improvement 1 day Daily Standup Sprint: 1 to 4 weeks No changes in duration or goal Release planning Sprint planning Charter Release Retrospective Process improvement N sprints product owner focus
  • 12. • Makes sense for well-behaved IT projects • Budget/ROI approved by “the business” • Problem, stakeholders, users already defined • Rough timeline or acceptance criteria • Then scrum team and PO assigned • Success = on time, on spec, with quality • Makes sense for contract development • Customer writes cheque and requirements • Success = on time, on spec, with quality PRODUCT OWNER: ENGINEERING VIEW OF THE PRODUCT PROBLEM w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  • 13. IT = internally consumed Professional service = built or tailored for each client Product = something standard we can sell to thousands (millions) of customers with little modification or incremental effort IT and PROFESSIONAL SERVICES vs. PRODUCTS w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  • 14. Most success/failure happens during product framing • “What problem should we solve that thousands of customers will pay for?” • Product/market fit • Validate, validate, validate, validate, validate, validate, validate • Prospects rarely agree on features or priorities • Choose user, segment, value/benefit, positioning • Savvy competitors in every niche • No one is required to buy your product NARROW PRODUCT OWNER: INSUFFICIENT FOR REVENUE SOFTWARE w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  • 15. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLEw w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  • 16. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE COMMERCIAL PRODUCT FAILURES Product Backlog Epics & User Stories Release Backlog Epics & User Stories Sprint Backlog User Stories Potentially releasable software Software release Accepted story (“DONE”) Review Demo, feedback Retrospective Process improvement 1 day Daily Standup Sprint: 1 to 4 weeks No changes in duration or goal Release planning Sprint planning Charter Release Retrospective Process improvement N sprints Most product failures happen here
  • 17. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE market information, priorities, requirements, roadmaps, epics, user stories, backlogs, personas, MRDs… product bits strategy, forecasts, commitments, roadmaps, competitive intelligence budgets, staff, targets Field input, Market feedback Segmentation, messages, benefits/features, pricing, qualification, demos… Markets & CustomersDevelopment Marketing & Sales Executives Product Management WHAT DOES A PRODUCT MANAGER DO?
  • 18. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE backlog, priorities, epics, user stories, personas, demo feedback product bits Markets & CustomersDevelopment Marketing & Sales Executives Product Owner ‘small p’ PRODUCT OWNER showcase customers
  • 19. Even if you’re building for internal use… • Talk with lots of users • Not only your designated customer / stakeholder • Look for distinct segments, disagreements, shifting needs • Validate that real users need your work (=Lean) • Run the numbers (or make someone else does) • Play product manager when you can WHAT TO DO? w w w . M I R O N O V . c o m
  • 20. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE MINIMAL PM/PO PRODUCT “ORGANIZATION” 20 VP or Founders more technical more market-focused Heroic Single Product Manager/Owner “management”
  • 21. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE DYSFUNCTIONAL PO/PM ORGANIZATION 21 VP Eng Product Owners more technical more market-focused VP Marketing “management” Product Managers
  • 22. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE PM/PO PRODUCT ORGANIZATION: MARKET MENTORING 22 GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO more technical more market-focused “management”
  • 23. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE PM/PO PRODUCT ORGANIZATION: PRODUCT PEERS 23 PM Director/ Product Strategist GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO more technical more market-focused “management”
  • 24. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE SHARED PO/PM SCOPE Product Backlog Epics & User Stories Release Backlog Epics & User Stories Sprint Backlog User Stories Potentially releasable software Software release Accepted story (“DONE”) Review Demo, feedback Retrospective Process improvement 1 day Daily Standup Sprint: 1 to 4 weeks No changes in duration or goal Release planning Sprint planning Charter Release Retrospective Process improvement N sprints product manager focus product owner focus
  • 25. CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE CONTACT Rich Mironov, CEO Mironov Consulting 233 Franklin St, Suite #308 San Francisco, CA 94102 RichMironov @RichMironov Rich@Mironov.com +1-650-315-7394

Editor's Notes

  1. AWS, GoogleDocs, DropBox, Skype, Puppet, SourceForge, Jira…
  2. "Web browser pioneer Marc Andreessen writes in the Wall Street Journal that software is 'eating the world.' He argues that software's importance to the economy is being underestimated, and will become much more evident in the near future. Quoting: 'But too much of the debate is still around financial valuation, as opposed to the underlying intrinsic value of the best of Silicon Valley's new companies. My own theory is that we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy. More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services—from movies to agriculture to national defense. Many of the winners are Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be disrupted by software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the disruption in more cases than not.'"
  3. Silicon Valley: Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo/Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp (but huge in Europe) NYC: Tumblr China: Tencent Weibo, Sina Weibo, Renren, QQ/Qzone, WeChat Russia: Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki
  4. Avoid the Steve Jobs myth
  5. (e.g. Amazon Fire)
  6. Degenerative case: one person has to do it all. Suck it up.
  7. Symptoms:
  8. Challenges: PO tends to stay inwardly focused, not build outward skills. PM tends to ignore/slight intense agile activity and strategic product opportunities it presents Senior PMs see join PO role as less valuable/important Counterbalances: Pair of PM and PO, high-bandwidth collaboration on iteration planning and acceptance criteria Career track discussions for PO: up to PM, over to PgM, over to EngM…
  9. Challenge: individual PMs are (appropriately) pulled into deep agile details and iteration rhythms. Tend to lose contact with/focus on broader external markets / customers / competitors. Need to balance this with a senior PM (dir PM…) who works product strategy and integration issues.