About Jeremy Horn

Jeremy Horn is an award-winning, product management veteran with 2 decades of experience leading and managing product teams. Jeremy has held various executive and advisory roles, from founder of several start-ups to driving diverse organizations in online services, consumer products, and wearables. As founder of The Product Group, he has created the largest product management meetup in the world and hosts the annual awarding of The Best Product Person. Accelerating the next evolution of product management, Jeremy acted as creator and instructor of the 10-week product management course at General Assembly and The New School, and mentoring at Women 2.0 and Lean Startup Machine (where is he also a judge). To see where Jeremy is now check him out at (1) http://linkedin.com/in/TheProductGuy and (2) http://TheProductGuy.com

Key to Product Management Success: Building Team Morale

teams_204s-600x400[1]

In a recent live stream from one of our mentors of The Product Mentor, Jenn Bornstein, lead a conversation around “Building Product Team Morale”.  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

Advertisements

It’s Time to Lead … Take that step today! #prodmgmt #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…

Product Manager @ DOWN Dating @ Down, Inc. (Singapore / Remote OK)
Keywords: app, dating, growth, mobile, social
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1393&lf=twf

Product Manager @ Opentrons (Brooklyn, NY)
Keywords: Agile , Biotechnology, Engagement, Leadership, Robotics
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1392&lf=twf

Lead Product Manager @ theSkimm (New York, NY)
Keywords: Email, Product Management, User Experience, Video , Web
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1391&lf=twf

Start making better product decisions: A framework to go with your Agile Process

Guest Post by: Alex Hsu (Mentee, Session 4, The Product Mentor) [Paired with Mentor, Addi Regev]

Why do I need a framework?

A research conducted by Alpha UX found that 25% of Product Manager surveyed wished for a clearer product roadmap and strategy. This was second only to increase in salary!

clip_image002

Research article

While salary increase is a complex subject with variables outside of our control, I believe that having a clear product roadmap and strategy is every Product Manager’s responsibility. Without a clear roadmap and strategy, a Product Manager won’t be able to make impactful decisions. And over time, this can mean the difference between a successful versus a failed product.

So to help you achieve this goal, I’ve laid-out a foundational framework that can be used to store and organize incoming product requests into repositories that describe your product’s strategy. Once implemented and properly maintained, this can help you obtain the goal of having a clearer roadmap and strategy, which should help make good product decisioning easier.

Lastly, to make the most out of this framework, it’s best if your organization has already implemented some variation of the Agile Methodology. If not, this can still be applied to most existing process with some tweaks.

Enough talking. Show me the money.
Themes, Epics, User Stories

To start, break down any incoming feature requests into Themes, Epics, User Stories using the following suggestions.

Themes are critical building blocks for your product’s strategy, each Theme is usually a statement describing an idea that is critical to the vision of your product. Epics are large features that together makes up a theme. Lastly, User Stories are “chewable bits” that together makes up an Epic.

To help illustrate the relationship between Themes, Epics, and User Stories and how they can be applied in practice, I’ve included an example of the hierarchy between each item and how they can be written within the context of a fictional spaceship company.

clip_image003

Example User Story:

A User Story is a description of a functionality written from the perspective from the person requesting the capability.

The User Story should be structured to include:

  1. The requester’s role
  2. The desirable outcome once request is delivered
  3. The benefit to the organization or end-user once request is delivered

For Example:

“As an Astronaut, I want an altimeter to tell me my current altitude from the surface”

For more details about writing a good User Story, refer to this article.

Each of these items are also useful when communicating your product’s strategy to various stakeholders within your organization.

Themes typically describes abstract ideas or concepts critical to your product vision. As a result, they are useful when discussing product strategy with senior management or describing your product at a higher-level without getting into details.

Epics and User Stories, on the other hand, should be concrete features or tasks that are useful when explaining and assigning work to designers or engineers. Epics are also useful when describing features to an end-user of your product or service when collecting feedback.

clip_image004

For more details about Theme, Epic, and User Story, refer to this article.

Quarterly Objectives

This document can be used to communicate quarterly objectives that you hope to achieve. Items that go into each quarter should be made up of Epics or a features you hope to achieve.

Below’s an example of how objectives can be structured:

Q1 2017

Q2 2017

Q3 2017

Rocket Booster

Navigational Computer

Spacesuit

Ions Engine

Sleeping Quarter

Detachable Landing Vehicle

Pilot Cockpit

To maximize its potential, all Items included in this list should be shared and discussed with your business stakeholders so it’s aligned with their needs. A well understood set of quarterly goals where all business stakeholders share the same understanding of the deliverables and their priority is critical for business planning and external communications.

Second, each item under Quarterly Objectives should be traceable to a Epics or Themes so they can be worked on. If done correctly, this document can be a powerful tool that motivates your design & engineering team by setting ambitious yet achievable & well-planned goals.

Third, this will be one of the most important documents that can be used when trying to make product decisions. By looking at this list, you should be able to identify valuable requests and their priority within the overall roadmap.

