Women in Product Melbourne

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I’m really proud to announce that Women in Product Melbourne is officially kicking off!

In partnership with Women in Product Sydney, we are looking for other passionate product chicks to join us as we collaborate, mentor, inspire, chew the fat and support each other in all things product.

If you know a woman in product (or an aspiring one) please invite them to join. See you at the inaugural meetup event. Stay tuned…

 

Leading the Product Speaker Line Up

The speaker line up for Leading the Product  has been finalised and it looks amazing. Those of you who attended last year’s inaugural event will know what a great day of insights, networking and learning Leading the Product is. This year promises to be equally as inspiring and thought provoking:

Damon Pezaro

DAMON PEZARO, CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER
DOMAIN GROUP

Damon Pezaro is the Chief Product Officer at Domain Group. Damon is an experienced digital leader and has been working within the digital and online landscapes for over 15 years. Having worked in several start-ups dating back to 1999 and more recently across large corporate environments; he has lived through seeing how the changing digital landscape and subsequent technology has played its’ part in forcing executives, businesses and consumers to adopt a new way of thinking.

His experience has seen him leading product and technology teams at some of Australia’s largest media companies, he has filled key operational roles across several start-up successes and joined the Domain Group in January 2013

Dan Olsen

DAN OLSEN, PRODUCT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT
AUTHOR OF THE LEAN PRODUCT PLAYBOOK

Dan Olsen is a product management consultant, speaker, and author. He is the author of Amazon bestseller The Lean Product Playbook, published by Wiley.

At Olsen Solutions, Dan works with CEOs and product leaders to build great products and strong product teams, often as interim VP of Product. His clients include Facebook, Box, Microsoft, Medallia, and One Medical Group. Prior to consulting, Dan worked at Intuit, where he led the Quicken product team. He also led product management at Friendster and was the cofounder and CEO of TechCrunch award winner YourVersion, a personalized news startup. He earned engineering degrees from Northwestern and Virginia Tech and an MBA from Stanford.

Dan is founder of the Lean Product & Lean UX Silicon Valley Meetup, the largest product-focused meetup in the San Francisco Bay Area with over 3,300 members.

Jen Flynn

JEN FLYNN, HEAD OF PRODUCT MANAGEMENT
SPORTSBET

Jen Flynn is Head of Product Management at Sportsbet, part of the International gaming company Paddy Power Betfair. With over 15 years’ experience, Jen has demonstrated success in building and leading product managers and practises across multiple verticals and geographies.

Prior to Sportsbet, Jen lead product functions at REA Group and Truvo and has a BSc in Applied Physics and Chemistry from Trinity College, Dublin.

Cameron Adams

CAMERON ADAMS, CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER
CANVA

Cameron is a co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Canva, an online design platform that has quickly become one of the most exciting startups in Australia.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne in 2001, Cameron started a design consultancy that has done work for global clients such as Atlassian, NEC, TEDx and Sydney Festival.

When Google came knocking in 2007 he couldn’t resist the call and spent the next 3 years helping Lars and Jens Rasmussen – co-founders of Google Maps – realise the design vision for their ground-breaking communication tool Google Wave.

In 2011 he founded an ambitious email startup with two other Google alumni before meeting Mel and Cliff and deciding to help them build the beginnings of Canva. He now leads the product strategy and design for Canva’s apps, which grew from 1.5 million users to over 7 million users in 2015 alone.

Through his work and his writing – which spans five books and numerous articles – Cameron has contributed to the foundations that underpin modern web design and has been asked to speak around the world at events such as South by Southwest, CeBIT and Web Directions.

Lucie McLean

LUCIE MCLEAN, HEAD OF PRODUCT FOR CHILDREN’S
BBC

Lucie McLean is Head of Product for Children’s at the BBC in Salford, England.

She has worked for the BBC for 19 years – nine years in journalism and ten years in product management. Most of her product career has been in mobile products and she led the teams which developed the mobile website and award-winning BBC app for the London 2012 Olympics and the hugely successful BBC Sport app. She now leads the teams developing the BBC’s websites and apps for Children.

She is passionate about increasing diversity in digital organisations and helping those new to the digital world embrace the opportunities it offers. She is also her final year at Manchester Metropolitan University, completing an Executive MBA.

Kara DeFrias

KARA DEFRIAS, SENIOR ADVISOR
18F DIGITAL SERVICES

Kara’s background is a unique mix of private and public sector experience, including an appointment to the first class of White House Presidential Innovation Fellows. She currently serves as Senior Advisor to the head of 18F, a digital services agency inside the United States government that’s transforming it from the inside out. Previous experience includes the Oscars, Super Bowl, and FIFA Women’s World Cup.

A do-gooder junkie, Kara has done pro-bono communications, product strategy, and UX for the likes of TEDxSanDiego and Team Rubicon; spent 10 days in rural India teaching innovation and business skills to micro-entrepreneur women; and guest lectures at University of California San Diego STEM Academy for high school girls.

