Tyner Blain

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Minimum Valuable Problem

Tyner Blain

Defining and building a good minimum viable product is much harder than it sounds. Finding that “one thing” you can do, which people want, is really about a lot more than picking one thing.  It is a combination of solving the minimum valuable problem and all of the other things that go with it. Solving for both the outside-in needs and the inside-out goals is critical. larger ].

Features do not a Product Roadmap Make

Tyner Blain

Last month, Mike Smart of Egress Solutions and I gave a webinar for Pragmatic Marketing on product roadmapping when working in agile environments. We had a great turnout of over 1500 people in the session – with not nearly enough time to answer all of the questions. One attendee asked, “ Please explain how a prioritized list of features is not a roadmap? Why and What and When.

Product Owner Manager – Alone Together

Tyner Blain

Product owners and product managers. Two roles, often done by one person. Together, the product  people need to take an organization’s strategy, figure out the appropriate product strategy, and convert that into actionable work for the delivery teams to create the right product. What does the product manager own, and for what is the product owner responsible? Product Management Overlaps.

Outside-In User Story Example

Tyner Blain

Being “outside-in”, “outcome-based”, and “market-driven” is particularly important for creating successful products. The problem is that just saying the words is not enough to help someone shift their thinking. For those of us who are already thinking this way, the phrases become touchstones or short-hand. ”  They have to change their organizations.

Opposite Views of a Product Roadmap

Tyner Blain

Your product roadmap is a view of what you are building right now, in the near future, and in the more distant future.  Or is your roadmap a view of  why you are building whatever you’re building right now, in the near future, and in the more distant future? When you view the spinning cat animation (1) above, you will either see it as rotating clockwise or counter-clockwise. Intentionality.

Classifying Market Problems

Tyner Blain

Theodore Levitt may have developed the  whole product model to help companies compete more effectively with their products.  We wrote about the  whole product game based on Mr. Levitt’s work. Whole Product Model. Minor Term Revision. When introducing this way of framing a market space to a team, I have found that I get more traction with the following variation on the model. Many Lenses.

Why Not What – An Example

Tyner Blain

Forbes quoted Steve Jobs as saying “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.” ”  This is a really enlightened perspective – and a way to enforce focus from the top down. Before you can drive a “this goal is more important than that goal” focus, you have to make sure you’re actually focusing on the goals. Wrong. Conclusion.

Agile Cadabra

Tyner Blain

Agile is not magical. Changing from a waterfall process to an agile process changes how your team works, and helps eliminate inefficiencies. Adopting an agile process does not let you magically have a more successful product. What makes agile powerful is also makes it dangerous. Triage and Urgency. One tenet of agile is to make decisions at the last responsible moment. Game Theory. Thanks, Rich!

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Agile Through a Matrix Lens

Tyner Blain

“Agile” is something most teams do wrong*, without realizing they’re doing it wrong.  A good 2×2 matrix acts as a lens, helping to convert information into insight. Let’s apply this lens to agile as applied within a company, and see if it helps people decide to do things differently. When  You Say Agile, What Do You Mean? Our first step is to define our two axes.

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Why Write Requirements

Tyner Blain

There is a lot of advice out there for how to write requirements. There is not as much discussion about why to write requirements. Spend some time thinking about why you write requirements before you make decisions about how to write your requirements. Why Write Requirements? Don’t just follow some prescription and go through the motions of documenting requirements. Understanding Your Market.

How is SaaS Changing Product Management – A Research Thesis

Tyner Blain

Paddy Barrett in Ireland is preparing his Master’s thesis on Product Management and would like to interview (USA) state-side product managers for his primary research.   It would be awesome if you could help him, and help us all. My Connection. I am a visiting lecturer as part of the Dublin Institute of Technology’s Product Management degree program. Paddy’s Research. My Appeal.

Playing Whack-A-Mole With Risk

Tyner Blain

Assumptions are interesting things – we all make them all the time, and we rarely acknowledge that we’re doing it. When it comes to developing a product strategy – or even making decisions about how best to create a product, one of these assumptions is likely to be what causes us to fail.  We can, however, reduce the chance of that happening. Being Wrong. But stay with me for now.

Encryption is not Binary

Tyner Blain

If you ask someone if they require encryption on their device, first of all, you will likely get one of two answers – yes or no – useful for segmenting your market or developing persona.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get a better answer – “ you’re asking the wrong question! ” Be Outside-In, Not Inside-Out. Without encryption. What might that look like?

Product Owner Survival Camp

Tyner Blain

Product owners are likely to find themselves alone in the organizational wilderness. Their organizations expect them to connect the towers of long-term strategic planning with the frontiers of great new products. Iterative and incremental development of solutions can bring these two worlds together. Announcing Product Owner Survival Camp, USA – Cambridge MA 19-20 May 2016. poscusa.

