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How to Double Your Value as a PM
Samuel Clemens
sam@accomplice.co
You Know a what a Software Stack is...
2
Image: android.com
What is the “stack” of PM knowledge and skills?
3
STRATEGY
COMMS
DESIGN
OPS
DATA
CODE
ARCHITECTURE
Let’s play a game.
4
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
strategy
comms
design
ops
data
code
arch
✔ ✔ ✔
✔
----------------------- Let’...
STRATEGY
5
COMMS
DESIGN
OPS
DATA
CODE
ARCHITECTURE
Level 1:
Overall Theory
● Beachheads, Early Adopter psychographics
(Cro...
COMMUNICATIONS
6
DESIGN
OPS
DATA
CODE
ARCHITECTURE
Level 1:
Internal
● New feature announcements
● Services documentation
...
DESIGN
7
OPS
DATA
CODE
ARCHITECTURE
Level 1:
UI Toolbox
Proficiency
● Figma or other low-fi wireframing
● Editing your own...
OPERATIONS & PROCESSES
8
DATA
CODE
ARCHITECTURE
Level 1:
Development
Processes
● Scrum vs Kanban
● Tasking aka making stan...
DATA & ANALYSIS
9
CODE
ARCHITECTURE
Level 1:
VLOOKUP
● Excel VLOOKUPs
● Pivot tables
STRATEGY
Level 2:
SQL
● SQL select an...
CODE
10
ARCHITECTURE
Level 1:
Read Code
● git fetch, pull, commit, diff, push
● Your own development box
STRATEGY
Level 2:...
ARCHITECTURE
11
Level 1:
Options
● Database design
● Microservices vs Monolithic
● VMs vs Containers vs Serverless
● ...
S...
12
Samuel Clemens
sam@accomplice.co
Sam’s Cheat Sheet to evaluating a product org
13
1. “Where is the Product group in your org?”
Under Marketing; under Eng; ...
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Double your value as a PM by discovering more of the "stack" of skills you can apply in our jack-of-all-trades profession.

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PM Knowledge Stack

  1. 1. How to Double Your Value as a PM Samuel Clemens sam@accomplice.co
  2. 2. You Know a what a Software Stack is... 2 Image: android.com
  3. 3. What is the “stack” of PM knowledge and skills? 3 STRATEGY COMMS DESIGN OPS DATA CODE ARCHITECTURE
  4. 4. Let’s play a game. 4 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 strategy comms design ops data code arch ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ----------------------- Let’s self-assess.
  5. 5. STRATEGY 5 COMMS DESIGN OPS DATA CODE ARCHITECTURE Level 1: Overall Theory ● Beachheads, Early Adopter psychographics (Crossing the Chasm) ● Disruption Theory (Innovator’s Dilemma / Innovator’s Solution) STRATEGY Level 2: KPIs ● LTV:CAC ● Payback period ● SaaS Magic Number ● Three types of churn % ● Renewal rate ● Bookings vs revenue Level 3: Playbooks ● Corp Dev: pre, post, preference stack ● Finance: DSO, factoring ● Marketing: Brand vs Lead vs ABM ● Sales: Challenger vs Consultative sale ● Post-Sales: Acct Mgt in Sales vs Services
  6. 6. COMMUNICATIONS 6 DESIGN OPS DATA CODE ARCHITECTURE Level 1: Internal ● New feature announcements ● Services documentation ● Sales training STRATEGY Level 2: External ● The external web page for your product...without getting edited by Marketing Level 3: Executive ● The board slide for your product...without getting edited by the head of product COMMS
  7. 7. DESIGN 7 OPS DATA CODE ARCHITECTURE Level 1: UI Toolbox Proficiency ● Figma or other low-fi wireframing ● Editing your own CSS ● Card Sorting STRATEGY Level 2: UX Principles ● Five-second screen tests ● Two-sided navigation test ● CRUD / hub models Level 3: Cognitive Science ● Human memory and recall ● Gestalt UI principles (proximity, closure, common fate…) ● Physical effects of hue & contrast COMMS DESIGN
  8. 8. OPERATIONS & PROCESSES 8 DATA CODE ARCHITECTURE Level 1: Development Processes ● Scrum vs Kanban ● Tasking aka making standups not suck ● Story writing and relative estimation STRATEGY Level 2: Failure Processes ● Four ways to triage bugs into engineering...with pros & cons of each ● MTBF vs MTTF architectures Level 3: Planning Processes ● Roadmap work granularity (story / epic / theme) ● Roadmap time granularity (month / quarter / year) ● Roadmap update frequency (month / quarter / year) ● Roadmap ownership, uncertainty and communications COMMS DESIGN OPS
  9. 9. DATA & ANALYSIS 9 CODE ARCHITECTURE Level 1: VLOOKUP ● Excel VLOOKUPs ● Pivot tables STRATEGY Level 2: SQL ● SQL select and where ● Joining data (inner, left, right, outer) Level 3: ML ● Scikit-learn and pandas data arrays ● Jupyter notebooks ● Kaggle competitions COMMS DESIGN OPS DATA
  10. 10. CODE 10 ARCHITECTURE Level 1: Read Code ● git fetch, pull, commit, diff, push ● Your own development box STRATEGY Level 2: Edit Code ● Can edit existing python/ruby/js/whatever code ● Generate your own pull request ● Get code live on production Level 3: Create Code ● Stand up your own trivial django/rails/react/whatever mini-webapp COMMS DESIGN OPS DATA CODE
  11. 11. ARCHITECTURE 11 Level 1: Options ● Database design ● Microservices vs Monolithic ● VMs vs Containers vs Serverless ● ... STRATEGY Level 2: Tradeoffs ● Knowing the inherent tradeoffs for each of the above Level 3: Wisdom ● The judgement to know which tradeoffs to take, and when, and why COMMS DESIGN OPS DATA CODE ARCHITECTURE Image: XKCD
  12. 12. 12 Samuel Clemens sam@accomplice.co
  13. 13. Sam’s Cheat Sheet to evaluating a product org 13 1. “Where is the Product group in your org?” Under Marketing; under Eng; standalone 2. “What’s your tech stack?” A framework mismatched for the problem; a framework suited to the problem 3. “Do you use Agile or Waterfall?” Waterfall; hybrid Agile with specs; Agile without specs 4. “How often do you push to production?” Monthly batched; weekly or daily batched; continuous deployment 5. “Can PMs or Designers edit code and push to production?” “Are you serious?”; designers can edit; both PM and Design can edit 6. “How do you do testing?” Lots of human QA; small eng-embedded QA; fully automated suite with feature gating 7. “How do you communicate the long-term product roadmap?” Don’t have one; exists but infrequently updated; four-quarter roadmap updated & distributed monthly
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    Apr. 28, 2020
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    Apr. 23, 2020

Double your value as a PM by discovering more of the "stack" of skills you can apply in our jack-of-all-trades profession.

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