For all those product managers who haven’t had the chance to attend this year’s ‘Mind the Product’ conference in London I have collected my top 8 insights from the speakers. I took the liberty to add some of my thoughts as well.
- In roadmaps, replace features or epics done by user problems solved. This will push your thinking much more into the direction of outcome and makes discussions over prioritization with stakeholders more valuable. Jared Spool
- Combine the customer journey map with the Kano model. This will improve thinking on delivering against basic expectations, core functionality, and delightful additions. Jared Spool
- Be more aware about how you treat quiet people. Amanda Richardson from HotelTonight talked about how she made her way as a woman in the Silicon Valley culture. She advised other women to find quantifiable success, be demanding & vocal, overcome fear, and get good mentors. To me, the first three advices sound like: become a better version of the stereotyped overconfident man. I was wondering if there is not a better way? In any case, everybody (especially men) should pay more attention to anybody who is less vocal and yet contributing silently. They deserve it and you get better results.
- It is not feature, platform. I agree with Shiva Rajaraman from Spotify that you should think broader about your product. First of all, it is a service as it solves (hopefully) a user problem. Secondly, being a service to your users means that you should think of other ways how you can deepen the relationship with them. The more you are able to create a network of interactions and relations the better.
- Look at the maturity of teams. Nilan Peiris from TransferWise pointed out that in his experience 60% of the teams fail. He made the audience aware that the people you hire will define the product you get. As a manager, he said that you have to guide a team through 4 phases: (1) make sure that they understand which problem to solve. (2) Then define a corresponding KPI and start measuring it. (3) Work relentlessly to move this KPI. (4) Once a team has proved its maturity by going through these three phases, get them involved in the product vision.
- Ownership comes at a cost. If a team has a direction and it takes responsibility for self organization, you get strong ownwership. However, you will have less consistency, less efficiency; you miss the singularity of one vision, and loose swiftness of collective decision making. Nilan Peiris
- 10x is not 10%. Ken Norton. The ambition of your goals will above all influence the way you think about the problem at hand.
- Great people want to do great work. Again Ken Norton. If you need to impose goals on teams, those teams are not yet high performing teams. High performing teams look for the challenge and want to work on inspiring stuff.