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Core Product Management

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Slides Patrick Hoffman recently used in his discussion w/ mentees of The Product Mentor.

Synopsis: Many people who are early in their PM career, or who are looking to break into Product Management, find themselves obsessing over gaining deep technical skills. Learn from an experienced Product Manager about why that’s the wrong thing to prioritize and what traits are more important to making your mark as a Product Manager.

The Product Mentor is a program designed to pair Product Mentors and Mentees from around the World, across all industries, from start-up to enterprise, guided by the fundamental goals…Better Decisions. Better Products. Better Product People.

Throughout the program, each mentor leads a conversation in an area of their expertise that is live streamed and available to both mentee and the broader product community.

http://TheProductMentor.com

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Core Product Management

  1. 1. technical enough is a real thing other skills are more critical to your success Core Product Management Patrick T. Hoffman @arcktip The Product Mentor September 2018
  2. 2. 2 Patrick T. Hoffman Senior Product Manager | Enterprise @Udacity 8+ years managing complex hardware and software products at Social Bicycles (now Jump, acquired by Uber), Superpedestrian, Udacity and a few side SaaS startups Patrick T. Hoffman @arcktip The Product Mentor September 2018
  3. 3. WHAT PEOPLE THINK YOU NEED Your path to Product Manager? 3 ... Degree in Computer Science or related field Degree in Business or related field Learn to Code Business experience (e.g. failed startup) Product Manager
  4. 4. THE ACCEPTED MODEL Product Management Skills 4 Technology Tech: understand the technology stack and most importantly understand the level of effort to build
  5. 5. THE ACCEPTED MODEL Product Management Skills 5 Technology User Experience Tech: understand the technology stack and most importantly understand the level of effort to build UX: be the voice of the user, test the product, talk to users and get their feedback first hand
  6. 6. THE ACCEPTED MODEL Product Management Skills 6 Technology User Experience Business Tech: understand the technology stack and most importantly understand the level of effort to build UX: be the voice of the user, test the product, talk to users and get their feedback first hand Business: optimize a product to achieve the business goals while maximising return on investment “A good product manager must be experienced in at least one, passionate about all three, and conversant with practitioners in all.” - Martin Eriksson, Co-Founder of Mind the Product Hybrid model and quote from Eriksson’s post “What exactly is a Product Manager” (2011)
  7. 7. THE ACCEPTED MODEL, QUESTIONED Product Management Skills 7 Technology User Experience Business Some things are missing…
  8. 8. A NEW CONNECTIVE SKILL MODEL Product Management Skills 8 ...Core PM Framework introduced by Matt LeMay in Product Management in Practice (2018) Technology User Experience Business Communication Organization Research Execution
  9. 9. CORE TO GREAT PRODUCT MANAGEMENT The Connective Skills 9 Organization Research Execution Communication: “Clarity over comfort” Real World Scenario: Your team sets your roadmap for the next 1212 months at the end of December. You reaffirm it at the end of January. A feature set on this roadmap requires working with another team for 2-3 months. You want to land the feature set by October but the other team is not available until July. You reaffirm commitment to this feature in May. In mid-July, after p.o.c. done you’re speaking with your head of business and your head of engineering. Your head of business makes an offhand comment questioning the value of the feature suggesting it shouldn’t be done. Communication What do you do as a Product Manager?
  10. 10. CORE TO GREAT PRODUCT MANAGEMENT The Connective Skills 10 Research Execution Organization: “Change the rules, don’t break the rules” Real World Scenario: You’ve spent the last decade working with highly structured teams of engineers and designers, across different companies making use of agile methods, to deliver product in iterations. You switch companies. You go from working with a team of 20 engineers and designers to working with a team of 3 engineers and no designers. The team has a set way of doing things and has been productive. You know the team plans to quadruple in size within the year. Communication Organization What do you do as a Product Manager?
  11. 11. CORE TO GREAT PRODUCT MANAGEMENT The Connective Skills 11 Organization Execution Research: “Live in your user’s reality” Real World Scenario 1: You join an ecommerce company with a customer base in the millions. You need to understand your users. Real World Scenario 2: You join a direct to consumer business in order to build out their Enterprise product offering. You need to understand your users. Real World Scenario 3: You decide to start a SaaS company to make it easier for small businesses (e.g. restaurants) to operate in the digital age. You need to understand your users. Communication Research What do you do as a Product Manager?
  12. 12. CORE TO GREAT PRODUCT MANAGEMENT The Connective Skills 12 Organization Execution Execution: “No work beneath, no work above” Real World Scenario: You’re fresh out of graduate school and you get hired for your first job as a Product Manager at a company selling software solutions to midsize businesses. Your day to day is mostly working with your team to understand the needs of your users and to make sure your product stays delightful and relevant to them. 9 months in, your CEO asks you to be on site to oversee and guide the acquisition of a mission-critical partner. Communication Research What do you do as a Product Manager?
  13. 13. WHAT YOU SHOULD DO TO BE GREAT Your path to Product Manager 13 ● Always be learning ● Learn how to seek the truth and find it for the current case ● Learn to navigate ambiguity ● Learn to keep strong opinions, weakly held ● Learn to communicate the same idea to different audiences ● Learn to solve organizational problems at different stages and scales ● Stay invested in your user’s reality ● Do whatever it takes (ethically) to make your team, your product, your company successful ● Keep learning, keep growing as a Product Manager The Product Mentor September 2018

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