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Lone Product Manager
We Are Passionate Product
Champions
Alicia Dixon
@Li_Li_D
Kristin Bolton-Keys
@KristinBKeys
#LonePM	
   2	
  @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
  
Introduction
§  Somebody has to be the first
– Working as the “Lone PM”
§  Provide usable tips to make life easier
– Identifying key players
– Role definition
– Training resources
#LonePM	
   3	
  @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
  
Define Your Role or Others
Will Define it for You
Define Your Role
§  Clear role definition makes it harder to ‘go around’
the PM
§  Focus on the necessities
§  Avoid falling into other defined roles:
§  Account manager
§  Dev Ops
§  Product trainer
§  Tech support
§  Technical writer
#LonePM	
   5	
  @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
  
Know Your Stakeholders
Who Owns This Thing?
§  Define stakeholders
§  Build relationships
§  Share product vision/
objectives
#LonePM	
   7	
  @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
  
§  Define roles
§  Create approval process
§  Communication
cadence 	
  
Stakeholder	
  Map	
   Roles	
  &	
  Responsibili4es	
  
Matrix	
  
Understand Your Users
Lean
Design
Thinking
Human-Centered
Users Need Love Too
#LonePM	
   9	
  @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
  
Design
Thinking
Lean
Human-
Centered
#LonePM	
   @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
   10	
  
Rose, Thorn, Bud
Round Robin
Additional Methods
Don’t Let Lack of Money
Stop You
Be Resourceful
Get creative and find inexpensive tools:
§  Software
§  Document templates
§  User research
$
#LonePM	
   12	
  @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
  
Low Cost (& Some Free) Tools
§  PM Templates & Tools: Mironov, Pivotal, ProductCanvas
§  Usability Research: UserTesting, Userlytics, Loop11, ClickHeat
§  Prioritization: Validately,
§  Analytics: Google Analytics, Mixpanel
§  Wireframes & Mockups: InVision, Wirefy, Blueprint,
§  Graphic Design & Screenshots: Canva, Snagit
§  Customer Feedback: UserEcho, UserVoice
§  Collaboration: Trello, Slack, Asana, Skitch
§  Surveys: WuFoo, SurveyMonkey
§  Glossary: Sequent, Blackbot
§  Data: Statista
§  CRM: Fusioo
#LonePM	
   13	
  @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
  
Acquire Some Skills
“I once had a person working for
me who claimed she didn’t need
any additional training due to
her 20 years of experience. One
of my colleagues remarked, she
actually has one year of
experience, repeated 19 times.”
- STEVE JOHNSON
#LonePM	
   15	
  @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
  
Less	
  than	
  3	
  years	
   5+	
  years	
  3	
  to	
  5	
  years	
  
§  Complete formal
Training
§  Attend Meetups
§  Follow experts on
Social Media
§  Attend
conferences
§  Develop core
skills – 101
courses
§  Become a
conference
speaker
§  Give a keynote
address
§  Become a guest
blogger
	
  
§  Complete Formal
Training
§  Attend Product
Camps
§  Attend conferences
§  Complete outside
projects
§  Diversify product
experience
§  Enhance core skills
– 201, 301 courses
#LonePM	
   16	
  @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
  
Never Stop Learning
Less than 3 Years 3 to 5 Years
More than
5 Years
Establish a Professional
Support Network
PMs Need a Support System
PEERS
§  Establish a ‘Product Council’ – 3 to 5 people who
you can share issues with to get feedback
§  Use social media to connect with local PM’s, then
meet them face-to-face
§  Pay It Forward – help others
MENTORS
§  Find an experienced mentor
–  Identify development gaps
–  Networking introductions
#LonePM	
   18	
  @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
  
Get Sh*t Done
“Perfec'onism	
  is	
  o.en	
  
an	
  excuse	
  for	
  
procras'na'on.”	
  
-­‐	
  Paul	
  Graham,	
  	
  
Y	
  Combinator	
  
“You	
  don’t	
  need	
  more	
  
'me,	
  you	
  just	
  need	
  to	
  
decide.”	
  -­‐	
  Seth	
  Godin	
  
“Never	
  half-­‐ass	
  two	
  things.	
  
Whole-­‐ass	
  one	
  thing.”	
  
-­‐	
  Ron	
  Swanson,	
  Parks	
  and	
  
Recrea4on	
  
“Don’t	
  be	
  a	
  complainer;	
  
make	
  things	
  beHer,	
  let	
  it	
  
go,	
  or	
  take	
  ac'on	
  to	
  make	
  
it	
  beHer.”	
  
