An Unapologetic Product Guy<br />Agile product management mentor/consultant<br />CMO at Enthiosys<br />Business models, pricing, customer needs<br />Interim executive<br />Repeat offender at software/SaaS start-ups<br />Founded P-Camp<br />Chaired Agile 2009 PM/PO track<br />“The Art of Product Management”<br />
Agenda<br />Confusion around context, terminology<br />Development POV or outbound organization?<br />Portfolio strategy vs. product backlog<br />“Business value” isn’t quarterly revenue goal<br />Product managers and product owners<br />What does a product manager do? <br />How does this map to product owners? <br />Recommendations<br />
My Biases<br />My focus is on commercial software<br />Revenue-driven<br />Market share matters<br />Agile development as part of business agility<br />Most product failures are market failures<br />Strategy happens before development starts<br />Good product managers have first-hand experience marketing/selling/supporting<br />100111011001<br /> $$$<br />
Product Owner? Product Manager?<br />Most Agilists think narrowly about product owners<br />Core member of agile team<br />Physically present most of the time<br />Driving user stories and sub-iteration decisions<br />Showcase provides primary customer input<br />Most product managers are not yet Agilists<br />Majority of product work happens outside Engineering<br />Markets and customers must be experienced directly<br />Servicing multiple inbound and outbound queues<br />
What Does a Product Owner Do?<br />“In Scrum, a single person must have final authority representing the customer's interest in backlog prioritization and requirements questions. This person must be available to the team at any time, especially during the sprint planning meeting and the sprint review meeting.”<br />Responsible for<br />Defining features<br />Prioritizing features according to market value<br />Deciding release dates and content<br />Accepting or rejecting work results<br />Profitability of the product (ROI?)<br />How developers define product management<br />
Ideal Product Owner Must Be…<br />Omniscient, telepathic<br />Represent true market needs without spending a lot of time “in the field”<br />Manage complexities ofdetailed stories andmarketplace tradeoffs<br />Very difficult to do “solo”<br />IMHO nearly impossible without some product management experience<br />
Product Owner’s Calendar<br />Borrowed from Catherine Connor, Rally<br />
Two Sizes of Product Owner<br />“small p” product owner<br />Focus on iterations (up through releases)<br />User story elaboration, backlog management<br />Available to dev team hour by hour <br />Customer showcase (rather than primary market research)<br />Internal recruit, often limited product management experience<br />“Big P” Product Owner, aka Chief Product Owner<br />Strategic view of customers, profitability, markets<br />Sets broad direction, owns resource allocation<br />“Big P” Product Owners call themselves:<br />VP/GM of Business Unit<br />VP Product Management<br />VP Engineering<br />
Much More to Do<br />IMO, Product Owner role adds 40-60% work for waterfall product managers<br />PM likely to be already overcommitted<br />Too many constituents, queues, roles<br />PM capacity planning is hard<br />Natural for PMs to ignorehow stretched they are<br />Agile makes this worse<br />
Product Manager Failure Modes<br />Solo Product Manager fails the agile team if…<br />Part-timer, not fully engaged with team<br />Lack of detail on stories, acceptance tests<br />Stale items in backlog<br />Handwaving and bluster<br />Best of intentions, but pulled in too many directions<br />“Build what I meant”<br />
Product Owner Failure Modes<br />Solo Product Owner fails the market if…<br />Weak on actual economic value: pricing, packaging, upgrade barriers,professional service models,discounting, competitive dynamics<br />Disconnected from cross-functional teams that turn software into products (Marketing, Sales, Support…)<br />Trading off company-wide product strategy in favor of product-level features<br />Substituting showcases for broad market input<br />
Scalable PM/PO Models<br />Small product, co-located team<br />Agile product manager is the product owner<br />Complex product<br />PM covers strategic/outbound, PO (TPM) for inbound<br />Report up through same PM management chain<br />Distributed teams<br />One or more PMs at main Eng location<br />Every remote team has a PO (or PM)<br />Frequent, intense collaboration among all PMs/POs<br />Pool of PM/PO talent with strategic leadership<br />Larger departments, enough resources to allocate<br />Pair up, mix and match, share, share, share<br />
Context and Solo Models<br />A seasoned Agile Product Manager can also be a Product Owner<br />Cover both roles for one moderately complex product<br />A seasoned Product Owner can not also be a Product Manager<br />Outbound coordination and Sales/Marketing/Field role don’t fit into schedule<br />Best: Single organization for both PMs and POs<br />Best: Collocated PMs and POs/TPMs (40% / 60%)<br />Tough: HQ PM, remote PO with each dev team<br />
Take-Aways<br />PM/PO: One of the reasons Agile delivers better software<br />Agile makes Product Manager job harder<br />Market demands and first-hand interactions don’t go away<br />Without deep and complex market input, Product Owner can’t represent users/customers/markets<br />Staffing and trainingissues<br />Skills mix, geo-distribution<br />
Plan to ask for (and then demand!) more PM/PO staff and team training<br />
Most product failures are market failures, not development failuresProduct line strategies should be built before dev teams are formedGood product managers have first-hand experience marketing/selling/supporting
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