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Discussion of what technology product managers do, and how this differs from program/project management. Presents idealized role division, knowing that no organization matches the idea. For IEEE-TMC local meeting
Who has PMs? Who doesn’t?Where does PM report up through?What distinguishes good PMs from weak in your org?Categories: technical skills; org power; reporting path; customer knowledge; work products; who’s driving/deciding?; title confusion…
No natural sequence for PMMust work all aspects in parallelPlanning onion as simultaneous equationBottoms-Up Shapes Top-DownCustomer visits inform market viewCompetitive price points drive business modelFeature complexity shapes release planTop-Down Shapes Bottoms-UpMarket segmentation determines customer selection and benefitsProduct strategy drives backlogProduct Management provides strategy, judgment and integration as well as executionOwning market success is an unbounded problem
Earn your pay on days when you make decisions, not just oversee processes
Balanced focus between what markets/segments want and what development team can deliver
Experiential component that’s not well taught or certified. Contrasts with PMI PMP. No governing authority, no rating system other than personal references.Program/project managers see the resource/marshaling part of the product role, but not always the selling/organizational/outbound part.Dev consistently wants to promote good engineers into product roles. Mostly they lack relevant field experience, organizational savvy, customer skills, ability to handle uncertainty.
Valley does not check with me before assigning roles, titles or work mix
Essential question: who worries about market acceptance? Sales targets? Competition?
Not cleanly divided. Good PMs and PgMs are intertwined.
Ask about use cases and customer problemsVs. wanting PMs to settle internal technical/architecture disputesDon’t demand PMs as technical as you areYou have architects and senior devs to be the most technicalNot every user story gets its own ROI Not every field, button, featurelet can be independently justified. Customer-relevant value may roll up dozens of small bits.Expect PMs to translate features into customer-relevant benefitsThey have to turn your how-it-works into a sales team’s why-you-careAsk about forecasts, shipments and revenueShows you care about the business as well as the tech, and you’ll learn somethingQUIETLY sit in on some customer meetingsIf you talk out of turn, you won’t get invited back.Channel your inner Product ManagerOnce in a while, pretend you’re the PM and consider how you’d think through whole product issues. WWPMD?
Product vs Program/Project Management
Product Management Essentials for Project and Program Managers<br />Rich MironovOctober 6, 2011<br />
About Rich Mironov<br />Veteran product manager/exec/strategist<br />Business models, pricing, agile<br />Organizing product organizations<br />“What do customers want?”<br />5 startups, including as CEO/founder<br />Author of “The Art of Product Management” and Product Bytes blog<br />Founded Product Camp, chaired first product stage at annual Agile conferences<br />
Agenda<br />3<br />Sharing: your good and bad experiences with product management<br />What does a product manager do, anyway?<br />Product vs. Project/Program Management<br />7 ways to help your product manager<br />
Sharing Your Good And Bad Product Management Experiences<br />
Agenda<br />5<br />Sharing: your good and bad experiences with product management<br />What does a product manager do, anyway?<br />Product vs. Project/Program Management<br />7 ways to help your product manager<br />
What Does a Product Manager Do?<br />For commercial / revenue software…<br />Drives delivery and market acceptance of whole products<br />Targets market segments, not individual customers<br />Sets priorities<br />For strategic internal development…<br />Resolves competing priorities<br />Drives acceptance and adoption<br />
Nature of Product Role<br />No natural sequence for Product Mgmt<br />Must work all aspects in parallel<br />Entire planning onion<br />Intensely interrupt-driven<br />Bottoms-up shapes top-down, top-down shapes bottoms-up<br />Product Management must provide strategy, judgment and integration as well as execution<br />
Good product managers drive customer-relevant decisions (choices) despite uncertainty and contradictory goals<br />
Market Failure Modes for Product Mgrs<br />Inward-looking failure modes<br />Weak onreal-world value: pricing, packaging, upgrades, servicemodels,discounting, competitive dynamics<br />Disconnected from cross-functional teams (Marketing, Sales, Support…)<br />Trading off company-wide product strategy for product-level features<br />Generalizing from too few customers<br />Belief in rational users and accurate ROI<br />
“How Hard Could It Be?”<br />Imagine that I create a two-day seminar for “Senior Enterprise Software Architects”<br />Anyone can enroll<br />We talk about enterprise architecture<br />All attendees get a “Senior Enterprise Software Architect” certificate<br />Are they senior architects?<br />
Agenda<br />14<br />Participants: your good and bad experiences with product management<br />What does a product manager do, anyway?<br />Product vs. Project/Program Management<br />7 ways to help your product manager<br />
Product, Project, Program?<br />Disclaimer<br />No role/title consistency<br />Execs create organizations<br />Unclear division of labor<br />Each tech company uniquely dysfunctional<br />Good teams make things work regardless of titles or roles<br />
In My Opinion…<br />Product Management: more outward-facing market-visible decisions<br />What FEATURES are market segments demanding?<br />WHICH must-ship feature will we drop first? <br />SALES impact of slipped dates? Commitments?<br />How are we POSITIONED and PRICED versus competitors? <br />Project/Program Management: more inward-facing resource allocation decisions<br />HOW should we get this done? WHO works on what?<br />WHEN will it actually ship?<br />Have we defined and met QUALITY goals?<br />What outside RESOURCES could speed things up?<br />
It’s About Customer Realities<br />Product managers stay in touch by…<br />Helping close deals<br />Trading off conflictingcommitments<br />Intervening with complex customer problems<br />Sweating price/volume forecasts <br />Anchoring opinions with lots of first person customer/field input<br />Source:<br />Pragmatic Marketing<br />
One Problem, Two Viewpoints<br />Two sides of the problem:<br />Product Managers tasked with what to build (and when)<br />Not-so-secretly worries about delivery, quality, completeness<br />Project/Program Managers tasked with how to deliver<br />Not-so-secretly worries about market success<br />
Agenda<br />19<br />Participants: your good and bad experiences with product management<br />What does a product manager do, anyway?<br />Product vs. Project/Program Management<br />7 ways to help product managers<br />
7 Good Ways to Help Product Mgrs<br />Push for explicit decisions and trade-offs<br />Ask about use cases and customer problems<br />Don’t demand uber-technical product managers<br />Not every sub-feature gets its own ROI <br />Expect product managers to translate features into customer-relevant benefits<br />Ask about forecasts, shipments and revenue<br />Channel your inner Product Manager<br />