Delivering Awesome Product

In a recent live stream from one of our mentors of The Product Mentor, Alex Berman, lead a conversation around “Managing Mixed Role Teams and Delivering Awesome Product”.  We are always looking for more product mentors from all around the world.  Signup to be a Mentor Today!

Check it out…

 

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

Advertisements

Product Manager, Take your next step in #media #jobs

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…

Senior Product Manager – Consumer @ MillerCang Agency (recruitment firm) (New York)
Keywords: consumer, mobile, start-up
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1398&lf=twf

Senior Product Manager @ MillerCang Agency (recruitment firm) (New York)
Keywords: Media, SQL, TV, USER TESTING
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1397&lf=twf

Design Sprints

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

Check it out…

 

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

Biggest Product Regret

Excerpts from our conversation with The Best Product Person of 2017, Melissa Perri.

Getting to Here

> What’s your biggest product regret?

The 32 page product specification document I wrote for a change password functionality at my first job. It was a beautiful, robust, unnecessary document for really simple functionality.

Watch now and see why she is counted amongst the ranks of the best in product management.

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 2017: Melissa Perri. (tweet)

Thank you to everyone who participated, nominated, interviewed, AND passed on the word! The nomination period for The Best Product Person of 2018 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. 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/ )

Tune-up Your Product Management Career

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…

Senior Product Manager @ TuneCore (Brooklyn, New York)
Keywords: Manager, Music, Product
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1396&lf=twf

Prioritizing Product Features by ROI

Guest Post by: Roli Bhotika (Mentee, Session 5, The Product Mentor) [Paired with Mentor, Zoe Feltham]

The most important lesson I learned in The Product Mentor program with Jeremy and Zoe was that Product Management has a language. That I spoke that language every day but my grammar needed some work. In more precise terms, my prioritization process factored in the things that it should, I just didn’t know how to translate it to ROI and present it logically. “We don’t do ROI assessments” was what I had been told at my company. I now know otherwise.

First we began by creating a data driven roadmap. This required separation and aggregation of data at various levels to assess the value of each feature and determine whether it could translate into opportunities.

Following this, we performed an ROI assessment on features that were already launched with a fresh set of eyes. The key here was to identify what I now know as “Key Performance Indicators” i.e. how do you know this idea is any good – how do you measure its potential? This was a critical step because it dictated the value a new idea brought to the business. Sometimes the value was in retaining business, sometimes in increasing it, sometimes there was no value at all – yet in the end some ideas remained. I was able to identify how my business measured the value of an idea and associate a $$ amount to it, positive,negative or zero – depending upon whether the cost of the idea outweighed its projected earnings. All ideas were rated on some additional key criteria apart from financial gains/losses such as: customer value, regulatory requirement, ease of adoption, whether it was a differentiator for us in the market or not. Because the reality was that, while sometimes there was no gain directly from an idea, there was a bigger driving force that was not financial at all on the surface but translated into a business need. The hardest step was assigning a weightage to each criteria in calculating a final ROI. This is where a regulatory mandate with no financial gain suddenly scoring a 5 on the regulatory requirement criteria shifted the overall priority for that idea even though there was no gain, only a cost to pursuing it. The ROI was finally a number but not a dollar amount. Just a ranking that factored in numerous criteria with specific weightage. And suddenly I knew why I had made a decision many months ago!

Finally – ROI wasn’t the final factor in making a schedule out of these ideas – it was also the ability to use pockets of available time across multiple teams and the desire to reach some key launches by specific industry events.

ROI calculation Template for a feature below:

Benefit

KPIs

Expected ADV (Average daily volume)

This is driver for my business area. It may be different for another industry.

Expected Weekly Profit

Differentiator in the industry (On a scale of 1-5)

These are key drivers/criteria for us to prioritize internally for our product. These can be expanded/changed to suit the product and its drivers.

Customer Service (On a Scale of 1-5)

Regulatory Ease (On a Scale of 1-5)

Ease of Adoption (On a Scale of 1-5)

Required For

Any mandates are noted here

Dependency on

Any added complexities/dependencies are noted here.

