I always thought social science and language arts were the most important courses to have mastered for life and your career until I became a product manager. In product management, I quickly learned that math and specifically the ability to use excel based on your fundamental math skills was critical. Fuzzy value props and interesting word choice when positioning your product internally will only get you so far. Ultimately you need to find a way to validate the impact you and your team is having on the business. This presentation looks more at the value of roadmapping features/release value, but you have to start somewhere to define in a concrete fashion what is being delivered and this presentation directionally works.
In the end it’s just math and process, plus it’s always a good idea to instrument your processes anyhow and prioritize deliverables or the market, the business and your existing customers. While Olsen’s position that Product is in the middle of the market and development covers the main concept, the reality is Product owns the interface across all functional groups where it relates to their given product. Even with that concern with the presentation, which starts early on, it is a very accurate way to look at how to define meaningful metrics on Product Management execution and putting an important variable into the mix, the customer. As an aside, slides 29-38 can be ignored, I’m sure the talk track makes it more meaningful, but it transitions into some UI wonkiness and online specific design uses cases.
Articles of Interest:
- CEOs Don’t Understand the Role of a Product Manager
- Product Management Reader: 4Dec08
- Users can’t predict what features they “need”