Twitter: @CaliforniaKara

Christina Lucey

CHRISTINA LUCEY, VP OF PRODUCT
ZINC

Christina is VP of Product at Zinc (formerly known as Cotap), the all-in-one communication platform built for business. She has 10 years of experience building communication apps for work at Yammer, Microsoft, and BlackBerry. Hailing from the Great White North, she graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Computer Science.

Ash Donaldsony

ASH DONALDSON, BEHAVIOUR DESIGN & INNOVATION CONSULTANT
TOBIAS & TOBIAS AUSTRALIA

Ash Donaldson is Principal Behaviour Design & Innovation Consultant for Tobias & Tobias Australia, a design and innovation consultancy on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. He has spent the past couple of decades studying, practising, and promoting all aspects of human centred design – from Human Factors and User Experience to Behavioural Economics.

He has extensive in the industry with opportunities to work on many interesting projects, from doing the early research and design of Wotif.com to designing the new Intelligent Deposit ATMs for National Australia Bank.

Ash is passionate about understanding how people perceive and process information and using that knowledge to predictably affect their behaviours.

Early Bird and Clever Bird tickets have already sold out (Melbourne) and remaining tickets are selling quickly. Last year there were many disappointed people, who left their run too late and missed out!

Secure your place via Leading the Product Ticket Sales via EventBrite

See you there!

Product Talks Brisbane

meet up brisbane

Join me and the Brisbane product community as we debate and discuss the role of gender in product management.

Guest Presentation: Does Gender Play a Role in Product Management?

Thursday, Jun 2, 2016, 5:45 PM

everydayhero office
Level 8, 333 Ann St Brisbane, AU

19 Product People Attending

The 2016 Pragmatic Marketing Global Product Management survey found that 63% of product managers are male, increasing to 79% for more senior product roles.While gender equity issues persist within corporate Australia more generally, in a role where stakeholder influence and the ability to manage across multiple domains is critical, what role does …

Check out this Meetup →

 

Yours Productly – Jobs To Be Done

job-to-be-done

JTBD takes the focus away from feature sets. Instead the core focus moves to understanding what it that the product is solving for; the customer need; the job the customers are going to use the product for and how to solve for that.

Want to know more about the Jobs to Be Done framework?

Visit Yours Productly and listen to Ravi Kumar and I discuss the key concepts and how #JTBD can be applied in product development.

The product managers’ bookshelf

read-bookshelf

Looking for your next product management read? Check out the latest additions to ‘hit’ the Product Managers’ Bookshelf.

Happy reading!

 

MYOB DevelopHER internship

Great opportunity for a paid internship via MYOB to develop women into Devs. No previous tech background required. Email: DevelopHER@myob.com

developher

Don’t confuse a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with a Go-To-Market shortcut

minimum viable product shortcut

As a Product Manager I am often working towards the launch and development of an MVP – Minimum Viable Product. An MVP is a great means to launch quickly and effectively in market; to test and learn, iterate and refine. It should not, however be confused with a go-to-market short cut.

In developing an MVP you can’t negate good product management disciplines:

  • Know what market or customer problem you are solving for – what is the job to be done?
  • What does success look like? How will you measure success – unit sales; conversion; customer satisfaction; utilisation. Make sure that you have defined measures which are actionable. If you can’t do anything against your measures then they are worthless.
  • An MVP does not mean you don’t have to take care in both product and user experience design. Test your MVP before you take it to market. I like to do this across a number of iterations and/or channels; internally, online and with real, live prospects/customers.
  • Engage the business. Make sure that your key stakeholders across the business understand the value your proposition will deliver and their respective roles in testing, iterating and embedding it in market.

Lastly, make sure you have a well defined exit strategy. Hopefully your MVP has been strategically developed against a set of core business objectives. However, if for some reason you take it to market and it fails, you need to know when to pivot, when to refine and when to exit.

thatproductchick on Pinterest

pinterest

 

Looking for more great articles and product management resources? Follow thatproductchick on pinterest – all things product management!

The intersection between product management and diplomacy

 

dr spock

While product management discussions often focus on the more technical aspects of being a product manager, (such as road mapping and prioritisation) it is important not to overlook the equally critical skill of stakeholder engagement.

For all product managers, the need for strong stakeholder relations  is essential in driving initiatives to market; in course correcting and iterating, and refining in-market propositions.

As a product manager you need to be commercially and technically skilled as well as a consummate diplomat in order to navigate and drive alignment across the business.

Engage key stakeholders early

make it so

I’m often surprised at product managers who assume that they can get traction and endorsement for their proposition at an executive steering committee or decision forum without prior engagement of key stakeholders.

A skilled product manager knows that you need to actively engage your stakeholders prior to any decision points. This enables you to have an early view of likelihood of support as well as an indicative understanding of  any likely points of contention or concern. Early engagement means you are able to respond, clarify and intervene where necessary.

