Product Talk

Engaging Stakeholders with Opportunity Solution Trees: 3 Tactics to Try

Product Talk

Two and a half years ago, I introduced the opportunity solution tree. It’s been a blast seeing product people put it into practice. Today, I’m excited to share Hope Gurion’s thoughts on using opportunity solution trees.

Travel 216

Prioritize Opportunities, Not Solutions

Product Talk

I cringe every time I see product teams use a spreadsheet to rank the ideas in their backlog based on some made-up math formula usually consisting of things like business value, user value, and technical difficulty. While this exercise is pervasive, it misses the point entirely.

Vision 285

Why Engineers Should Participate in Discovery

Product Talk

Are you inviting your engineers to participate in discovery with you? If yes, do you get pushback from them? Does your organization prefer that your engineers only write code?

The Ladder of Evidence: Get More Value From Your Customer Interviews and Product Experiments

Product Talk

One of the best signs of an effective product team is a regular cadence of customer interviews and product experiments. But it’s not enough to simply check the box on these activities; we need to make sure that we do them effectively.

Make an Impact with Analytics and Journey Maps

Speaker: Kirui K. K., Co-founder and CEO of Tanasuk Africa

If you want to offer a better user experience, it can be tempting to track each and every data point in your product. However, this can quickly get complicated and overwhelming as you collect more and more data. How do you know which metrics will help you improve? Kirui K. K., Co-founder & CEO Tanasuk Africa, wants you to know that analytics don't have to be complicated to make an impact - no matter the size of your company. Join him as he explains how to create a customer journey map, then use that map to figure out the metrics you need to know - and how to use them.

Adopting a Continuous Discovery Mindset Across the Organization

Product Talk

I teach two courses at Northwestern University. I want to share a little bit more about the work that I am doing there as I think it’s relevant for people working at companies who are starting to adopt continuous discovery practices (in other words, many of you).

6 Guiding Principles for Effective Product Discovery

Product Talk

I’m co-teaching a design course at Northwestern with my friend Jeff Merrell. We are teaching business leaders and change agents how to prototype their way to viable solutions.

Continuous Product Discovery is for Everyone [Case Study]

Product Talk

When I write or speak about continuous discovery , I worry that people are enamored with this way of working, but aren’t doing the work to put it into practice. It’s easy to read about a continuous discovery habit and think, “That could never work for my team. Our industry is too old.

Demo 160

Stop Validating & Start Co-Creating

Product Talk

Meet Sally and Pam. Sally is a product manager, Pam a user experience designer, and they are working on a new mobile app. They’ve conducted customer interviews , defined their MVP , and are now working through the initial designs.

Vision 257

Taking Continuous Discovery to the Next Level at SEEK [Case Study]

Product Talk

As a discovery coach , I work with all kinds of companies and teams. Some are brand new to discovery , others are already far along in their journey.

UX 147

Build Product Progress with a Strong Data Culture

Speaker: Nima Gardideh, CTO, Pearmill

Have you ever thought your product's progress was headed in one direction, and been shocked to see a different story reflected in big picture KPIs like revenue? It can be confusing when customer feedback or metrics like registration or retention are painting a different picture. No matter how sophisticated your analytics are, if you're asking the wrong questions - or looking at the wrong metrics - you're going to have trouble getting answers that can help you. Join Nima Gardideh, CTO of Pearmill, as he demonstrates how to build a strong data culture within your team, so everyone understands which metrics they should actually focus on - and why. Then, he'll explain how you can use your analytics to regularly review progress and successes. Finally, he'll discuss what you should keep in mind when instrumenting your analytics.

The Evolution of Modern Product Discovery

Product Talk

Product management is evolving quickly. The days of gathering requirements from business stakeholders and documenting them in long product requirements documents are vanishing. We no longer take months or years to release value to our customers.

Agile 271

Managing Product Teams for Success

Product Talk

I’ve been thinking about the challenges of managing product teams by outcomes. Most leaders want their teams to have the autonomy to go after an outcome, but they struggle with trusting that their teams will do the right things.

How Much Time Should You Spend in Product Discovery?

Product Talk

I get asked all the time, “How much time should we spend in discovery ?”. I have two problems with this question. First, it assumes you do discovery first and then delivery second, which is not true. You should be discovering and delivering all the time.

