Published on February 12, 2014
Product Managers, Agile Product Owners and Building Great Products CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE Rich Mironov IT@Cork 11 Feb 2014 1 © Rich Mironov, 2014
ABOUT RICH MIRONOV • • • • Veteran product manager/executive 6 startups, including as CEO “The Art of Product Management” Founded Product Camp, chaired first Agile conference product tracks W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 2
THE SET-UP • “Product manager” is a job title • Org charts, HR category, not necessarily agile • Mostly in technology-as-revenue firms • “Product owner” is an agile team role • Part of self-organizing team within Engineering or Program Office • Internal IT or technology-as-revenue • Work has to get done, regardless of title • Sprint-level stories, backlogs, priorities, acceptance… • Engagement with users, buyers and corporate priorities W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 3
WHAT DOES A PRODUCT MANAGER DO? budgets, staff, targets strategy, forecasts, commitments, roadmaps, competitive intelligence Executives CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE market information, priorities, requirements, roadmaps, epics, user stories, backlogs, personas, MRDs… Field input, Market feedback Product Management Development product bits Marketing & Sales Markets & Customers Segmentation, messages, benefits/features, pricing, qualification, demos… W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 4
IDEAL CANDIDATE CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE 5
WHAT DOES A PRODUCT OWNER DO? • “…represents the customer’s interest in backlog prioritization and requirements questions... available to the team at any time.” • Provides intense sprint-level focus: stories, backlog, prioritization, acceptance • Gets lots of love from Development • Feeds the hungry agile beast W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 6
FEEDING THE AGILE BEAST Steam engine “firemen” need to shovel coal constantly, otherwise the train will stop W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 7
„small p‟ PRODUCT OWNER Executives CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE backlog, priorities, epics, user stories, personas, demo feedback Development Product Owner Marketing & Sales product bits W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M Markets & Customers showcase customers 8
PRODUCT MANAGER HAS MORE LEVERS • Engineering output • Product features • Order of delivery Product owner • Whole product/business model • • • • • • Pricing Competitive positioning Partners and Channels Services and Support Fit with corporate strategy Product Product split, merge or EOLmanager W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M After: Greg Cohen 9
WHAT PM HIRING MANAGERS WANT Analyzed 41 US tech product manager job postings • 76% want previous product manager experience • 93% want a BS (68% prefer CS/EE) • 93% want excellent verbal and written communication skills • 32% want MBAs • 88% want experience in that company’s market segment W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 10
WHEN DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS CHOOSE THEIR PRODUCT OWNERS… • • • • • • Naturally look for advanced users (SMEs) Huge premium on technical chops, story writing Rarely consider market-side experience Undervalue “deflection” skills Good match for IT project with strong champion Sucks for commercial (revenue) products W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 11
PROD MGMT: OVERSUBSCRIBED, OVERCOMMITTED, BURNING OUT • Most product management teams were already understaffed • Product ownership adds 40-60% more critical work • One product manager can “do it all” for a single agile team • But typical Dev:PM ratio is 25:1, not 10:1 W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 12
PRODUCT MANAGER FAILURE MODES Product Manager fails agile team when… • Part-timer, not engaged with team • Lack of detail on stories • Stale backlog • Best of intentions, but pulled in too many directions • “Build what I meant” W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 13
PRODUCT OWNER FAILURE MODES Product Owner fails the market when… • Weak on market realities: pricing, packaging, selling cycle, upgrades, discounting, service models, competitive dynamics • Disconnected from Marketing, Sales, Support • Trading off company strategy for product features • Confusing showcase customers with broader market W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 14
MARKET FAILURES • Delivering products that don’t sell • Outdated plans • Urgency to start coding • Titles don’t create revenue W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 15
MINIMAL PM/PO “ORGANIZATION” VP or Founders “management” CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE Heroic Single Product Manager/Owner more technical W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M more market-focused 16
DYSFUNCTIONAL PO/PM ORGANIZATION VP Eng VP Marketing “management” CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE Product Owners Product Managers more technical W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M more market-focused 17
PM/PO ORGANIZATIONAL MAP: MARKET MENTORING GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO “management” CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE more technical W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M more market-focused 18
PM/PO ORGANIZATIONAL MAP: PRODUCT PEERS GM / VP Eng / VP Products / CPO “management” CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE PM Director/ Product Strategist more technical W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M more market-focused 19
DISTINCT PRODUCT MANAGERS, PRODUCT OWNERS? One way to split up work • Product Manager • • • • • Program-level responsibility for all features, stories, scrum teams. Feature-level backlog, review, escalation of team-level issues Intensive customer and prospect interactions. Intensive daily collaboration with product owners 50% scrum-of-scrums, 35% customer-focused, 15% overhead • Product Owner • 100% dedicated to 1-3 scrum teams • Manage/groom team backlog, write/accept all stories, sprint planning/review, be very available • Solid or strong dotted line into product management W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 20
DELEGATING STORIES AND ACCEPTANCE? • Varies with team, project, technical depth • Which stories (design choices) are customervisible? • Example: extra focus on UI, configuration options? • Example: performance goal (epic) versus specific performance improvements (stories) • Plan ahead, negotiate a working agreement • What kinds of story writing are you delegating (to whom)? • Acceptance of which stories (to whom)? • Check in frequently: are you the acceptance bottleneck? W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 21
CONTACT CLICK TO EDIT MASTE R TITLE Rich Mironov, CEO Mironov Consulting 233 Franklin St, Suite #308 San Francisco, CA 94102 Rich@Mironov.com RichMironov @RichMironov W W W. M I R O N O V. C O M 22
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