19
Jun 15

What’s the Business Value of PM? Podcast Episode 7

In this podcast I go into a bit more detail about a topic I covered a few weeks ago in The Astonishing Financial Benefits of Improving PM Effectiveness, namely, the “business value” of product management. (By the way, I was happy to see this concept mentioned in Janna Bastow’s post on ProdPad this week – How Much is a Product Manager Worth? Setting Product Management KPIs.)

There’s a very big number involved – $41,000 per day. Or $10 million per year. In the podcast I talk about the implications of that number. If you can improve your performance against this number, the results go almost straight to the bottom line. (Tweet This)

And I set out some guidance on how to use the number to assess your product management organization and analyze your performance. I describe an action plan to hit that giant number, some of the key steps of which are:

  1. Find big market problems by doing constant discovery.
  2. Dozens or hundreds of conversations yield a handful of insights.
  3. You need a “market problem” pipeline – just like the sales pipeline.

(By the way, you’re not going to have time to write a lot of user stories.)

Once you’ve found and validated important market problems to solve, and selected the best one or few to focus on, then you need to guide the creation of excellent solutions to those problems. And you need to prepare sales and marketing to go out and find and close the people who have those problems.

Summary

  • Product managers have a number.
  • You can use the number for assessment, analysis, and guidance.
  • Becoming more effective goes straight to the bottom line.
  • Being more effective is mostly about the problem, not the solution.
  • Better problem leads to more revenue.

A PM’s stock in trade is important market problems that people will pay to solve. If that’s not what we’re working on, we’re probably not going to hit that big number.

And to whet your appetite for some upcoming topics, here’s a chart I created recently. Not all market problems are the same. The ones you come up with on your own are worth, generally, a lot less than the ones you discover. But discovering real big market problems requires a lot of listening for very “weak signals” – that will be a topic for an upcoming podcast.

problem-vs-valueIf you like this podcast, please subscribe via iTunes (search for “responsibility authority” to find the listing) or your favorite subscription method via this feed. And please consider rating and reviewing the podcast on iTunes. The feedback is very helpful for me.


08
Jun 15

Take The Product Management Maturity Quiz

I’ve created this short quiz for you to test your product management maturity. If you read the questions carefully the “right” answers will be clear – but you should try to answer honestly, based on how your product management function currently works.

There are five questions, and you’ll get a score and an assessment at the end. After you’ve finished leave me a comment with your thoughts on the quiz and the scoring.

This quiz helps you assess the maturity level of your product management process.


12
May 15

The 3 Key Characteristics Of Effective Product Managers – Podcast Episode #6

It’s a question that comes up all the time – how do I get into product management if I am trained to do something else? I answer the question obliquely, by listing out the characteristics, skills, and mindset you need to be a successful product manager. (Tweet This)

Links

  • Bob Sutton on strong opinions, weakly held. “I’ve been pretty obsessed about the difference between smart people and wise people for years. I tried to write a book called ‘The Attitude of Wisdom’ a couple times. And the virtues of wise people – those who have the courage to act on their knowledge, but the humility to doubt what they know – is one of the main themes in Hard Facts [one of Bob’s excellent books].”
  • My earlier article about optimization.

Thanks for listening

I’d like to hear your feedback on this episode, and on the podcast in general. Comment here, or tweet me at @nilsie on Twitter.

If you like this podcast, please subscribe via iTunes (search for “responsibility authority” to find the listing) or your favorite subscription method. And please consider rating and reviewing the podcast on iTunes. I love your feedback!