Today I attended Productized Conference 2018 in Lisbon and, once again, I left the building inspired by a bunch of great talks. Today from Melissa Perri, Tanya Aulachynskaya, Marty Cagan and Justin Bauer (just to name a few).
Some of the mine main takeaways
- Melissa Perri took off by pointing out the fact that a lot of people stills doesn’t know what Agile is and confuse it with scrum and a sexy trend to story points and velocity!
- “Product Owner is a role you a play on a Scrum Team – Product Manager is the job” – this one a but more trick but something that is still confusing the industry and place of furious debates. Anyhow its true that Product Owner was a conception in Scrum Framework. Perhaps, she’s right!
- She touches base a in stating that roadmap is not a wishlist from anyone (even from the customers) because most of the times no ones what really is to built and that we need to deal with a lot of uncertainty.
- Loved the highlight of guardrails (second image above). Why? I truly believe that matters when we are on scale because only empower people its not enough. Most of times people are still not ready to achieve all their potential (they are on the learning curve) and need some guidance to avoid diverting direction.
- To deal with uncertainty we need to be always learning – even when we are have it wrong. Document everything and build a searchable set of knowledge based on insights and evidences to support further decisions.
- Dual track of continuous Discovery and Delivery.
Then we had the inspiring Marty Cagan
- We talked a lot over two topics: Leadership and Empowered Teams.
- “Leadership serves to inspire people to greater accomplishments and Management exists to motivate them to the objective” => what a great piece of text! We need a memo to states the difference between boss|leader|manager
- There are tons of books talking about autonomy and empowered teams and this only points out how vast and difficult is to achieve it. He gave three questions to test if any team is really self autonomous and empower to drive trough its path – its pictured above
- Despite of having a totally different culture between them, these three companies – Amazon, Apple and Google – are product-led and have something in common. All they leaders have been coached by Bill Campbell. Never heard of him, but got my attention
- Product-led companies mean a companies that is led by teams that are empowered to serve customers , in ways that meet the needs of the business. It sums up it very beautifully
- and that lack of the trust is the #1 reason why teams don’t get empowered.
Followed by a right-on-the-spot talk by Justin Bauer
- Justin gave the best definition (and visual – I do love visuals mappings) about Product Vision. A Product vision is when we deliver a Product that enables Mario to become the Fire Mario – just look at the image above! Basically its not only to 1) getting out the right product and 2) the customer to be engaged with it. We need to make them awesome creating effective value for them by using the product!
- Its talk was “How Data drives Product Strategy in Modern Business” but more than half of it was to pin point the importance of getting right the metrics we are measuring first. Otherwise we are only wasting time and money!
- He brought another great analogy of North Star – which is a leading indicator of future success that needs to possess three characteristics: measure customer value, aligned with Product Vision and a leading indicator of revenue.
Overall I came up with
- The importance of having a Product Vision that steers all joint work of all product teams and practices
- Coaching is essential in times we have so many Product Managers and Leaders that are struggling to do their job (while they are learning how to do it)
- Empowered Teams is not letting them do what they think is best. Engineering Managers are key as they are the leaders that set up the guardrails so the “empowered teams” can do their job towards a Product Vision. Without a direction and some guidance it will simply fail epic-ally!
- Discover, discover discover…everything is a learning opportunity! Assume you don’t know everything, experiment and test hypothesis via metrics.