Working Remotely in Product Management

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In a recent live stream from one of our mentors of The Product Mentor, Rishi Kumar, lead a conversation around “Working Remotely”.  We are always looking for more product mentors from all around the world.  Signup to be a Mentor Today!

View the live stream…

 

About The Product Mentor

The Product Mentor is a program designed to pair Product Mentors and Mentees from around the World, across all industries, from start-up to enterprise, guided by the fundamental goals…

Better Decisions. Better Products. Better Product People.

Each Session of the program runs for 6 months with paired individuals…

  • Conducting regular 1-on-1 mentor-mentee chats
  • Sharing experiences with the larger Product community
  • Participating in live-streamed product management lessons and Q&A

Signup to be a Mentor Today!

Throughout the program, each mentor leads a conversation in an area of their expertise that is live streamed and available to both mentee and the broader product community.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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WaitWhat a career in product managment

tpj-logo-w_lkw_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thIf you are a great product person looking for a great product job, or vice versa, check out our job board.  Thousands of employers across all areas of product, from management to design, from digital to physical, are looking to fill positions from our community. 

Each week we highlight some of the recently posted openings.  Check out this week’s newest, below…

Product Manager @ WaitWhat (New York City (May be Remote))
Keywords: Agile Development, Minimum Viable Product, Product Management, Startup, User Centered Design
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1376&lf=twf

Overcoming Impostor Syndrome in Product Management

From The Best Product Person of 2016, Chris Butler, …

Advice

More to Come

The Best Product Person (TBPP) is the leading international award honoring excellence in Product Management. Established in 2010, TBPP is awarded annually in association with The Product Guy and The Product Group.

Take a moment and congratulate The Best Product Person of 2016: Chris Butler. (tweet)

Thank you to everyone who participated, nominated, interviewed, AND passed on the word! The nomination period for The Best Product Person of 2017 has begun!  Nominate your pick for The Best Product Person right now!

http://TheBestProductPerson.com

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

About ‘The Best Product Person’

The Best Product Person (TBPP) is the leading international award honoring excellence in Product Management. Established in 2010, TBPP is awarded annually in association with The Product Guy (http://tpgblog.com) and The Product Group (http://meetup.com/theproductgroup).

TBPP Recognizes 1 person each year, invites them to speak and share their knowledge and experience with the larger product community. The nominations can be submitted by anyone. And, if you are the first to submit the winning nominee, you too will be rewarded  Over the course of the year, the various nominees are interviewed and the finalists narrowed down to: The Best Product Person of the year . The finalists are interviewed and evaluated for excellence in Product along the following lines… Becoming a Product Person, Your Product, Advice to Product People, and Future & Trends.

TBPP is both (1) the way the Product community gets together to recognize excellence amongst our ranks as well as (2) provide, to a large audience, insights into that excellence in a manner we can all learn from and leverage in our own Product journeys.

For more information about The Best Product Person award and past winners visit https://tpgblog.com/tbpp

About ‘The Product Group’

The Product Group is an opportunity for Product Managers, etc. to come together to meet, interact, and network. It’s an awesome way to meet fellow Product People in a laid-back, conversational environment within which sharing and learning can flourish and complement the knowledge base for all on a peer-to-peer basis. The NYC chapter of The Product Group meets the first Thursday of each month. If you are interested in a establishing chapter near you, please contact The Product Guy or The Product Group for more information. (https://tpgblog.com/theproductgroup/ )

Make New Product Features Stick

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Guest Post by: David Parmelee, Digital Strategy Consultant

As you study the people who use your product or might use it, patterns start to emerge.  A marketer or market researcher may view patterns in terms of demographics and buying activity.  A user researcher or other UX practitioner may group users by patterns in their behavior, both inside and outside your product.

Whether you consider your user base in light of market research or user research, both of these kinds of researchers use the patterns they discover to form personas.  

User personas stand in for users throughout the design of your product.  Each one has at least one goal and at least one pain point.  Using a distinction from About Face, these goals could relate to their lives, the ends they accomplish in working with your product, or their experiences and feelings using your product.  Realistically, they would have one or two life goals, around three end goals, and at least one experience goal.

Why bring this up?

Your users do not all have the same goals or the same pain points.  Therefore, they would not use your product’s new features – or decide to engage with them – based on the same motivations.

Using personas to drive engagement

personas-HEM-Blog-2[1]The main questions to ask when you evaluate a new feature’s relevance to each persona are these:

1. Will this feature help this persona accomplish her goals, not just mine?

2. Will this feature help this persona alleviate her pain points, not just mine?

If a persona says no to both questions, users like her won’t care about this feature, even if you consider it your magnum opus or your product’s big differentiator.