The Art of Managing Stakeholders Through Product Discovery

Product Talk

The HiPPO always wins. Photo credit: Max Pixel ). So, you’re feeling pretty good about your product discovery habits. You are interviewing customers , iterating on prototypes , running sound experiments , and your team is gaining confidence that you are on a path to reach your desired outcome.

What Is (and Isn’t) Product Management?

Speaker: Steve Johnson, VP of Products, Pragmatic Institute

Product Management is one of the most exciting - and most misunderstood - functions in technical organizations. Is it strategic or tactical? Is it a planning role or a support role? Many product professionals are unclear about what is (and isn't) product management. After all, product management spans many activities from business planning to market readiness. In this session, we’ll examine many product activities and artifacts for product strategy, planning, and growth, and introduce a simple tool that you can use in your organization to clarify the roles of product management and others. Steve Johnson explores the many roles of Product Management in this fun talk focused on why product managers should obsess on problems instead of solutions.

3 Best Practices for Adopting Continuous Product Discovery

Product Talk

It’s easy to think you already do continuous product discovery. Most of the teams that I work with come into coaching thinking that they don’t need help. They’ve read the industry books, they attend the popular product conferences , and they follow all the leading blogs. They’ve got this.

How Compare and Contrast Decisions Lead to Better Product Outcomes

Product Talk

This past week I was in London speaking at Mind the Product. As usual, the Mind the Product team hosted a phenomenal event. The following is the script of my talk with slides. When Mind the Product releases the video, I’ll add it to this post.

This Keystone Habit Will Fuel the Rest of Your Continuous Discovery Habits

Product Talk

I love working as a discovery coach. I work with dozens of teams at several companies spanning many industries. I coach each team—a product manager, a design lead, and a tech lead—for three months, working with them virtually week over week.

Books 213

Creating a Sustainable Continuous Discovery Practice at CarMax [Case Study]

Product Talk

Back in March, I shared a case study about one of the product teams I worked with at Snagajob (now Snag). I’m excited to share another one with you today. This case study is about a team at CarMax that I just finished working with.

Why Conversational AI Is Key to Customer Service in the Customer Experience Era

In today’s hyper-competitive market, every business must become a customer experience-first business. Customer satisfaction has become more important than price or any individual feature. Read the new Tractica white paper to learn how important conversational AI is to your CX strategy.

4 Powerful Ways to Use Rapid Prototyping to Drive Product Success

Product Talk

When you hear the term “rapid prototyping,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most of us who work with digital products, we tend to think of wireframes or mockups. We equate prototyping with a quick way to get user feedback on our designs.

Why This Opportunity Solution Tree is Changing the Way Product Teams Work

Product Talk

I’ve found a visual aid that is profoundly changing the way teams work. It’s working so well that I feel compelled to write a book about it. But that’s going to take time and I want you to have it today. So I’m going to scratch the surface in this blog post.

How to Improve Your Experiment Design (And Build Trust in Your Product Experiments)

Product Talk

I’ve got a pet peeve to share with you. If you’ve been following along with the growth of the Lean Startup and other experimental methods, you’ve probably come across this hypothesis format: We believe [this capability]. Will result in [this outcome]. We will have confidence to proceed when [we see these measurable signals]. If you aren’t familiar with this format, you can learn more about it here.

2019 Product Conferences

Product Talk

We are starting to pull together our 2019 conference list. This list is by no means exhaustive. If you know of a product conference that is not on the list and you think it should be, please feel free to recommend it in the comments or send an email to conferences@producttalk.org. I haven’t decided what events I’ll be attending in 2019 yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll update this post. We’ll also keep updating this list as we hear about more events.

Naming 145

Your Post-Launch Toolkit for Understanding Your Users

Speaker: Brittney Gwynn, former Director of Product, Simple Health

If you've ever launched an MVP, you know that the journey has only just begun. How do you figure out what to do next? You know that you need to look at how different user segments react, but how do you quickly distinguish signal from noise so you can iterate and improve? Join Brittney Gwynn, former Director of Product at Simple Health, as she explains how you can use early customer feedback, usage data, and continuous experimentation to optimize your journey to product-market fit. Whether you're at a brand-new company, or looking to innovate within a more mature organization, or anywhere in between, you'll come away with a new skill set, ready to make the most of your launches.

What a Good Continuous Discovery Team Looks Like [Case Study]

Product Talk

One of my favorite parts of Mind the Product London this past fall was meeting a product manager and a designer who I had coached in the prior year. We met for afternoon tea and to my surprise they gushed about our time working together.

