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Protecting Your Roadmap from Influential Clients


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Slides Jordan Bergtraum recently used in his discussion w/ mentees of The Product Mentor.

Synopsis: Executing on your roadmap is key to product success. Influential clients may ask you to work on non-roadmap efforts they want, killing your success. I’ll provide techniques and processes for how to keep your roadmap stable.

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.

Published in: Business
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Protecting Your Roadmap from Influential Clients

  1. 1. Protecting Your Roadmap From Influential Clients Jordan Bergtraum Product Management Consultant September 2018
  2. 2. 10+ years of B2B SaaS experience7 years leading Product Management teamsEducation, Pharma, Legal, and Facilities ManagementTwice introduced Product Management to an organizationOwned market research, product marketing, product design, product delivery Who is Jordan Bergtraum?
  3. 3. What to expect from this presentation? How to better maintain roadmap discipline to prevent influential clients from wrecking your roadmap
  4. 4. Reality check! Offer to research the ideaYour Boss is the bossDon’t risk your job to protect your roadmap
  5. 5. # 1 Have a roadmap
  6. 6. Have a roadmap Without a roadmap, its easy to change the route Clients may ask for anything, not the best thing Often your roadmap is better
  7. 7. # 2 Have a roadmap process
  8. 8. Have a roadmap process No process, no defense You’re building a platform for all your customers Based on facts & data, not opinions
  9. 9. # 3 Have a transparent roadmap process
  10. 10. Have a transparent roadmap process From who do you get input How you assess value How you collect data Some of the roadmap is for acquisition
  11. 11. # 4 Have the backing of your leadership
  12. 12. Have the backing of your leadership Get your leaders to empower you… ….not over-ride you Ask them to defer to you Ask them not to say “yes”
  13. 13. # 5 Advisory Boards
  14. 14. Advisory Boards Create one Include influential customers Expose them to democracy and a process Expose them to the needs of other customers
  15. 15. # 6 Professional Services
  16. 16. Professional Services Set aside resources for customer-specific work Charge for this work Integrated into your PM process
  17. 17. Professional Services Keeps big customers happy Stabilizes the roadmap Increase revenue
  18. 18. Professional Services Easier sell if you line up customers first Reassign team to core if work slows
  19. 19. Summary Have a roadmap Have a process Be transparent Have an Advisory Board Stand up a Professional Services team
  20. 20. Jordan Bergtraum Product Management Consultant September 2018 Thank You!