Sad but true.

So don’t bother people like that persona about that new feature.  Instead, tell them about the features that would cause them to say yes to those questions.

You’ll get more engagement that way.

Segmentation and automation

You might think that telling users about new features is all or nothing.

That might be how you’ve implemented it today.

If you have only one email list and your product doesn’t keep track of key differences between the users, you’ll have to implement it that way.

By having separate email lists or segments within your list, you can see where your real customers fit according to your personas.  It also validates how accurate your personas are and lets you know if any are extra or missing.

You can send everyone on your main list a 1-question survey for self-selection to build those lists if you don’t want to do it yourself.  Then email the smaller lists separately with content that is more relevant to them.

Continuous integration in deployment can involve feature flagging.  You might be testing a new feature with a subset of your users, as Facebook frequently does in their experiments.  In that sense, letting users know about a feature that they won’t see will just confuse them.

Users of your product have opted into receiving communications about it if your Terms of Use permit it.  But they shouldn’t receive the same message about your new feature.  

Trivialpursuit-pie_3138286c[1]First, it would be irrelevant to many of them.  Your users are not a monolithic group, where each one of them is just “the user”.  They have different needs and goals, and they use different parts of your product.  

Second, sending everyone the same message means you’ll leave some of the engagement with your announcement on the table – even for the groups of people who would use the new feature.  

Which message is more effective?

  • “Our app is now integrated with [Maps App X]”? 

  • Or “We saw that you look at a lot of [Metro stations] when you use [Our App Name Here].  Now, you can get directions to [these Metro stations] faster in [Our App Name Here] because we’ve added directions from [Maps App X].  Check out how this can [persona goal: save you time exploring our city]!”?

Your product’s mailing list should use marketing automation to onboard and retain users. MailChimp and Drip both provide this.  

Drip works differently because you only have one list, but you can set up workflows and rules to send subscribers specific campaigns within it.  You could easily send users a campaign for a feature if they have visited a related area of your website or app.

Getting a slice of your users to listen

Persona fit is just one way to determine who would benefit most from a new feature.  But it is theoretical, and no method is entirely foolproof.  What other options do you have?

Listen to users’ feature requests

Anyone who requested the new feature you are building has at least thought about the problem that it solves.  If you use a voting system (like Aha) to decide on new features to create, you can notify people that the status of a feature idea they voted for has changed.

Analyze patterns of use

Analytics tools may tell you which features of your product a user has used.  Identify features in your product that help people accomplish similar goals to your new feature.  People who have used these features may be good candidates to engage with the new feature.

You are not limited to only telling people about new features from inside your product.  You can use email to notify inactive users who have used a related feature, provided they have not opted out of emails from you.

Consider which plans are best

According to Intercom, SaaS businesses can use new features as a great chance to upsell more expensive plans.  If there’s a compelling reason why someone with a particular plan should upgrade to the next one up, tell them.  

Use their words, not your own

A trick of great copywriting is listening.  By saying your users’ words back to them, you show that you understand their problem, which led to the new feature you created.  So reiterate the problem that your new feature solves, and articulate a benefit that they will find relevant.

Beware of too much noise

Don’t tell your users about new features too often.  Give them a break between notifications so that they will seem more important.  

Annoying-noise-001[1]This is like visual design: one item that stands by itself and is large looks important.  A bunch of items that are the same size in a cluster or which are cluttered on the page won’t receive a lot of individual attention.

Make extra effort to connect on an individual level

Paul Graham tells startups, “Do things that don’t scale.”  One thing that does not scale is sending personalized messages to your users.  “Personalization” does not just mean an |*FNAME*| mail merge tag.  Make a meaningful connection that shows that you really understand your recipient.  

Tying new features into onboarding

When you tell your users about a new feature, your call to action should link people directly to a tutorial or onboarding tips for using that feature.

But to Stephen P. Anderson and Samuel Hulick, the feature should not be the hero of the story.  Your users should be.

If your feature was designed well, it focuses on a goal of one of your product’s primary or secondary personas.  To convince people that they should use it, tie the feature (and its onboarding) into a goal that they want to achieve.  It could be an end goal related to their task – or even an experience goal or a life goal.

Rather than treating your product’s onboarding like a feature that you only release once, revisit it periodically.  Do new features that you introduce necessitate a fundamental shift in how new users need to get to know your product?  Does your onboarding evolve as you understand your audience and their needs better?

