Creating a Product Management Function

Creating a Product Management Function
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TOTW - Introducing Product Management to an Organization
0:00 all right this week our talk topic is creating a product management function and organization that hasn't had one and I will say when preparing the the answers
0:13 I just been spending some time on the topic of the week we did last month or maybe it was two months ago now on what is a product and we made this joke about trying to find additive questions where everybody says yes exactly that and right and so are Improv yes and question we headed today or this week with the topic of the top the question we asked on Monday was what would york what would be your key recommendation to an organization Looking to bring the product management function into their organization right new to product management and Paul hurwitz came in fast I mean Jason you're pretty fast but Paul was in there like like he was waiting on this site for the thing to pop up I don't know what happened if you are that slow think I will go away for a few stay away from the night before on it's not
1:06 a product release going out on Sunday June was a Sweetie I thought nobody did product releases in a way that was last week
1:16 so Paul said and Org really really needs to understand why they are bringing product management of the company do they want someone just to execute on the founders' vision or own the product strategy there's two different types of product managers you're looking for if you have a seat OH who has worked with product managers before you could get away with someone who was more junior otherwise if they need product man would be strong you need to get a more experienced product manager cannot you know for me it it had I'm biased I have Greg and I were talking before we started in multiple times I've made the first time I didn't realize was a bad decision second time i knew it was a bad decision Decision to join a founder CEO as their head of product when they weren't willing to let go and we'll get to that John's hands answer my bias was always start with somebody more JR but I can see in situations we'll get them with other answers where that not might not be the case Jason came in pretty quickly I I think still that same morning he said I agree with everything yes aunt I agree with everything paul said and added what tasks with product management do for them and who was owning a performer those tests now Jason talked and have you ever been the first product person yes and sort of being out in a start up but I was in a product of the first product person after an acquisition for all the previous product people had left and so this is a product that have customer is an ongoing releases and momentum and he just had to come in it and figure it out and so the first thing I did was Easley little bit like race each art ago Okay Who's doing what right now since there's no product people here and and you know what do we name make sure that the product management is doing so that I can actually start staffing other product managers you take on those passing we had to prioritize which you know which ones because it kind of just taken on everything all at once because we got some ranking up to do
3:13 make sense how do you did you start with a baseline look at what the processes or or everybody's gone did you even know what the process was Yeah well we sort this I went to development as far as the actual operational product management i'll be sweet at that time your waterfall just research project release management in a in found out knew how are things are moving and then we had to dig through the backlogs an airplane the road maps and can reverse engineer what was moving forward and why In some cases can reengineer the roadmap based on new product strategy after the acquisition AH but Yeah there was nobody actually tell us how product management was being performed
3:55 in that organization we had a meet redo it It is a flavor new new product manager because we sort of we got rid of everybody else and now you have to figure this out that's right now I'm going to move to the next yes and John did the perfect Paul had his question Jason said what Paul said and and then John basically said what Paul adjacent said and and he said depends on the lifecycle the company is a ten year old company who never had a pet product management that's a client I'm working on now or is it a starter for a startup where the CEO is the chief product thinker Bringing in someone to junior to offload tactic can be useful or the CEO can bring in a true product later if they're able step back but I seen conflict conflict and tension if the C E O won't relinquish control and that's my experience right coming as a VP for a fourteen fifteen million dollar company where the CEO was the strategy person visionary and the board was making them hire a VP of product the VCS were because it's okay you're at that size you need a VP of product and he didn't Wanna Relinquish the strategy right he wanted to still be that person he wanted he wanted to go on the calls I had a director of product I wanted to go on some calls but the CEO wanted to go out and like I can't have three of us there
5:08 it was tough talk John talk to me about your experience you got multiple it sounds like you have been the start up you've been the ten year guess that that tenure thing I came in they had never had any product management of any sort
5:21 and so I guess in that case they brought in somebody with some experience at it I wasn't terribly junior at that point to come and korea product management any org and the CEO was thankfully was not chief product person CEO Chief sales person Ma'AM and Sir That I was actually actually heller sometimes in this case it was helpful you got out of the way mostly and so I ended up doing was finding people in the Org who were doing the things because the the things product managers do have to get done some way
5:51 so somebody is doing parts there's maybe some of the father for but somebody's doing these part these things to I ended up stealing this one guy who was like jack of all trades special products guy i stole the sales trainer to be product marketing sounds a lot like he was doing and I took the head of U X and then our director operations became are like program manager and so ALEC stole all these people medicine Yeah motley crew that I took actually took to them with retirement at a separate thread take them through the pragmatic marketing training just to give them some kind of a foundation not what product management is and we just created product management at the Org from there
6:30 it was a really cool experience to be able to do that tech to create an organization from Scratch Let me ask you a question there John were these people truly playing the role will get to the question
6:41 about if they don't have product management are they still doing product management but we as you right the sales trainer was a cell strainer really playing a product marketing role they just we're doing it a different department or did you have to get them pull them more to the product side but had to pull them somewhat the products I but it wasn't like sixty percent shift in how they work it was more like you know a thirty percent modification and what they were doing a little bit more focused and and broadening on some of the products i'd things and less of a sales training type things similar for the Yeah jack of all trades special projects guy tissue just like pointing him in direction of what the product parts of this are numb and and he was also like the guy who knew everything where all the bodies were buried in in the lip products ethically person to know to have you as critical yeah Fisher
7:34 steve you been awful quiet I know you've got a busy day but I would I thought you would have been in commenting not well I'm I'm I'm letting everybody I'll say what they have to say of you know it's it's interesting I I feel really strongly that sales engineers are probably the best source of new product managers and sales reps are probably the worst candidates they're so jumping ahead to the next week thief oh yeah well you know I never want to talk about what you want to talk about vaccines work out
