Published on February 27, 2014
What is Product Mgmt and Why Should You Care? By Isaac Souweine Head of Product Management @ Frank & Oak Presented to Founder Fuel Feb 26, 2014
Personal Intro ● ● ● ● ● ● Columbia (Religion) Scholastic INSEAD Yahoo Pollenizer Frank & Oak
I. why should you care?
product managers partner with devs, design and business to bring products to market that drive business value http://www.mindtheproduct.com/2011/10/what-exactly-is-a-product-manager/
discussions of product management typically assume highly specialized organizations UX design BD Mktng PM PMO Eng. Sales Customers VPs
and that diagram is a massive understatement HR UX FIN M&A LAW strat design BD Mktng PM PMO Eng. Sales Cust svc Customers BI INF Ops VPs
the context is appropriate considering who invented product management UX design BD Mktng PM PMO Eng. Sales Customers VPs
and who practices it at scale today UX design BD Mktng PM PMO Eng. Sales Customers VPs
meanwhile, this is the context of an early stage startup Biz cofounder Tech cofounder Customers
or maybe this Biz Tech Customers Design
also known as Huster Hacker Customers Hipster
or perhaps your hipster is more on the marketing side Biz Tech Customers Mktng
whatever the case, your team is tiny. whereas product management is about managing complex organizations. so why should you care?
II. why you should care
Early stage startups are temporary organizations in search of product/market fit market product
They seek product/market fit by conducting build/measure/learn cycles LEARN market MEASURE product BUILD
Big company PMs are actually trying to run similar cycles LEARN UX design BD Mktng PM PMO Eng. Sales BUILD VPs Customers MEASURE
They just have a lot more people involved in the process LEARN UX design BD Mktng PM PMO Eng. Sales BUILD VPs Customers MEASURE
which means a lot more stakeholder engagement LEARN UX design BD Mktng PM PMO Eng. Sales BUILD VPs Customers MEASURE
and a very long and filtered learning process LEARN UX design BD Mktng PM PMO Eng. Sales BUILD VPs Customers MEASURE
all that complexity should not be that interesting to early stage startups LEARN UX design BD Mktng PM PMO Eng. Sales BUILD VPs Customers MEASURE
But the way PMs run build/measure/learn is relevant LEARN UX design BD Mktng PM PMO Eng. Sales BUILD VPs Customers MEASURE
III. what is product management?
so here is a list of what these big company PMs do ● ● ● ● ● ● understand strategize prioritize specify analyze grind + ● communicate ● negotiate ● motivate
you can divide the list into two areas ● ● ● ● ● ● understand strategize prioritize specify analyze grind Manage complexity + ● communicate ● negotiate ● motivate Build, Measure, Learn
of course we care more about the stuff on the left ● ● ● ● ● ● understand strategize prioritize specify analyze grind Manage complexity + ● communicate ● negotiate ● motivate Build, Measure, Learn
a list which maps pretty well to the B/M/L triangle LEARN ● understand ● strategize ● analyze ● grind MEASURE BUILD ● prioritize ● specify
understand ● ● ● ● ● ● know your market deeply market size and dynamics competitors trends (macro and micro) customer profiles use cases
strategize ● ● ● ● ● ● ● craft a compelling vision value proposition feature set KPIs brand alignment monetization acquisition flow
prioritize ● ● ● ● decide what to build ROI technical understanding speed vs. scale
specify ● ● ● ● ● ● ● describe what to build user stories wireframing copy edge cases errors and help success metrics
analyze ● ● ● ● ● understand what happened web analytics funnel analysis spreadsheets data integrity
grind ● ● ● ● ● ● do whatever it takes customer engagement qa developer enablement late nights and early mornings wrangling of all kinds
there are a few paths to the product management role ● marketing > PM ● engineering > PM ● UX > PM
IV. so should you have a product manager?
a lot of what PMs do is extremely relevant to early stage companies ● ● ● ● ● ● understand strategize prioritize specify analyze grind Biz Tech Mktng
but does that mean someone on your team should be a product manager? Biz Tech PM
of course the short answer is that it depends Biz Tech ?
Pollenizer (AU) runs three person teams with a designated lean product manager. In this setup the LPM covers customer development and parts of growth. Biz Tech LPM
A designated PM role can also make a ton of sense for larger startup teams Biz Tech Tech PM Mktng Design
On the other hand, the marketing function can double as PM (reverse Pollenizer model) Biz Tech Mktng
In other cases, the business lead can share product management responsibility Biz Tech Mktng
Or simply owns it completely in a two person team Biz Tech
In design heavy teams the designer can play the PM role, especially if she comes from a UX background Biz Tech Design
in the end, it doesn’t matter so much whether you have the formal role of PM LEARN product market PM MEASURE BUILD
what matters is that your team is set up to drive effective B/M/L cycles LEARN market MEASURE product BUILD
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