Lastly, always leave room for changes in scope and timeline to account for gaps in estimation or other factors that might be out of your control. Also, shift the time period according to the context of your product or organization, as an example, an early product that’s still trying to find a market might have a shorter timeline compared to a more mature product.

Milestones

Finally, you want to set achievable Milestones. Each Milestone should be a plan that contains a deadline as well as an agreed upon set of User Stories or Epics (Let’s call these scope). The scope and deadline should be understood and agreed upon by any party involved in the planning process.

To maximize their potential, tie deadlines to meaningful business events that help market your product to its intended Target Audience. Some example can include tradeshows, product summits, or client demos.

Below’s an example of how Milestones can be structured:

Milestone 1
Tradeshow
(1/15/2017)

Milestone 2
Client Demo
(12/25/2017)

Rocket Booster
Space Suit

Ions Engine
Pilot Cockpit

Try to avoid any changes in scope and timeline once agreed upon by all parties involved. Unlike the Quarterly Objectives, if done correctly, a milestones should be tied to a business event where audience should include external prospects or clients. These type of audience are typically less tolerant to changes in expectation that has been communicated to them prior.

But why did I choose this framework?

I chose this framework because of two major reasons:

  1. It can be used when communicating across any layer of management or external stakeholders
  2. Its wide-adoption across most industries and company sizes means there are various tools and resources to choose from.

As a result of its wide adoption, there are various tools and resources built around this framework each targeted to fulfill the needs of their target market, the following research data compiled by Alpha UX shows most commonly used planning tool amongst Product Managers surveyed and can be served as a directional indicator when choosing the tool to implement within your organization.

clip_image006

Research article

So… What’s next?

I wrote this article hoping that it will help Product Managers stay more organized and make better product decisions.

This is not meant to be a one-size-fits-all solution, I would strong encourage you to reflect on this framework within the context of your product and organization’s need and come up with your own evolution of this framework.

For additional readings. I recommend visiting the following sites. Each of these sites contains an array of articles that dives deeper into various subject related to the Agile process & framework.

https://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/blog

https://www.scrumalliance.org/community

http://pragmaticmarketing.com/resources/blogs

https://tpgblog.com/

I would also like to thank Addi Regev who spent portion of her weekends providing constructive feedbacks and suggestions that helped formulate this article.

 

About Christopher Davis
alexhsu

Alex is a product manager with years of experience in B2B Digital Marketing space. In addition, Alex also has made it his goal to grow and motivate teams to build better products that delights end-user.

Outside of his profession, Alex has made it his personal mission to promote cross-cultural awareness through use of cutting-edge technology. Alex maintains a blog where he writes about product, technology, and travels.

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

Product Management Perspectives & Insights from One of the Best

Check out the full-length conversation, unique perspectives, and product management insights with Chris Butler, The Best Product Person of 2016.

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! Nominate your pick for The Best Product Person 2017 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/ )

Product Manager Responsibilities and WayBetter

theproductgroup_logo_200909_thumb752
iHM_primary_Color152bklyn-crop642222workville-crop522222Weight WatchersYEXT-logo-large62222222222booker_thumb2_thumb1_thumb3222222222
balsamiq_logo2_thumb263333

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, as well as to our other sponsors, Yext, BKLYN and many more.

MVIMG_20171102_190721

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

Featured Product: WayBetter
exploring the product, its challenges and successes, from alpha teams to expanded support

Avoiding Feature Creep
from managing expectations to elevating voices … and much more


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, December 7th @ 7PM
RSVP Now!  

Stay tuned for more announcements about December’s Featured Product, Blink Health.

TBPP2017_alt-abrv-114_thumb2

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.

Agile in the Real World

large[1]

In a recent live stream from one of our mentors of The Product Mentor, Addi Regev, lead a conversation around “Agile in the Real World”.  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

Finding The Way Things Are through Product Management

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

Looking Forward

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/ )

Amazing Opportunities in Product Management

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 @ Investors In People (London)
Keywords: agile development, product manager, UX/UI
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1390&lf=twf

Head of Design @ Priceline.com (New York, NY)
Keywords: atomic design, e-commerce
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1389&lf=twf

Senior Product Manager (Site Experience) @ Priceline.com (New York, NY)
Keywords: A/B testing, e-commerce, product manager
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1388&lf=twf

Senior Product Manager @ Priceline.com (New York, NY)
Keywords: A/B testing, e-commerce, product manager
http://theproductjobs.com/page_view_posting.php?job_id=1387&lf=twf

Balancing Data and Design in Product Management

Balancing-the-Scales-Data-Driven-and-Customer-Centric-Marketing-1[1]

In a recent live stream from one of our mentors of The Product Mentor, Vasu Vadlamudi, lead a conversation around “Balancing Data and Design in Product Management”.  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

The Future of Product Management Process (Pragmatism)

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

Looking Forward

> How do you see product management evolving over the next 5 years?

I think there is a big opportunity for tools that help gather information and do sense making for product people. We have some today, but we really need something closer to Palantir for product than project management, behavioral/outcome tracking or survey tools. This is something I have been thinking about a lot recently. Stay tuned!

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/ )