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAw9AAAAJDdmZmFjZjNmLTJkNDItNDliMi05ZDI2LWViYWEwNGQxMTk3NA[1]Reconsidering your onboarding may also give you ideas for refactoring the UI and the broader UX of your product, so that it becomes easier to learn and use.  Instead of building a new feature in isolation, consider what people need to (or might) do before and after using that feature as they use it to accomplish their goals.

Telling users about new features

Release notes and email announcements are two traditional ways to tell users about new features.  The following ways might be more effective.

Explainer videos

Some products use explainer videos to tell their users how to benefit from a new feature.  This is more likely to work for a mobile app for consumers than for a desktop application for enterprise.  Many organizations have IT policies which forbid their employees from watching videos over the internet while at work.

Landing pages

Features that address a significant pain point or a significant objection from new prospects should get their own landing page, following a Pain/Dream/Fix format.  Include screenshots, videos, and sufficient copy to explain the benefits of the feature.  Promote these new features in press releases and social media ads.  

Webinars

Powerful features that go into a lot of depth are good subjects for a 20-30 minute webinar with a Q&A session.

A healthier organizational mindset for new and existing features

UserTesting recommends encouraging a research mindset in your organization or your client’s.  In other words, consider new features to be a bad idea until your organization has researched the need for them and validated that the users will need them.  

In this, let your personas be your guide.

But what if you could measure engagement with a new feature before you even design it?

Fake door idea validation involves creating a landing page to discuss an idea, buying ads on related keywords, and measuring how many users are interested in signing up.  This strategy also works at the feature level.  Create a stub in your product’s UI where a new feature would go, and measure how many people show interest in accessing that feature.

However, sometimes your best efforts at driving engagement in a new feature will not be good enough.  Remove features that your users are not using, while being careful to not damage the user experience with other features.  This saves you maintenance work, while also uncluttering your UI so that more of your users can discover better new features in the future.

Learn more about user research and designing from data
14961790935901_thumb2This article is adapted from content in UX for Development Shops: Declutter Your Interface, Design from Data, & Increase User Adoption & Retention.  You may buy this ebook at https://davidp.io/ebook.

 

About David Parmelee
David-058.jpgDavid Parmelee is the owner of Thrill & Create, a user experience consultancy in Maryland.  Also bringing deep experience in software development for companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to small businesses, he now helps development teams increase user retention in their products.  His client list for UX projects includes large global companies, county governments, and organizations in hospitality and tourism.  His ebook, UX for Development Shops: Declutter Your Interface, Design from Data, & Increase User Adoption & Retention, helps development agencies, teams, and individual developers to achieve better business results by focusing on and involving their target users.  David publishes a video series, More Than an Interface (>UI), and created Teardowns with a Twist, an innovative way to evaluate digital products from multiple personas’ perspectives at once.  Learn more about David at DavidP.io, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter at @DavidParmeleeUX.

ShopKeep, Lifetime Value & the Happy Product Manager

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Nominate a great product manager you know today @ http://TheBestProductPerson.com !
Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel @
http://tpg.li/subscribe-tpg

Thank you to everyone who made it to our latest roundtable meet-up of The Product Group at iHeartMedia, with food and drinks sponsored by People10, as well as to our other sponsors, Yext, BKLYN and many more.

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Over the course of the night a few of the highlights were…

Featured Product: ShopKeep
exploring the product, its challenges and successes, from lifetime value to deprecating features

Being a Happy Product Manager
from arguments to solving problems


The Product Group
meet-ups are an opportunity for Product People (managers, strategists, marketers, etc.) to come together to meet, interact, and network in a roundtable setting. It’s awesome to meet fellow Product People in a laid-back, conversational gathering.

If you are a Product Person and are interested in having your product featured or participating as a featured guest expert at an upcoming meetup of The Product Group, contact me (or email at jhorn (a-t.) tpgblog DoT com).

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our next meetup

Thursday, October 5th @ 7PM
RSVP Now!  

Stay tuned for more announcements about October’s Featured Product, In/Spree Brands.

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Please submit your nominations for 2017’s great product management candidates @ http://TheBestProductPerson.com !

Learn more @ http://tpglog.com/tbpp

tpj-logo-w_lkwAnd, don’t forget to check out our new job board exclusively dedicated to Product jobs!Visit  http://TheProductJobs.com and happy hunting!
TPM-Short3-Logo4If you are interested in being a Product Mentor or seeking Product Management Mentorship…

Visit http://TheProductMentor.com and
Sign-up today!