Average weekly cost

This factored in requirements, development, test cost based on the actual pay of an employee in that role

Total Earnings in 1 Week

Total Earnings in 1Y

The time window for an earnings calculation is really what might be relevant for the mindset of your company.

Earnings (On a scale of 1-5: under 500k, under 1 mil, under 5 mil, under 15 mil, Over 15 mil)

Note: here, features that were net loss, got assigned a score of zero.

Final ROI calculation

60% Earnings

15% Differentiation

10% Customer Service

10% Ease of Adoption

5% Regulatory Ease

The weightage above is only a sample, you must adjust it to find the right blend for your product and your current industry trend.

About Roli Bhotika 
5p10 - Roli 2As a part of Nasdaq’s US Options team, Roli Bhotika leads a team of Product managers, creates business roadmaps, sets the strategic direction, and makes prioritization decisions for ISE’s core options trading platform. She is focused on building and executing business strategy with a long term cutting edge vision for trading products. Roli enjoys keeping abreast of industry trends, concerns and market structure issues.

More About The Product Mentor
TPM-Short3-Logo4The Product Mentor is a program designed to pair Product Management Mentors and Mentees 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
  • Mentors and Mentees sharing their product management knowledge with the broader community

Sign up to be a Mentor today & join an elite group of product management leaders!

Check out the Mentors & Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Putting Customers First

In a recent live stream from one of our mentors of The Product Mentor, Zoe Feltham, lead a conversation around “Putting Customers First”.  We are always looking for more product mentors from all around the world.  Signup to be a Mentor Today!

Check it out…

 

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

Starting at a New Company as a PM

Guest Post by: Jen Hau (Mentee, Session 5, The Product Mentor) [Paired with Mentor, Ladislav Bartos]

Setting Yourself Up For Success

Product managers tend to be maximizers – always looking for the best possible choices and outcomes for their product. It’s no wonder then that product managers also tend to apply the same outlook to their own careers, often wondering whether there is another company or role that would be more optimal than the current.  Whether it’s the promise of more responsibilities, a higher salary, a riveting mission statement, or just simply a break from the same faces and routines of your current role, taking that new job is a step towards an unknown path.  Despite the fluidity of the industry – especially in New York, where it seems PMs have an average shelf life of about a year – there are surprisingly few resources dedicated to ensuring the success of an incoming product manager. Having just recently relived the experience of joining as a PM at a new company, I am living through this state myself and am seizing upon this opportunity to document my takeaways.  

Give yourself a break:  you won’t really “get it” for a while.

If you’re anything like me, you will be impatient to prove yourself. No matter what your prior accomplishments, your first day at a new company comes with a blank slate of achievements and some giant question marks. “Was this hire worth their salary? Will she meet our expectations? What will be the first thing she ships?”  These are questions – kitkat-snap[1]oftentimes imaginary – that can hang over your head, applying increasing pressure until you rush to make moves to demonstrate your worth.

I am fortunate enough to have access to Jeff Patton, the product thought leader, for periodic product coaching sessions. During my first call, he didn’t mince words on this topic: “Give yourself a break. You’ll be pretty useless for at least 3 months.”  And no – that’s not to say that you can’t start immediately providing value.  After all, there is a reason that they hired you.  It just means that it is normal to feel overwhelmed and to not feel everything “click” for a while, and that expecting more from yourself can lead you to make ill-informed decisions.  

Instead of rushing yourself into action, relish this time when you can view the industry, problem space, customers, or the product itself with a fresh set of eyes, as there will be plenty of time for you to get into the weeds later. If you seize this opportunity, your newness can be an advantage, rather than a handicap.

Clarify expectations with your manager.

It’s all well and good to take the requisite amount of time to onboard, but if this is not in line with what your manager expects, you need to address that right away. Depending on what you’re walking into, your manager may be impatient for you to start doing x, y, and z immediately. This isn’t malicious; it is human nature to forget what it was like to be a blank slate. (I can almost guarantee that in a year’s time, you yourself will likely forget what it was like before everything “clicked” into place.)  

