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Product Managers,
Agile Product Owners and
Building Great Products
Rich Mironov
IT@Cork
11 Feb 2014
1
©	
  Rich	
  Mironov,	
  2014	
  
•  Veteran product manager/executive
•  6 startups, including as CEO
•  “The Art of Product Management”
•  Founded Product Camp, chaired first
Agile conference product tracks
ABOUT RICH MIRONOV
2W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
•  “Product manager” is a job title
•  Org charts, HR category, not necessarily agile
•  Mostly in technology-as-revenue firms
•  “Product owner” is an agile team role
•  Part of self-organizing team within Engineering or Program Office
•  Internal IT or technology-as-revenue
•  Work has to get done, regardless of title
•  Sprint-level stories, backlogs, priorities, acceptance…
•  Engagement with users, buyers and corporate priorities
THE SET-UP
3W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
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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?
W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 4
•  “…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
•  Gets lots of love from Development
•  Feeds the hungry agile beast
WHAT DOES A PRODUCT OWNER DO?
W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 5
Steam engine
“firemen” need to
shovel coal
constantly, otherwise
the train will stop
FEEDING THE AGILE BEAST
6W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
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MASTER TITLE
STYLE
backlog, priorities,
epics, user stories,
personas, demo feedback
product
bits
Markets &
CustomersDevelopment
Marketing
& Sales
Executives
Product
Owner
‘small p’ PRODUCT OWNER
W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
showcase
customers
7
•  Engineering output
•  Product features
•  Order of delivery
•  Whole product/business model
•  Pricing
•  Competitive positioning
•  Partners and Channels
•  Services and Support
•  Fit with corporate strategy
•  Product split, merge or EOL
PRODUCT MANAGER HAS MORE LEVERS
8
Product
manager
Product
owner
A"er:	
  Greg	
  Cohen	
  
W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
Analyzed 41 US tech product manager
job postings
•  76% want previous product manager
experience
•  93% want a BS (68% prefer CS/EE)
•  93% want excellent verbal and
written communication skills
•  32% want MBAs
•  88% want experience in that
company’s market segment
WHAT PM HIRING MANAGERS WANT
9W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
•  Naturally look for advanced users (SMEs)
•  Huge premium on technical chops, story writing
•  Rarely consider market-side experience
•  Undervalue “deflection” skills
•  Good match for IT project with strong champion
•  Sucks for commercial (revenue) products
WHEN DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS
CHOOSE THEIR PRODUCT OWNERS…
10W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
•  Most product management teams were already
understaffed
•  Product ownership adds 40-60% more critical work
•  One product manager can “do it all” for a single
agile team
•  But typical Dev:PM ratio is
25:1, not 10:1
PROD MGMT: OVERSUBSCRIBED,
OVERCOMMITTED, BURNING OUT
11W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
PRODUCT MANAGER FAILURE MODES
12W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
Product Manager fails agile team when…
•  Part-timer, not engaged with team
•  Lack of detail on stories
•  Stale backlog
•  Best of intentions, but pulled in
too many directions
•  “Build what I meant”
PRODUCT OWNER FAILURE MODES
13W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
Product Owner fails the market when…
•  Weak on market realities: pricing,
packaging, selling cycle, upgrades,
discounting, service models,
competitive dynamics
•  Disconnected from Marketing, Sales, Support
•  Trading off company strategy for product features
•  Confusing showcase customers with broader market
•  Delivering products that don’t sell
•  Outdated plans
•  Urgency to start coding
•  Titles don’t create revenue
MARKET FAILURES
14W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
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MINIMAL PM/PO “ORGANIZATION”
W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 15
VP or Founders
more technical more market-focused
Heroic Single
Product Manager/Owner
“management”
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STYLE
DYSFUNCTIONAL PO/PM ORGANIZATION
W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 16
VP Eng
Product
Owners
more technical more market-focused
VP Marketing
“management”
Product
Managers
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MASTER TITLE
STYLE
PM/PO ORGANIZATIONAL MAP:
MARKET MENTORING
W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 17
GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO
more technical more market-focused
Product
Owner
Senior Product
Manager
“management”
CLICK TO EDIT
MASTER TITLE
STYLE
PM/PO ORGANIZATIONAL MAP:
PRODUCT PEERS
W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 18
PM Director/
Product Strategist
GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO
more technical more market-focused
“management”
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CONTACT
Rich Mironov, CEO
Mironov Consulting
233 Franklin St, Suite #308
San Francisco, CA 94102
RichMironov	
  
@RichMironov
Rich@Mironov.com	
  
W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 19

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Product Manager/Owner Challenges IT@Cork

