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How to improve your product sense?

  1. How to improve your Product Sense? Manjeet Singh - The Ninja PM @CoachManjeet
  2. What will you learn from this presentation? 1. Deconstruct product sense 2. Framework to improve 3. Useful exercises to level up 4. Identify gaps to align with continuous improvement plan 5. Lesson learned and key takeaways
  3. ● Group PM @ ServiceNow ● Product Manager @HP ● Founder of Agile Fitness ● Various roles@ Startup Me
  4. What is product sense?
  5. Product Manager Analytical Sense Product Sense Leadership Sense Technologies: AI/ML/BlockChain/IoT/Cloud/Mobile/Chatbots/Apps People: User Needs/User Experience Execution Sense Health Sense
  6. What is product sense? ● Empathy: having good self awareness and empathy about the user. ● Domain Knowledge: ability to understand what makes a product great. ● Creativity: ability to find novel solutions to a situation/problem. ● Business Value: ability to build for value
  7. Product sense = The ability to build for value ● 3 ways to create value ● Think about product value from the user perspective. ● Sharp product sense + drive to deliver = ship delightful products.
  8. Example questions to test product sense 1. Build a new product to solve for X? 2. How would you build an X [type of product] for Y [user]? 3. How to improve an existing product? 4. What is your favorite product/app and why? 5. Product design, identify KPIs, or user journey mapping exercise
  9. How to improve Product Sense?
  10. Building expertise in any skill involves deliberate practice, consistent routine, and a daily willingness to progress beyond physical and mental pain.
  11. 1 2 3 4 Framework: correct sequence + right input Identify customers Understand their problem and needs Help create winning solution Tell the story and manage the product
  12. Understand what makes a product great ● Utility ● Ease of use ● Delighter/Wow factor ● Strategic alignment ● Overall potential
  13. Frame and reframe the problem ● Good problem statements articulate three elements: ○ Audience- who are you building for? ○ Problem - what is the specific need/problem? ○ Value - what is the value of solving the problem? ● A good problem statement aligned with strategy brings excitement. Example from Amazon:
  14. Useful exercises to level up
  15. Exercises: Identify user and product goals ● Take a popular product that you use ○ Write down who uses the product ○ Write down all of the goals ○ Look at the PR & Marketing material ● Do design teardown exercise ○ wow moments, questions, doubts, broader observation ● Come up with problems not solved in the product . Then suggest possible solutions to it. ● Consider technical and non-technical products
  16. Airbnb: Breaking down the app Source: Medium
  17. A great example of how design influences our actions
  18. Learn to identify good insights ● Review product highlights: ○ Go to product hunt or app store and read lots of product reviews by many people. ○ They point out what someone loved and what they wish was better. ○ Write up where you disagree and discuss with friends. ● Write down your own summary of famous keynote conferences. ○ Focus on what they think about the product and how the demo was structured. ○ Read
  19. Exercises to come up with new use cases ● Use SCAMPER brainstorming framework. ○ For example, what happens when you combine Dropbox and Airbnb? ○ Or integrate Facebook for work and Outlook ● Think of adjacent areas beyond a particular feature. ● Think about how a similar problem is solved in a different industry. ● Think about how you can leverage it in your situation.
  20. Example: How would you design a bookshelf for children? ● Word association ○ Write all personas ○ Features ● SCAMPER: ○ Substitute ○ Combine ○ Adapt ○ Modify ○ Put to another use ○ Eliminate ○ Reverse
  21. Ask experts in your org/network ● It is not your job to have good ideas. It is your job to champion them. ● Map out the value curve of your product space. ● Let team play with your POC and ask them to think “as user”
  22. Strategy: find alignment and intersection Bottom up from Customer ● Enterprise use Saas platform to improve business value gain. ● In ITSM, these consumers are doing through digitizing and optimizing their service/process workflows. Top down from Company ● Enable regular people to route work effectively through the enterprise. ● Digitize your workflows ● Make work, work better
  23. 4 common ways you can create new products ● Solve a problem for people ● Change the experience of an existing product ● Target a fear/insecurity in people ● Make rich people stuff available to commoners
  24. Identify skill gaps and create continuous improvement plan
  25. Product sense: the ability to make correct product decisions even when there is significant ambiguity. Execution sense: the ability to align people towards an objective and build complex projects. Analytical sense: the ability to frame the right questions, evaluate a problem from multiple facets, simulate outcomes, be able to use data. 10-30-50 framework for growth in the PM Role Credit: Shreyas Doshicredit : Shreyas Doshi
  26. Are you the PM you really want to be? ● Identify your skills and strength ○ What comes easy ○ What you enjoy doing and keep doing without getting paid ○ What makes you grow ● Not all PM positions are equal ○ Find alignment between your current responsibilities and the work that you really want to do.
  27. Manage your career like a project Assess your Skills today Gap: Additional Skills Goal: Become the best PM leader
  28. Lesson learned and key takeaways
  29. Become a student of useful frameworks ● AARRR: How to define KPIs ● HEART: How to choose right UX metrics ● 5 W's & H: How to get requirements right ● Hooked: How to build habit forming product ● Cost/benefits/risk: How to prioritize ● 4P’s: Marketing mix ● 5 C’s: Product Pricing
  30. Mistakes to avoid ● Selling yourself on your own idea: "this will work." ● Build products without fully understanding the customer problems. ● Trying to solve product-market fit by adding loads of new features. ● Not talking to customer/dev/design teams frequently ● Believing that releasing a product is the end goal.
  31. Interview preparation tips 1. Do targeted preparation based on company/role. 2. Think about persona, solution and mistake you made from previous similar product (your stories) 3. Be curious to new product insight that are not easy to find using a quick search. 4. Talk about KPIs- what is one unique KPI to capture value 5. Show your technical abilities. AI/ML/Coding, problem solving. 6. Talk about creative solutions - baseline plus something new.
  32. 1 2 3 4 Recap: Key Takeaways Identify gaps in your strengths, lay out a plan to improve, and start deliberate practice. Everyday. Become a student of frameworks and the continual improvement mindset. Focus on learning, test your idea quickly. Strive to become customer champion asap. Be intentional about who you work with and what product you work on.
  33. Do not forget to build your ‘Health Sense’ (because when you are sick in bed - all other strong PM senses are of no use) -Coach Manjeet
  34. Thank you for being here.