I would encourage you to have an open conversation with your manager during your first week to go over the timeline of your onboarding. This timeline should be a week by week rundown of goals and objectives, and the types of activities that you will undertake to achieve those. If you do this exercise successfully, it will not only give you the room to  onboard properly, but it will also demonstrate that you are thoughtful and proactive in setting yourself up for success. Brownie points already earned!

Be shamelessly hungry.  You’ll need the information.

It would be nice if every company had an extensive onboarding program or bootcamp for their incoming PMs, supplemented with an impeccably organized company wiki and a series of check-ins so that you could ask any “dumb” question you will undoubtedly have. Those places may exist, but if your experience is anything like mine – especially if you’re all about that startup life – that rosy picture remains in the realm of fantasy.  

Even if your onboarding isn’t well thought-through, that is no excuse to sit around and be complacent.  The truth is that you will have to get yourself up to speed somehow so use what you have at your disposal.  Look around you – there is a treasure trove of information if you look hard enough, whether it is in shared folders, hung on the walls, or in people’s heads. Spend those hours hungrily digging through any shared Google Drive folders, and I guarantee you’ll learn something.  Establish a relationship with the veteran customer service team and I promise that you’ll gain a deeper perspective about your users and how they feel about not just your product but also about the company. Hack your way to knowledge when it’s not presented to you on a silver platter; it’ll pay off for you in the long run.

Coffee chats are your friend. It pays to know everyone.

As I mentioned above, getting to know people, regardless of their role or tenure at the company, is crucial for gaining knowledge when you start as a PM.  But there is also a bigger, overarching reason to establish these reasons, and that is simply because being known is better than being unknown.  Call it political if you want, but the reality is that our jobs as PMs is inherently political in that we have to weigh multiple interests, make tough decisions, and get people to believe in us (sometimes on nothing more than faith). It may not be the only way to do it, but I’ve found in my experience that it helps if people genuinely like you as a person.  

I’ve been around enough tech companies to know that PMs – and more broadly, the product team – are almost always perceived by the rest of the company as being surrounded by an aura of mystique surrounding them. Remember – the role of Product Manager is still a relatively new one in the grand scheme of things, and even more unfamiliar to those who  are new to the tech industry.  This lack of understanding and separation between PMs and the rest of the company can often lead to scapegoating when times get tough, as they’re bound to get at any startup. When sales plateau, it must be because the “product team isn’t really doing anything.” Or, when we turn down customer requests, it must be because the PMs are too lazy to pull off those “no-brainer quick wins.” This is why I am a huge believer in breaking down those walls by getting to know as many people across the company as I can, especially early on in my tenure. It’s much harder to point fingers when you empathize and understand the rigors of each person’s role, no matter what department they’re in.

Gain the trust and respect of your team.

The old joke about PMs is that we must move mountains to do the impossible, all while hiding the fact that we don’t actually hold any true power since none of the people we often work with report to us. The joke is true – and you should never forget it! To that end, you should seek to gain the respect of your team, and this is especially salient when you first join. And while it’s true that you will need some more time before leading the team through your first launch (see point one about gaining context before making key decisions), you can gain respect in other ways.  How you choose to do so is discretionary and, in my opinion, highly contingent on understanding how your team currently works. I would recommend having one-on-ones with every member of your team in the first week and make it clear that you are keen to listen to whatever they want to throw your way, inclusive of what is going well on the team and “what keeps them up at night.” Just by listening, you can immediately prove that you are a team-player and that you’re there with the intention of making your team and product successful.

The thrills of joining a new team are numerous, but the experience is not without its challenges. There is no silver bullet for navigating your way through these challenges and these takeaways are far from all-encompassing. Be open-minded and hungry – and you’ll be on the path to success in no time at all.

About Jen Hau 
5p3 - Jhau HeadshotJen is a product person who parachuted to safety from a career as an attorney.  After wearing a number of hats at fast-growing, lean startups, operations to data, she now leads a product team at Hightower, a commercial real estate tech company.  She lives in Brooklyn, New York and is always up for a strong cold brew.