Why You Are Asking the Wrong Customer Interview Questions

Product Talk

I recently asked a woman what factors she considered when buying a new pair of jeans. She didn’t hesitate in her answer. She said, “Fit is my number one factor.” ” That seems reasonable. It’s hard to find a pair of jeans that fit well.

7 Standout Moments From Mind the Product SF 2017

Product Talk

In April, we posted this list of conferences. Since then, I’ve been asked dozens of times what my favorite product conference is. There are a lot of great product events, but for my money, none are better than Mind the Product.

The Results Are In! Feedback from the First Continuous Interviewing Cohort

Product Talk

Hi there, Product Talk readers! I’m Melissa Suzuno. I’ve been helping Teresa with Product Talk content behind the scenes for the past few years. You may have noticed my handiwork if you’re a fan of the Oxford comma or em dash.

UX 130

The Magic of Intent: Start Knowing The Goals of Your Users

Speaker: Terhi Hanninen, Senior Product Manager, Zalando, and Dr. Franziska Roth, Senior User Researcher, Zalando

It's important to know your users - what are their preferences, pain points, ultimate goals? With user research and usage data, you can get a great idea of how your users act. The tricky part is, very few users reliably act the same way every time they use your product. Join Terhi Hanninen, Senior Product Manager, and Dr. Franziska Roth, Senior User Researcher at Zalando, as they explain how they were able to reach a new level of user understanding - by taking their user research and segmenting their users by point-in-time intent. You'll leave with a strategy to change how your product team, and organization at large, understands your users.

How to Take Notes During Customer Research Interviews

Product Talk

For those of you following along, I’ve been conducting interviews to understand the life of a product manager. If you need to catch up, you can see my initial call for participants here and my breakdown of how I am selecting participants here.

UX 152

Why Drawing Maps Sharpens Your Thinking

Product Talk

“Could it have been the drawing of maps that boosted our ancestors beyond the threshold which the other apes just failed to cross?”. – Richard Dawkins. Have you ever wondered why the Business Model Canvas spread like wildfire? To me, the answer is clear.

Vision 150

2017 Product Conferences

Product Talk

I often get and see on social media questions about upcoming product conferences. So we compiled a list. I say we because my assistant, Karen did most of the heavy-lifting. This list is by no means exhaustive. If you know of a product conference that is not on the list and you think it should be, please feel free to recommend it in the comments or send an email to conferences@producttalk.org. This year, I’ll be attending: Front Conference in Salt Lake City in May.

Naming 120

The Rise of Modern Product Discovery

Product Talk

I love that Marty Cagan and Jeff Patton have long been advocates of dual-track development. Their efforts have helped to shape the ongoing conversation about the evolution of product discovery.

4 Steps to Developing Your Customer Care Strategy

The quality of a customer care strategy can make or break a company, but simply resolving a customer service issue or complaint is no longer enough. Learn the 4 steps that address the major points you need to consider when building a customer care roadmap.

An Introduction to Product Discovery

Product Talk

I continue to be surprised by how many product managers aren’t familiar with dual-track development. I don’t care if you know the buzzwords or if you can define the difference between product discovery and product delivery.

Why You Are Probably Interviewing the Wrong People (And How to Fix It)

Product Talk

Last Wednesday I put out this call to product managers to participate in a research study about the life of a product manager. I am overwhelmed by the response. In the first 48 hours, I have 90 responses. I was initially thinking that I would interview 9–12 people.

Travel 139

Why You Aren’t Learning As Much As You Could From Your Experiments

Product Talk

I love that A/B testing has become so popular. It’s an important tool in our toolbox. But it frustrates me that we use it so poorly.

Video: How One Chief Product Officer Is Reinventing Product Management At Her Company

Product Talk

A few months ago, I sat down with Hope Gurion, Chief Product Officer at CareerBuilder , to talk about her team, how they work, and how she stays current in the fast-moving world of product management.

A Simple Framework for Complex User Goals

Speaker: Hannah Stegen, Customer Service Manager, Crescendo

How can you measure and affect your users' behavior if they're not doing something that's easily measurable? You can monitor usage, activation, retention, and more, but those metrics don't always align with every one of your goals for your users. Hope is not lost, however: with the right framework, you can still make sure your users are on track. Join Hannah Stegen (she/her), Customer Success Manager at Crescendo as she explains how you can monitor even the most complex user journeys by breaking them up into Attitude, Intention, and Behavior.