Product managers need to talk — often — with actual end users and buyers. We need to listen, interview, understand and empathize with paying customers. Unmediated by marketing, sales or researchers. What organizational barriers block this essential work, and can we remove some of them?
This interactive workshop with Rich Mironov will help product managers improve their understanding and skills for working with stakeholders, cross-functional teams, executives, and customers. We will frame the main challenges forproduct managers, then look at specific tools/techniques to drive decisions/strategies.
Product Anonymous Melbourne hosted Rich’s talk on building and scaling product management teams. We focused on initial product hires, division of labor as teams grow, and owning end-to-end bits of value.
I joined Shane Hastie’s InfoQ podcast for a high-speed talk about building the right things; how engineering teams worldwide are similar; and the importance of bringing development teams into close contact with real customers.
Your different audiences have different (often opposing) goals and incentives, which means they probably want different product decisions and therefore different roadmaps. You need to understand and anticipate their agendas.
What are the questions that various groups really want to ask, and how does that shape our roadmap conversations?
Enterprise (B2B) sales teams deal with the world one account at a time; product managers deal with whole customer segments. This naturally creates some friction, which good companies anticipate and manage.
Talking generically about ‘customers’ or ‘users’ can generate lots of confusion, especially in B2B or B2B2C situations. We can be more precise by saying doctors, or shoppers, or data analysts, or whatever we really mean.
There are some fundamental laws of tech product economics (especially software) that should drive executive-level decisions about business and product strategies. It’s easy to forget them, or decide they don’t apply to our special situation. We’ll unpack a few while we share some war stories.