Whole Product Game

Tyner Blain

How can Theodore Levitt’s classic Whole Product approach help with defining a product roadmap?  I’ve been revisiting his concepts and their use recently, thinking about how to revise them for some exercises I’ve been doing with product teams. Whole Product Game Background. It was a really effective elicitation exercise for us that helped us characterize market problems.

Customer Churn and SaaS

Tyner Blain

Software as a Service is not a  one and done  transactional offering.  A product or business built on SaaS is built on the  subscription  model – recurring revenue is half of what drives the business (and valuation). The other half is the rate of growth of that recurring revenue. Finding the Right Customers by  Understanding Your Customers. Framing Investments in the Context of Goals.

Professional Services and Improving Your Product

Tyner Blain

How do you work with professional services, consulting, field engineers, etc. to make your product better? Do you just treat their inputs as  yet another channel for feature requests , or do you engage them as an incredibly potent market-sensing capability? Conversation Starter. Combining the two conversations, I realized that there’s a common theme. Just Ingest. High Fidelity Connections.

You Don’t Know Jack (or Jill)

Tyner Blain

You’ve got some shiny new segmentation data about prospective customers; how much they earn, where they are located, how old they are. How does that help you make decisions about your product? You know this information, but you don’t really know your audience, or why they might become your customers. Customer Needs Are A Function of Intent. Good stuff. Segmentation Based On Intent.

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Things Nobody Told Me About Being a Product Manager

Mind the Product

Shaun Russell shares his journey into product management, sketching out the well-trodden path he took to getting started – reading, taking workshops, learning from peers, and so on. But being a product manager is really hard, and nothing can prepare you for it. There are things that nobody tells you, so Shaun explains what he’s learned along the way. Friendships are Important.

How aligning product and marketing teams improves customer experience

Mind the Product

It wasn’t too long ago that designers and developers were disciples of strictly separate crafts – but today, someone who can do both well is quickly labelled a “unicorn”, and sought after by many a unicorn-thirsty start-up. In doing so, I’ve witnessed the benefits gained when a cosy relationship develops between marketing and product teams, especially in fast-moving start-up environments.

Why Your Product Must Stand for Something

Mind the Product

Christian Rudder, co-founder of dating site OkCupid, has learned a lot about online dating behaviour. As a data scientist, he’s also been in the unique position of being able to observe how people behave in the dating world when no one is watching them. In the face of disagreement, people tend to feel even more passionately about their preferences. SAP does not. No one Wants you Here, Frankenstein.

Three Superpowers of a Product Manager

Mind the Product

As a product manager it’s not uncommon to feel pulled in a million different directions as you work to meet the needs of your customers, developers and company stakeholders. The practices I describe are not an exhaustive list of tools and methods. But they are good examples of what my team and I have developed together over the last four years at Zalora. Communication Powers. Stakeholder Meetings.

10 Tips for Creating an Agile Product Roadmap

Roman Pichler

1 Focus on Goals and Benefits. Whenever you are faced with an agile, dynamic environment—be it that your product is young and is experiencing significant change or that the market is dynamic with new competitors or technologies introducing change, you should work with a goal-oriented product roadmap, sometimes also referred to as theme-based. Tell a Coherent Story. Keep it Simple. Learn More.

The biggest challenge for product managers?

Mind the Product

A few weeks ago, I invited Mind the Product readers to take part in a brief survey with a simple goal: to identify the biggest challenges product managers face in their role. I’m sincerely grateful to the 47 of you who provided your thoughts, many of which were detailed and insightful in their own right. Respondents by the Numbers. Stakeholders clouding the vision not based on evidence.

When should Product Backlog Grooming Take Place?

Roman Pichler

Option 1: In the Sprint Review Meeting. Your first option is to work on the product backlog in the sprint review meeting. This approach ensures that the backlog is updated before the next sprint starts. This allows you to immediately action any new insights thereby mitigating the risk of taking the product in the wrong direction. Additionally, the backlog is collaboratively worked on.

Scaling Lean Principles by Jeff Gothelf

Mind the Product

Coach, lean advocate and author Jeff Gothelf talked about scaling Lean principles at this year’s London #mtpcon. Lean methodologies work well for a single team observes Gothelf: “A lean startup reduces risk by regular and continuous experimentation. Experiment Or Die. For start-ups it’s “experiment or die”, says Gothelf. In bigger companies this all changes. Framework For Big Companies.

Outcome-Driven Innovation for Product Managers

Mind the Product

Tony Ulwick is the pioneer of jobs-to-be-done theory, the inventor of the Outcome-Driven Innovation® (ODI) process, and the founder of the strategy and innovation consulting firm Strategyn. Start with the need. Innovation is the process of producing solutions which satisfy unmet needs. Traditional innovation is ideas-led and Tony argues this is a guessing game of fail-fast, pivot-often.

Product Owner vs Product Manager

Mind the Product

As a Product Owner and the CEO of Scrum.org I was invited to speak at ProductTank NYC earlier this year about the conflict between the roles Product Owner and Product Manager. And how organizations need to consolidate on one overall decision maker for the product, and that person should be engaged with the delivery teams as a representative of the business / customer. Who Is The Boss Anyway?

Finding Inspiration for Customer Journey Mapping

Mind the Product

Customer journey mapping (CJM) is an underestimated marketing tool. Because customer journey maps can be hard to create and their results cannot always be tracked, it can be tempting to use other ways to increase conversion rates on a company website or online shop. Only when CJM is done right, can you get closer to your clients and understand their needs and wishes. Line Charts can Work.

AI, Autonomy, and the Build Trap – Announcing our first three speakers for #mtpcon SF

Mind the Product

Mind the Product San Francisco 2017 promises to be one of our best product conferences yet, with double the number of workshops, more networking events around the conference, and more fun than ever before. Tickets go on sale tomorrow – the early birds sold out in mere minutes so don’t miss out! Aparna Chennapragada, Director of Product Management, Google. Get those tickets now!

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10 Ways to Use Feature Flags

Mind the Product

Take back control of your products with Edith Harbaugh , CEO and Co-Founder at Launch Darkly. Edith shares her expertise with 10 things to do with Feature Flags. She explains why feature flags are beneficial to Product Managers and shows you how to use them to manage risk, keep different groups of users happy, and make your job less stressful. The tidal wave effect. And then something else.

Product Management is More Important Than Ever

Mind the Product

Product Management as a role has moved on in leaps and bounds during my career. As the number of people gathered at Mind the Product London 2016 prove – it’s a skill and a job that more and more companies understand, appreciate, and seek out. So problem solved right? We’ve got our job title, we’ve got our space in the organisation, and we’ve got our seat at the management team table?

10 Product Backlog Tips

Roman Pichler

Tip #1: Complement your Product Backlog with a Product Roadmap. Use a roadmap to sketch the overall journey you want to take your product on. State the upcoming major releases with their goals or benefits. Then  derive your product backlog from the roadmap and use the goals to discover the right backlog items. Tip #2: Focus your Backlog on the Next Major Release. Tip #4. Tip #5: Say No. Learn More.

Product Management is About Making Mistakes

Mind the Product

Once upon a time, I met a product manager of a company who was leading a freemium model product, with some success. He regularly interviewed users to work out their needs, he gathered and analyzed usage data of the product to extract new requirements, and he defined new features with a high level of detail. Shiny new Feature. It was not a naive and under-researched wish. What was happening?

Behind Every Great Product by Marty Cagan

Mind the Product

In the opening keynote at this year’s London #mtpcon, Silicon Valley Product Group’s Marty Cagan shared his latest thoughts on what makes a great product manager by looking at the people behind some great products. There hasn’t been much success in defining the role, but the role itself, Cagan believes, has never been more essential. Microsoft Word. for the Mac. Netflix. Google Adwords.

How to Build Great Products in the AI World

Mind the Product

What does technology do to society? When technology and human ingenuity gets together, everybody in society profits. If you look at graphs of GDP / capita over long time periods (850 years+), the trend is always upwards. The only things that drag this progress down are severe periods of sickness (like the black death) and widespread war (such as WW2). The most important thing in technology is AI.

Design Thinking – From Idea to Product

Mind the Product

Davide Scalzo , previously Product Director at Yplan, encourages us to use Design Thinking to re-think how we carry an idea from concept, through the development process to launch. By focusing on user empathy, not user research, Design Thinking takes us right back to customer connection and reminds us why we all came here in the first place – to build products people love. What are we doing here?

How to turn a story point factory into a customer-centric team?

Mind the Product

The one spontaneous ovation at this year’s London MTPCon was when Drift CEO David Cancel muttered “I hate agile” as an aside while he was on stage. Agile, a revolutionary idea 10 years ago, has clearly lost its shine for many people. For them agile looks like a needless abstraction layer between the development team and their customers. How can we bring customers back into the picture?

Scaling the Product Owner Role

Roman Pichler

Scaling and the Product Life Cycle. To understand if and when the product owner role should be scaled, I find it helpful to consider the product’s life cycle stage. As long as a product is young and hasn’t reached product-market fit—or is close to achieving it—I recommend having a single person in charge of the product. At this stage, effective decision-making is paramount. The product manager.

What Do You Do When Someone “Steals” Your Amazing Idea?

Nir Eyal

The subject line read: “did you see this?” The message was from my editor Jen. Nir, I saw the headline on this story and thought it might be written by you—but no!” she wrote. Very weird.” I instantly clicked on the link she’d sent. It was uncanny! An article written by Christopher Mele at the […]. The post What Do You Do When Someone “Steals” Your Amazing Idea? appeared first on Nir and Far. Business Lessons Upgrading Yourself Life lessons