More About The Product Mentor
TPM-Short3-Logo4The Product Mentor is a program designed to pair Product Management Mentors and Mentees 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
  • Mentors and Mentees sharing their product management knowledge with the broader community

Sign up to be a Mentor today & join an elite group of product management leaders!

Check out the Mentors & Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Influential Product Management Mentors

Excerpts from our conversation with The Best Product Person of 2017, Melissa Perri.

Getting to Here

> What key people helped shape you into the product manager you are today?

The first person who really started me on the path to where I am today was my VP of Product at OpenSky, Chris Keane. He inspired me to try new things and learn as much as I could.  Then, when I began using Lean Startup techniques in my role in 2012, Chris encouraged me to start a class on Skillshare to teach others. I was skeptical at first because I didn’t think anyone would be interested, but he insisted, and hey, it worked. I am disappointed by how much the importance of people management is underestimated in some companies, because I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if Chris hadn’t pushed me to grow.

Chris also gave me my first book specifically on Product Management, “The Art of Product Management” by Rich Mironov. Reading that book was the first time I felt like I was part of a larger community. There weren’t many Product Managers in New York when I first started- I had only met a handful of others outside my company. The book propelled me to follow more PM thought leaders like Hiten Shah and Ken Norton.

After learning more about my domain, I became influenced by adjacent areas like Agile, Lean, Lean UX, and Lean Startup. Eric Ries’s book was really the turning point in my career. I sought out and learned a lot from people like Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden, Giff Constable, and David Bland, who were at the forefront of that movement.  Jabe Bloom, Arlo Belshee, Hakan Forss, and many people in the Agile community (especially at Lean Agile Scotland) challenged me to explore new ideas in the Agile and Lean space that pushed the boundaries of what I knew as product development. Seeing how all of those systems intertwined really inspired me to get better at what I do.

Watch now and see why she is counted amongst the ranks of the best in product management.

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 2017: Melissa Perri. (tweet)

Thank you to everyone who participated, nominated, interviewed, AND passed on the word! The nomination period for The Best Product Person of 2018 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. 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/ )

Top 40 Product Management Influencers 2017 [Highlights]

Product Management Year in ReviewI’m completely psyched to have made this year’s list of Top 40 Product Management Influencers of 2017 for the THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR!

whole-head---LS---large132The list exists to recognize the many influencers who helped to establish best practices and enlighten the industry this year.

Following are a few of my excerpted Influencer highlights from the list…

Julie Zhuo // Facebook

Eric Ries // Long-Term Stock Exchange

Eric Ries // Long-Term Stock Exchange
Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup. He is the creator of the Lean Startup methodology, which is practiced by individuals and companies around the world. This methodology was the inspiration behind his founding of the LTSE and his books The Leader’s Guide and The Startup Way.
Continuous Transformation is Product Management
The Prototype Mindset
Eric Ries on 4 Common Misconceptions About Lean Startup

Twitter | Linkedin | Blog

Chris Butler // Philosophie NYC

Chris Butler // Philosophie NYC
Chris is the Director of Product Strategy at Philosophie where he helps organizations like Google and PwC with product strategy and management. He’s previously held roles at Waze, Microsoft, and Kayak.
Real competitive analysis is about learning to love your competitor
Product people KPIs aren’t about the product
Robots need love too — Empathy Mapping for AI

Twitter | LinkedIn | Medium

Jackie Bavaro // Asana

Jackie Bavaro // Asana
Jackie is the Head of Product Management at Asana. She is also the Co-Author of “Cracking the PM Interview.”
How we build our Product Roadmap at Asana
Everything I need to know I learned from Product Management
Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology

Twitter | LinkedIn | Medium

Ken Norton // Google Ventures

Ken Norton // Google Ventures
Ken is a partner at Google Ventures where he provides product and engineering support to various portfolio companies. He is also a group product manager for GV’s quantitative research and data science team. He is the author of the oft-referenced post: How to Hire a Product Manager.
Ants and Aliens: Why you need a thirty-year plan (yes, thirty)
Becoming a Great Product Leader
A Certain Ratio

Twitter | Linkedin | Blog | Medium

——————

Do check out more of the the Top 40 Influencers in Product Management @ http://www.pmyearinreview.com/

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy