You can’t build great products without great teams, and great teams need great leaders. This panel dives into what modern product leadership looks like, and what it takes to build empowered product teams. John Cutler will moderate a lively panel discussion.
Product Management Helps Us Build the RIGHT Things:
Strong product managers spent up to half of their time talking directly with customers, buyers, and partners. And the other half of their time with their teams: framing problems, collaborating on solutions, translating features into benefits and vice versa. Making sure that we’re building the RIGHT things as validated directly by users and buyers so that we deliver customer-defined value as well as increased velocity. That’s different from the narrow scrum definition of product owner, which is mostly internal-facing.
We know that external customers must recognize a problem before they consider buying our solution. But I often see product managers / product leaders forget this when dealing with internal stakeholders and executives. We push for product-side practices and processes without clearly framing the underlying problems. I think of this as ‘selling philosophy.’
Prioritization is hard, and we HOPE that a clear corporate strategy plus well-considered OKRs will get our internal stakeholders to agree on what’s most important: unambiguous #1 and #2 and #3 priorities. That our spreadsheets and analysis will sell everyone on our plan. But that rarely happen…
Everyone wants innovation, especially if we can plan and schedule into each sprint.
But innovation is uncertain. Can we shift the discussion to planning and scheduling and funding of discovery that can (often) lead to innovation?
How do we navigate when our internal stakeholders are misaligned (and they usually are)? It’s important to understand what drives this, see the pattern rather than get angry, and find some tools to keep our products/business moving forward.
Most agile conversations are about morale, velocity (aka throughput), quality, predictability, and team dynamics. But we rarely address actual customer/user vale or business outcomes — instead hiding behind story points or vanity internal value metrics. This discussion will be about how strong product management bridges the outward customer/market view and inward development view.