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What is Product Management

Sachin Rekhi shares the 4 dimensions of product management (vision, strategy, design, execution), discusses where product managers fit in the R&D organization, and how product management roles differ across and within companies.

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What is Product Management

  1. 1. What is Product Management? Sachin Rekhi @sachinrekhi www.sachinrekhi.com Founder & CEO, Notejoy
  2. 2. Agenda ● Where do product managers fit in the R&D org? ● What do product managers do? ● How do product management roles differ?
  3. 3. My Product Roles
  4. 4. My Product Advising Roles
  5. 5. Where do PMs fit in the R&D org?
  6. 6. Product Manager Software Engineer Designer Tester Product Marketer UX Researcher Sales Support CEOVP Product Legal Core Product Team
  7. 7. Product Manager Software Engineer Designer Tester Product Marketer UX Researcher Sales Support CEOVP Product Legal Shared Resources
  8. 8. Product Manager Software Engineer Designer Tester Product Marketer UX Researcher Sales Support CEOVP Product Legal Executive Stakeholders
  9. 9. Product Manager Software Engineer Designer Tester Product Marketer UX Researcher Sales Support CEOVP Product Legal Product Peers Product Manager
  10. 10. What do product managers do?
  11. 11. Product managers drive the vision, strategy, design, and execution of their product.
  12. 12. Vision Strategy Design Execution
  13. 13. Vision Strategy Design Execution
  14. 14. A compelling vision articulates how the world will be a better place if you succeed Vision
  15. 15. Vision Elon Musk, SpaceX “It is important that humanity become an interplanetary species.”
  16. 16. The Best Format: A Customer-Centric Vision Narrative “Full sentences are harder to write. They have verbs. The paragraphs have topic sentences. There is no way to write a six-page narratively structured memo and not have clear thinking.” — Jeff Bezos Vision
  17. 17. Vision Narrative: Amazon.com 1997 Shareholder Letter “But this is Day 1 for the Internet and, if we execute well, for Amazon.com. Today, online commerce saves customers money and precious time. Tomorrow, through personalization, online commerce will accelerate the very process of discovery. Amazon.com uses the Internet to create real value for its customers and, by doing so, hopes to create an enduring franchise, even in established and large markets.” — Jeff Bezos Read: Jeff Bezos’ 1997 Amazon.com Shareholder Letter Vision
  18. 18. Vision Narrative: Slack Pre-Launch Employee Memo “That’s why what we’re selling is organizational transformation. The software just happens to be the part we’re able to build & ship (and the means for us to get our cut). We’re selling a reduction in information overload, relief from stress, and a new ability to extract the enormous value of hitherto useless corporate archives. We’re selling better organizations, better teams.” — Stewart Butterfield Read: Stewart Butterfield’s 2013 Employee Memo: We Don’t Sell Saddles Here Vision
  19. 19. The Core Challenge A vision is valuable only if it inspires the entire team Vision
  20. 20. Vision Strategy Design Execution
  21. 21. A compelling strategy details exactly how you’ll dominate your market Strategy
  22. 22. Strategy Jeff Bezos, Amazon “Your margin is my opportunity.”
  23. 23. Best Format: Product/Market Fit Hypotheses Ditch the business plan; instead focus on a few-page summary that captures each of your critical product/market fit hypotheses Strategy
  24. 24. The Product/Market Fit Hypotheses 1. Target Audience 2. Problem You’re Solving 3. Value Propositions 4. Strategic Differentiation 5. Competition 6. Acquisition Strategy 7. Monetization Strategy 8. KPIs Further reading: A Lean Alternative to a Business Plan: Documenting Your Product/Market Fit Hypotheses Strategy
  25. 25. Strategy: Google Maps Leverages Superior Technology Dimension of Innovation: Strategic Differentiation Google Maps unseated the ubiquitous MapQuest (which had already become a verb) largely through a superior product that leveraged early use of technologies like JavaScript and AJAX to bring the first smooth scrolling and zooming experience to an online map interface. Strategy
  26. 26. Strategy: Tesla Takes a Top Down Market Approach Dimensions of Innovation: Target Audience, Strategic Differentiation Tesla's primary goal was to commercialize electric vehicles, starting with a premium sports car aimed at early adopters and then moving as rapidly as possible into more mainstream vehicles, including sedans and affordable compacts. Tesla first introduced the Roadster, a high-end luxury sports car in 2008, selling 2,400 units up until 2012. It then followed it with the broader appeal Model S, a full-sized luxury sedan in 2012, which has sold more than 100,000 cars globally. Strategy
  27. 27. A vision should be stable, but your strategy needs to be iterated on and refined until you find product/market fit Strategy The Core Challenge
  28. 28. Vision Strategy Design Execution
  29. 29. A compelling design delivers a useful, usable, and delightful experience to your customers Design
  30. 30. Design Steve Jobs, Apple “You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”
  31. 31. Product Roadmap Design What products and features are we going to build for our users? When? Why?
  32. 32. Product Roadmap Design
  33. 33. Product Requirements Design What requirements must the product satisfy to enable our users to accomplish their goals?
  34. 34. Product Requirements
  35. 35. Core Challenge Design With limited resources but endless possibilities, how do we decide what to prioritize?
  36. 36. Start by falling in love with the problem you are solving for your target customers But not… with the solution Design Further reading: The Best Product Managers Fall in Love With a Problem
  37. 37. Increase Exposure Hours “It's the closest thing we've found to a silver bullet when it comes to reliably improving the designs teams produce. The solution? Exposure hours. The number of hours each team member is exposed directly to real users interacting with the team's designs or the team's competitor's designs. There is a direct correlation between this exposure and the improvements we see in the designs that team produces.” — Jared M. Spool, Founder, User Interface Engineering Read: Fast Path to a Great UX - Increased Exposure Hours Design
  38. 38. Vision Strategy Design Execution
  39. 39. Relentless execution ultimately determines whether you’ll make your vision a reality Execution
  40. 40. Execution Stewart Butterfield, Slack “We do it really, really fucking good.”
  41. 41. Execution Modern Project Management Annual Planning / Quarterly OKRs / Bi-weekly Sprint / Daily Scrum
  42. 42. Execution Loop: Define. Validate. Iterate. Define Validate Iterate 1. Define your hypotheses 2. Validate each hypothesis 3. Iterate based on what you’ve learned Execution
  43. 43. Increase execution loop velocity Execution Core Challenge
  44. 44. Metrics: Learn to Read the Matrix Build your intuition for metrics by spending time every day reviewing a few critical acquisition, engagement, and monetization dashboards Execution Further reading: 3 Essential Dashboards for Every Product
  45. 45. How do product roles differ?
  46. 46. Builders Tuners Innovators 3 Types of Product Managers / /
  47. 47. Product Career Ladder ● Associate Product Manager ● Product Manager ● Senior Product Manager ● Principal Product Manager ● Group Product Manager ● Director, Product Management ● Sr. Director, Product Management ● Vice President, Product Management Individual Contributor Manager
  48. 48. Product @ Large vs Small Companies
  49. 49. Technical vs Non-Technical Product Managers
  50. 50. Product vs Project Managers
  51. 51. Enjoyed this presentation? Check out my 125+ essays on product at sachinrekhi.com