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

P.S. Interested in becoming a sponsor or host of The Product Group? contact me.

Wow! What a Product Management #job !

tpj-logo-w_lkw_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thIf you are a great product person looking for a great product job, or vice versa, check out our job board.  Thousands of employers across all areas of product, from management to design, from digital to physical, are looking to fill positions from our community. 

Each week we highlight some of the recently posted openings.  Check out this week’s newest, below…

Sr. Product Manager @ CBS Radio / Digital Audio (New York, NY (Midtown -> West Village in 2018))
Keywords: Digital, Marketing, Product, Streaming, UX
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1375&lf=twf

UX Designer @ NYU Langone Health- School of Medicine/MCIT (NYC)
Keywords: Design, Digital, Healthcare, UX
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1374&lf=twf

Product Manager/Owner @ NYU Langone Health- School of Medicine/MCIT (NYC)
Keywords: Digital Design, Healthcare, Product Manager, Product Owner, User Centered Design
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1373&lf=twf

Technical Product Manager @ Condé Nast (NYC, NY, US)
Keywords: content management, Formation, machine learning, natural language processing, platform
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1372&lf=twf

Product Manager/Product Owner @ Qudini Ltd (London)
Keywords: Backlog, Jira, SAAS , Scrum, User stories
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1371&lf=twf

Measuring from Product to Development

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In a recent live stream from one of our mentors of The Product Mentor, Bennett Morrison, lead a conversation around “Measuring Product and Development”.  We are always looking for more product mentors from all around the world.  Signup to be a Mentor Today!

View the live stream…

 

About The Product Mentor

The Product Mentor is a program designed to pair Product Mentors and Mentees from around the World, across all industries, from start-up to enterprise, guided by the fundamental goals…

Better Decisions. Better Products. Better Product People.

Each Session of the program runs for 6 months with paired individuals…

  • Conducting regular 1-on-1 mentor-mentee chats
  • Sharing experiences with the larger Product community
  • Participating in live-streamed product management lessons and Q&A

Signup to be a Mentor Today!

Throughout the program, each mentor leads a conversation in an area of their expertise that is live streamed and available to both mentee and the broader product community.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Using Six Hats in Product Management to Get on the Same Page

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Out of the hundreds of nominations, and amazing finalists, the 7th annual winner of The Best Product Person is … Chris Butler.

The Best Product Person (TBPP) is the leading international award honoring excellence in Product Management. Established in 2010, TBPP is awarded annually in association with The Product Guy and The Product Group.

Take a moment and congratulate The Best Product Person of 2016: Chris Butler. (tweet)

Advice

More to Come

Over the coming weeks we will be speaking with and learning more from Chris Butler.

Thank you to everyone who participated, nominated, interviewed, AND passed on the word! The nomination period for The Best Product Person of 2017 has begun!  Nominate your pick for The Best Product Person right now!

http://TheBestProductPerson.com

And, don’t forget, take a moment and congratulate The Best Product Person of 2016: Chris Butler. (tweet)

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

About ‘The Best Product Person’

The Best Product Person (TBPP) is the leading international award honoring excellence in Product Management. Established in 2010, TBPP is awarded annually in association with The Product Guy (http://tpgblog.com) and The Product Group (http://meetup.com/theproductgroup).

TBPP Recognizes 1 person each year, invites them to speak and share their knowledge and experience with the larger product community. The nominations can be submitted by anyone. And, if you are the first to submit the winning nominee, you too will be rewarded  Over the course of the year, the various nominees are interviewed and the finalists narrowed down to: The Best Product Person of the year . The finalists are interviewed and evaluated for excellence in Product along the following lines… Becoming a Product Person, Your Product, Advice to Product People, and Future & Trends.

TBPP is both (1) the way the Product community gets together to recognize excellence amongst our ranks as well as (2) provide, to a large audience, insights into that excellence in a manner we can all learn from and leverage in our own Product journeys.

For more information about The Best Product Person award and past winners visit https://tpgblog.com/tbpp

About ‘The Product Group’

The Product Group is an opportunity for Product Managers, etc. to come together to meet, interact, and network. It’s an awesome way to meet fellow Product People in a laid-back, conversational environment within which sharing and learning can flourish and complement the knowledge base for all on a peer-to-peer basis. The NYC chapter of The Product Group meets the first Thursday of each month. If you are interested in a establishing chapter near you, please contact The Product Guy or The Product Group for more information. (https://tpgblog.com/theproductgroup/ )