-­‐	
  Tina	
  Roth	
  Eisenberg,	
  
TaHly	
  
#LonePM	
   20	
  @Kris/nBKeys	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  @Li_Li_D	
  
§  Stop doing
everything!
§  “Product Janitor
Tasks”
§  Four D’s of email by
Jock Busuttil
(Re)Take Control of your Schedule
1.  Define Your Role
2.  Know Your Stakeholders
3.  Understand Your Users
4.  Don’t Let Lack Of Money Stop You
5.  Acquire Some Skills
6.  Establish A Professional Support Network
7.  Get Sh*t Done
Thank You!
Alicia Dixon
@Li_Li_D
Kristin Bolton-Keys
@KristinBKeys

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Survival Tips for the Lone Product Manager - Kristin Bolton-Keys and Alicia Dixon

  • 2. We Are Passionate Product Champions Alicia Dixon @Li_Li_D Kristin Bolton-Keys @KristinBKeys #LonePM   2  @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D  
  • 3. Introduction §  Somebody has to be the first – Working as the “Lone PM” §  Provide usable tips to make life easier – Identifying key players – Role definition – Training resources #LonePM   3  @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D  
  • 4. Define Your Role or Others Will Define it for You
  • 5. Define Your Role §  Clear role definition makes it harder to ‘go around’ the PM §  Focus on the necessities §  Avoid falling into other defined roles: §  Account manager §  Dev Ops §  Product trainer §  Tech support §  Technical writer #LonePM   5  @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D  
  • 7. Who Owns This Thing? §  Define stakeholders §  Build relationships §  Share product vision/ objectives #LonePM   7  @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D   §  Define roles §  Create approval process §  Communication cadence   Stakeholder  Map   Roles  &  Responsibili4es   Matrix  
  • 9. Lean Design Thinking Human-Centered Users Need Love Too #LonePM   9  @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D   Design Thinking Lean Human- Centered
  • 10. #LonePM   @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D   10   Rose, Thorn, Bud Round Robin Additional Methods
  • 11. Don’t Let Lack of Money Stop You
  • 12. Be Resourceful Get creative and find inexpensive tools: §  Software §  Document templates §  User research $ #LonePM   12  @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D  
  • 13. Low Cost (& Some Free) Tools §  PM Templates & Tools: Mironov, Pivotal, ProductCanvas §  Usability Research: UserTesting, Userlytics, Loop11, ClickHeat §  Prioritization: Validately, §  Analytics: Google Analytics, Mixpanel §  Wireframes & Mockups: InVision, Wirefy, Blueprint, §  Graphic Design & Screenshots: Canva, Snagit §  Customer Feedback: UserEcho, UserVoice §  Collaboration: Trello, Slack, Asana, Skitch §  Surveys: WuFoo, SurveyMonkey §  Glossary: Sequent, Blackbot §  Data: Statista §  CRM: Fusioo #LonePM   13  @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D  
  • 15. “I once had a person working for me who claimed she didn’t need any additional training due to her 20 years of experience. One of my colleagues remarked, she actually has one year of experience, repeated 19 times.” - STEVE JOHNSON #LonePM   15  @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D  
  • 16. Less  than  3  years   5+  years  3  to  5  years   §  Complete formal Training §  Attend Meetups §  Follow experts on Social Media §  Attend conferences §  Develop core skills – 101 courses §  Become a conference speaker §  Give a keynote address §  Become a guest blogger   §  Complete Formal Training §  Attend Product Camps §  Attend conferences §  Complete outside projects §  Diversify product experience §  Enhance core skills – 201, 301 courses #LonePM   16  @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D   Never Stop Learning Less than 3 Years 3 to 5 Years More than 5 Years
  • 18. PMs Need a Support System PEERS §  Establish a ‘Product Council’ – 3 to 5 people who you can share issues with to get feedback §  Use social media to connect with local PM’s, then meet them face-to-face §  Pay It Forward – help others MENTORS §  Find an experienced mentor –  Identify development gaps –  Networking introductions #LonePM   18  @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D  
  • 20. “Perfec'onism  is  o.en   an  excuse  for   procras'na'on.”   -­‐  Paul  Graham,     Y  Combinator   “You  don’t  need  more   'me,  you  just  need  to   decide.”  -­‐  Seth  Godin   “Never  half-­‐ass  two  things.   Whole-­‐ass  one  thing.”   -­‐  Ron  Swanson,  Parks  and   Recrea4on   “Don’t  be  a  complainer;   make  things  beHer,  let  it   go,  or  take  ac'on  to  make   it  beHer.”   -­‐  Tina  Roth  Eisenberg,   TaHly   #LonePM   20  @Kris/nBKeys                        @Li_Li_D  
  • 21.
  • 22. §  Stop doing everything! §  “Product Janitor Tasks” §  Four D’s of email by Jock Busuttil (Re)Take Control of your Schedule
  • 23. 1.  Define Your Role 2.  Know Your Stakeholders 3.  Understand Your Users 4.  Don’t Let Lack Of Money Stop You 5.  Acquire Some Skills 6.  Establish A Professional Support Network 7.  Get Sh*t Done
  • 24. Thank You! Alicia Dixon @Li_Li_D Kristin Bolton-Keys @KristinBKeys