  • 1. CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE Product Managers, Agile Product Owners and Building Great Products Rich Mironov IT@Cork 11 Feb 2014 1 ©  Rich  Mironov,  2014  
  • 2. •  Veteran product manager/executive •  6 startups, including as CEO •  “The Art of Product Management” •  Founded Product Camp, chaired first Agile conference product tracks ABOUT RICH MIRONOV 2W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
  • 3. •  “Product manager” is a job title •  Org charts, HR category, not necessarily agile •  Mostly in technology-as-revenue firms •  “Product owner” is an agile team role •  Part of self-organizing team within Engineering or Program Office •  Internal IT or technology-as-revenue •  Work has to get done, regardless of title •  Sprint-level stories, backlogs, priorities, acceptance… •  Engagement with users, buyers and corporate priorities THE SET-UP 3W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
  • 4. CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE 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? W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 4
  • 5. •  “…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 •  Gets lots of love from Development •  Feeds the hungry agile beast WHAT DOES A PRODUCT OWNER DO? W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 5
  • 6. Steam engine “firemen” need to shovel coal constantly, otherwise the train will stop FEEDING THE AGILE BEAST 6W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
  • 7. CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE backlog, priorities, epics, user stories, personas, demo feedback product bits Markets & CustomersDevelopment Marketing & Sales Executives Product Owner ‘small p’ PRODUCT OWNER W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M showcase customers 7
  • 8. •  Engineering output •  Product features •  Order of delivery •  Whole product/business model •  Pricing •  Competitive positioning •  Partners and Channels •  Services and Support •  Fit with corporate strategy •  Product split, merge or EOL PRODUCT MANAGER HAS MORE LEVERS 8 Product manager Product owner A"er:  Greg  Cohen   W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
  • 9. Analyzed 41 US tech product manager job postings •  76% want previous product manager experience •  93% want a BS (68% prefer CS/EE) •  93% want excellent verbal and written communication skills •  32% want MBAs •  88% want experience in that company’s market segment WHAT PM HIRING MANAGERS WANT 9W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
  • 10. •  Naturally look for advanced users (SMEs) •  Huge premium on technical chops, story writing •  Rarely consider market-side experience •  Undervalue “deflection” skills •  Good match for IT project with strong champion •  Sucks for commercial (revenue) products WHEN DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS CHOOSE THEIR PRODUCT OWNERS… 10W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
  • 11. •  Most product management teams were already understaffed •  Product ownership adds 40-60% more critical work •  One product manager can “do it all” for a single agile team •  But typical Dev:PM ratio is 25:1, not 10:1 PROD MGMT: OVERSUBSCRIBED, OVERCOMMITTED, BURNING OUT 11W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
  • 12. PRODUCT MANAGER FAILURE MODES 12W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M Product Manager fails agile team when… •  Part-timer, not engaged with team •  Lack of detail on stories •  Stale backlog •  Best of intentions, but pulled in too many directions •  “Build what I meant”
  • 13. PRODUCT OWNER FAILURE MODES 13W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M Product Owner fails the market when… •  Weak on market realities: pricing, packaging, selling cycle, upgrades, discounting, service models, competitive dynamics •  Disconnected from Marketing, Sales, Support •  Trading off company strategy for product features •  Confusing showcase customers with broader market
  • 14. •  Delivering products that don’t sell •  Outdated plans •  Urgency to start coding •  Titles don’t create revenue MARKET FAILURES 14W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M
  • 15. CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE MINIMAL PM/PO “ORGANIZATION” W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 15 VP or Founders more technical more market-focused Heroic Single Product Manager/Owner “management”
  • 16. CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE DYSFUNCTIONAL PO/PM ORGANIZATION W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 16 VP Eng Product Owners more technical more market-focused VP Marketing “management” Product Managers
  • 17. CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE PM/PO ORGANIZATIONAL MAP: MARKET MENTORING W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 17 GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO more technical more market-focused Product Owner Senior Product Manager “management”
  • 18. CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE PM/PO ORGANIZATIONAL MAP: PRODUCT PEERS W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 18 PM Director/ Product Strategist GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO more technical more market-focused “management”
  • 19. CLICK TO EDIT MASTER TITLE STYLE CONTACT Rich Mironov, CEO Mironov Consulting 233 Franklin St, Suite #308 San Francisco, CA 94102 RichMironov   @RichMironov Rich@Mironov.com   W W W . M I R O N O V . C O M 19

Editor's Notes

  1. A lot of levers to pull to influence business outcomes
  2. Believe in rational markets, unemotional product comparisons, technically adept customers
  3. Degenerative case: one person has to do it all. Suck it up.
  4. Symptoms:
  5. Challenges: PO tends to stay inwardly focused, not build outward skills.PM tends to ignore/slight intense agile activity and strategic product opportunities it presentsSenior PMs see join PO role as less valuable/importantCounterbalances:Pair of PM and PO, high-bandwidth collaboration on iteration planning and acceptance criteriaCareer track discussions for PO: up to PM, over to PgM, over to EngM…
  6. 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.