In preparation for core decision forums, product managers need to:

  • Identify key decision makers – ask yourself, what is their core area of accountability? What aspects of your proposed strategy are they most likely to be interested in?
  • Identify key influencers – they may not necessarily have decision rights but can be well regarded within the business and often sought  for their opinion. Sketching out a stakeholder map can be a useful exercise in this regard.
  • Schedule 1:1 meetings with each stakeholder. Make sure that meetings are scheduled enough time in advance to be able to respond to any questions or objections raised, some of which may require additional analysis or research

Stakeholder engagement sessions can also be a great development opportunity for your team. They are an opportunity for them to learn,  as well as to share their expertise. So make sure you use them, where appropriate, as an opportunity to build and develop the skills within your team as well as credential your team across the business.

During your individual stakeholder meetings

Make sure that you actively listen to your stakeholders. Address any queries or concerns. That does not mean that you have to change your proposition (although in some cases it may be warranted), but you do need to demonstrate that you understand the core value drivers of your proposition and can manage any associated risks or issues.

Communicate and summarise the business value your product proposition will deliver:

  • What customer problem or need does your proposition solve for?
  • What does success look like?
  • How will you measure success and value delivery?
  • What are the high level financials underpinning your proposition?

Actively ask your stakeholder(s) whether they have any questions or areas regarding your product about which they would like more information or clarification.

Finally, explicitly advise them that you will be seeking their endorsement at the formal decision forum/committee and ask whether there are any outstanding issues/concerns which need to be addressed.

Follow up and drive alignment

Post your engagement meetings, make sure you follow up and close out any remaining questions.  The stakeholder meetings are not just ‘for show’, but are a genuine opportunity for you to explore, uncover and validate the key value of your proposition. They are an opportunity for you to drive alignment across the business.

Amanda System

Thank them for their time and consideration of your product strategy.

While no guarantee that your product strategy will be endorsed, effective stakeholder engagement will buy you stakeholder capital and will enable you to build trust and confidence in your proposition.

plenary

You won’t always get it right

As a product manager you need to be able to engage across many business units and domains and drive a consistent and well-informed ‘story’ in support of your proposition. Being well informed and knowledgeable will enable you to engage with your stakeholders with confidence.

As with all stakeholder negotiation, you will encounter both advocates and detractors. There will also undoubtedly be a good degree of healthy conflict and tension in your discussions due to competing priorities, pressures and perspectives.

Stakeholder engagement is an art and skill which requires practise.

You won’t always get it right and it will not always go smoothly. But being open to a diversity of stakeholder views and perspectives will help you successfully navigate and negotiate across the business.

A continued focus on active stakeholder engagement and management will ensure that your product management career will live long and prosper.

live long and prosper

Managing Product Portfolio Financials

financials

Not just the domain of finance managers

At last year’s Product Camp Melbourne I was asked to deliver the keynote presentation, specifically in relation to financial management for product managers.

In the plethora of product management related posts and discussions around agile, UX, roadmaps and the like, managing product portfolio financials seems to have taken a back seat. Don’t get me wrong, the ability to prioritise, design products using customer led design and get to market quickly and effectively are all critical skills for today’s product manager. But equally, knowing your product financials intimately is something that product managers cannot, and should not, shy away from.

Core to product management is value creation – value to the customer and value to the business. Knowing your product financials is essential in identifying where the opportunity exists to realise benefits and deliver optimal value… at scale, and in knowing what may dilute or detract from that value.

Many product managers struggle with defining their product financials. While an overly complex dashboard only serves to distract, I am also not a proponent of the ‘single, magic number or metric’ that is espoused by some. Instead I am an advocate of a product dashboard which enables the product manager to understand in a snapshot how their portfolio is performing across a range of key measures and then drill down within each measure.

Whatever the case, your product portfolio dashboard needs to reflect the core value drivers of your product proposition:

  • Your metrics must be measurable – you need to be able to track them back to business/value driver
  • They must align to your product and business objectives
  • They must be actionable – i.e. you have to be able to do something about them; to intervene and make an impact

Eric Ries, entrepreneur and author of The Lean Start Up, cautions against the use of ‘vanity metrics’ – portfolio metrics which make you feel good but which are not actionable. Ries advocates a per-customer, per-segment focus to drive actionable insight. The ability to action and do something in response is key.

Financial management skills are also key to a product manager’s ability to influence and engage key stakeholders across the business. A strong understanding of portfolio financials enables you to build trust and confidence in your product strategy – it buy’s stakeholder capital and credibility.

It’s encouraging to see product management training increasingly including a focus on financial management. As a product manager, you have to be financially literate.

Product financials are not something to fear or avoid. ‘Lean in’ to them; own and manage them; use them to take control and grow and lead your portfolio.

You can access a copy of my keynote presentation here.