How To Succeed In Product Management | Jeffrey Shulman, Red Russak & Soumeya Benghanem
Best of 2022: The Tactics of Effective Roadmapping
This episode covers various aspects of product management, including the role of product managers, the Product Management Center at the University of Washington, roadmapping, prioritization, inclusive roadmapping, articulating value, unlocking business goals, roadmap communication, favorite tools for roadmap planning, the value of roadmaps, and insights from experienced product managers. The hosts also provide a summary of the podcast and share information about future episodes.
Product managers give 100% of themselves to their customers.
Product managers are dedicated to meeting the needs of their customers and ensuring their satisfaction.
Roadmaps should align with business objectives and internal goals.
To create effective roadmaps, it is important to consider the overall business objectives and internal goals of the organization.
Short-term roadmaps focus on recent release cycles, while long-term roadmaps serve as vision statements.
Short-term roadmaps prioritize immediate release cycles, while long-term roadmaps provide a vision for the future direction of the product.
Roadmaps should be iterative and can change every two months based on market conditions.
Roadmaps should be flexible and adaptable, allowing for changes based on market conditions and feedback.
Prioritize roadmap items based on sure bets that will contribute to incremental revenue growth.
When prioritizing roadmap items, it is important to focus on sure bets that have a high likelihood of contributing to revenue growth.
Include assumptions and risks in the roadmap, but share it widely within the organization.
Roadmaps should include assumptions and risks, but it is important to share them with the entire organization to ensure transparency and alignment.
Visual representation of metrics in a one-page product roadmap depends on the audience.
When presenting a one-page product roadmap, the visual representation of metrics should be tailored to the specific audience.
Miro is a favorite tool for roadmap and prioritization.
Miro is a popular tool among product managers for creating roadmaps and facilitating collaborative decision-making.
Value of roadmaps lies in clarity of direction and communication.
Roadmaps provide a clear direction for the product team and facilitate effective communication within the organization.
The podcast aims to provide advice and insights to help product managers succeed.
The podcast is dedicated to providing valuable advice and insights to product managers, helping them excel in their roles.
- Product Managers and the Product Management Center
- Roadmap Ownership and Accountability
- Iterative Roadmaps and Prioritization
- Prioritization and Mental Models for Roadmaps
- Inclusive Roadmapping and Articulating Value
- Unlocking Business Goals and Communicating Roadmaps
- Favorite Tools and Roadmap Communication
- The Value of Roadmaps and Product Management Insights
- Podcast Summary and Future Episodes
Product Managers and the Product Management Center
00:04 - 07:03
- Product managers give 100% of themselves to their customers.
- The Product Management Center at the University of Washington is a global hub for knowledge, community, and support for product managers.
- The podcast aims to help product managers understand the challenges they face and provide tools and frameworks for success.
- The host, Jeff Schulman, is the founding director of the Product Management Center.
- He shares that his mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer but recent scans show no signs of cancer.
- Arvind, a product manager for Microsoft Teams, joins as a guest on the show.
- Road mapping and prioritization are discussed as important topics in product management.
- Sumia emphasizes that road mapping has both an art and a science to it.
- Different companies have different frameworks for prioritization.
Roadmap Ownership and Accountability
06:51 - 14:06
- Product management owns the roadmap, but the whole team is accountable for it.
- The product management team is responsible for updating and ensuring the accuracy of the roadmap.
- Execution and accountability for the roadmap lies with everyone in the company, including sales, customer support, engineering, and design teams.
- To avoid turning the roadmap into a to-do list that gets scrapped frequently, it's important to align with business objectives and internal goals.
- Understanding the audience of the roadmap is crucial in determining what features to include.
- Short-term roadmaps focus on recent release cycles, while long-term roadmaps serve as vision statements.
- The roadmap should not block the ability of the product team to learn and pivot based on feedback.
- Roadmaps should align with the product vision regardless of time horizon.
- Including both sure bets and big bets in roadmaps is recommended, but too many big bets can be overwhelming.
- Roadmaps are iterative and can change every two months based on market conditions.
Iterative Roadmaps and Prioritization
13:41 - 21:13
- Roadmaps should be iterative and can change every two months based on the market.
- Roadmaps should focus on outcomes and have some dates for clarity.
- Include assumptions and risks in the roadmap, but share it widely within the organization.
- Present the roadmap differently based on whether the audience is internal or external.
- Short-term roadmaps should align with business objectives and have a clear impact versus cost analysis.
- Keep short-term roadmaps at a higher level of detail, while long-term roadmaps may have more ambiguity.
- Consolidate features into epics to contribute to company goals and revenue growth targets.
- Prioritize roadmap items based on sure bets that will contribute to incremental revenue growth.
Prioritization and Mental Models for Roadmaps
20:49 - 27:58
- Prioritization estimation process and certainty barometer are used to determine the potential revenue increase of a set of features or an epic.
- An epic is a high-level statement about a feature, such as Twitter Spaces.
- Details around onboarding and audio capabilities can be included within an epic.
- Start with the backlog to identify recurring themes that align with immediate goals.
- A question-based roadmap or assumption-based roadmap allows for continuous learning and focus on core objectives.
- Marty Kagan's alternative roadmap is recommended for its flexibility in adapting to external circumstances.
- Different mental models for roadmaps include status-based, theme-based, and outcome-based approaches.
Inclusive Roadmapping and Articulating Value
27:40 - 33:59
- Different mental models can be used for roadmapping and prioritizing
- The Product Management Center at the University of Washington aims to be inclusive and provide a path for those interested in product management
- Audience members are invited to ask questions or express opinions through raising their hand or joining the Slack group
- A question is asked about prioritizing accessibility and inclusive technology early in the roadmapping process
- Building inclusively does not conflict with being lean or launching frequently
- Release valuable features as they are completed and prioritize inclusivity from the start
- A product solutions architect asks about articulating value unlock in a product roadmap for both business and technology audiences
- The question involves aligning with business goals, metrics, and going granular at an epic level
Unlocking Business Goals and Communicating Roadmaps
33:29 - 40:26
- When explaining how to unlock business goals and values, consider the audience and what they care about.
- Articulate how technology can help customers overcome internal pain points.
- Visual representation of metrics in a one-page product roadmap depends on the audience.
- Show outcomes to everyone on the team to align their work with business goals.
- At the product team level, include additional details that provide clarity on specific metrics.
- Don't include too much detail in the roadmap; focus on what the team needs.
- Miro is a favorite tool for roadmap and prioritization.
Favorite Tools and Roadmap Communication
40:02 - 46:54
- Favorite tool for roadmap planning is Miro
- Miro allows flexibility and collaborative decision-making with teams
- Communication of roadmap is done through various channels, including PowerPoint and Miro
- Azure DevOps is recommended for prioritization
- Whiteboarding apps like Figma, InVision, and Proto.io can be used in the brainstorming phase
- Roadmap communication to leadership should align with company planning cycles
- Socialize roadmap with team and gather evidence before presenting to leaders
- Focus on sharing learnings and high-level summary of features developed in progress updates to leadership
The Value of Roadmaps and Product Management Insights
46:30 - 53:06
- Focus on elements when there is no data on outcomes
- Share outcomes around revenue and new user acquisition
- Analogize advice to Girl Scout cookies
- Roadmapping doesn't make sense in certain scenarios
- Value of roadmaps lies in clarity of direction and communication
- Fun part of roadmapping is bringing everyone together and having healthy debate
- Product managers should prioritize and drive clarity through roadmap
- Reach out for help and guidance in product management
Podcast Summary and Future Episodes
52:38 - 55:00
- The podcast aims to provide advice and insights to help product managers succeed.
- Listeners have reported feeling more prepared for their work week after listening to the podcast.
- The hosts are committed to changing lives in real time through their discussions.
- There is a product management center that offers additional resources.
- The podcast will celebrate its one year anniversary on February 15th.
- Next week's episode will focus on time management in product management.
- The hosts consider each other and the inclusive product management accelerator as family.
- They are looking for mock interviewers to help diverse talent break into product management.