8:09 but I you know I had a similar experience to John's is you know I needed to hire somebody and I found I did the I found it up well first of all the recruiter brought me just one loser after another I mean that the guy was working with had no comprehension of what product management was in so he's like Well I found this janitor who works at a software company is that what you're looking for now okay I found a programmer I found a key way person and I'm like steve have you found family product managers and he's like okay well we got a project manager and I'm just like what is this guy do for a living and I think what he does is pregnant all these resonators now these job postings and tries to find any word is on both pieces of paper Software software sounds like a fit to me but anyway I ended up recruiting the sales engineer from my competitor to be the product manager which is like a triple when he was a really good systems thinker
9:10 which is really what you want to look for secondly it completely screwed over the competitor because then they lost her number one sales engineer ended the third when was I didn't have to take one of my own sales engineers who were you know so well respected by the sales team so it was a a triple win for me but it is interesting going way back to like nineteen eighty eight in crossing the chasm Jeff Moore said the biggest problem with product management is is a senior position for which we hire junior people
9:44 We're expecting somebody to come in and be a brand manager and then we hire an intern and say one GB the property manager now it's interesting state with
9:55 There's a handful of recruiters I know who have actually taken pragmatic marketing and in in those cases incurring the gutter and leadership I on a couple people like carrie what A is what I'm she's been the networks it doesn't live with us a grant williams The Grit wheels from pfizer now back at change healthcare Healthcare so so he's he's been been in in the the network network he he he he went went through for it with with pfizer pfizer when when he he was was recruiting recruiting for for products products made made with with there there and and actually actually I I was was talking talking to to a a recruiter recruiter in in England England who who who who went went through through it it at at Elsevier Elsevier are are are relics relics so so it's it's interesting interesting to to see see you you know know when when you you are are expecting especially hiring airing at at scale scale having having some some people people that that background backers is probably probably critical critical greg Greg I'd I'd like like to to get get back back to to some some of of the the conversation conversation we we started started with with around around you you know know that that first first product Product management management higher higher and and you you add some some of of the the experience experience you've you've been been having having with with that that are are have have had had with with that that Yeah I I mean Mean out I'll out I'll out I'll agree agree with with both both Jason Jason and and Jon John Heyman Goodman Steve Steve for for sure sure and and you're you're so so Ah Ah Yes Yes and and Yes Yes and and Yes Yes and and I I am like like I'm I warming lobbying myth Myths I I Will will I i will go on I I will will counter counter with with a a different different sanger anger we we could could go go for for it a a debate debate because because I I can can agree We would with all all those those things things and and I've I've gone gone through through all all of of it it
11:00 but but I I will will count count counter drew is is on on why why do do you you need need a a product product manager manager if if you you've actually actually trained trained your your business business lead lead in in your your technology technology people people why why do do you you need need them them at at all all and and this this is is this this is is the the headway headway I've I've I've I've had had wins wins I've I've actually actually had had to to go go against against I I got got the the business business guys guys the the sales sales guys guys in in the the technology technology people people all all talking talking together together they're they're good good why why do do I I need need this this product product management management guy guy always always Gonna Gonna do do is is cause cause trouble trouble bringing bring our Cost costs that X your money might also also sees sees these these you you know know this this what What value value add add exactly exactly is is the the product product manager manager going going to to bring bring to to this this in in the the those those are are numbers numbers of of the the headwinds headwinds that that I've I've run run into into minute it it it become becomes it IT becomes becomes an an interesting interesting lot lot of of interesting interesting conversations conversations are you you bring bring in the a senior senior in in and a a junior junior guys guys just just Gonna Gonna Get Get Bulldozed bulldozed arms arms wrap wrap slightly slightly absent absent bulldozed bulldozed as as it it as as an an initial initial person person
11:55 and and that's that's without without those those A a number number of of things things that that I've I've run run into into my I built built product product teams teams I've I've been been the the first first one one in in in in a a couple couple times times within within large large organizations organizations whether within these these Matrix Matrix Big Big matrix matrix organizations organizations
12:09 in in and and it's it's it's it's an an interesting interesting these These are are interesting interesting ways ways of of working working
12:17 what what I I found found out out when when a a white white background background or or greg greg half half of of it it how how do do you you respond respond to to that that we've we've got got sales sales people people who who are are quote quote listening listening to to the the market market the the ones ones of of them at at a a time time we've We've got got developers developers who who are are skipping skipping all all the the requirements requirements riding riding and and going going straight straight to to the the coding coding and and I I forgot forgot who who the the third third one one you you you you said side was was a US but but annoying mean what what is is your your reply reply to to them them that that we've we've got got all all the the people people we we need need Yeah Yeah and and I I think think that that the the the the biggest biggest reply reply I I really really talk talk about about his his teacher teacher actually actually chasing chasing your your own own tail tail saw saw all all the the technology technology guys guys are are Gonna Gonna do do is is what what the the sales sales or of the the business business people people want want not not necessarily necessarily what what the the market market wants wants or or needs needs and and that's that's where the I I think think the the biggest biggest thing thing that that you're you're running running that better better run run into into is is that that you you actually actually start start talking talking about about what's what's next next is is opposed opposed to to what what is is now now so so what what the the customer customer wants wants is is not not necessarily necessarily what what they they need need so so all all you're you're really really doing doing is is they're they're technology technology guys guys are are just just third third third their code code monkeys monkeys and and that's that's a a really really bad bad term term but but they they turn turn into into code code monkeys monkeys order order takers takers yeah Yeah and the order order takers takers it's is better better than in a a job job that that was was Yeah Yeah and and that's that's you you know know that's that's my my metaphor metaphor of of the the waiter waiter that that I I brought brought up up I I think think last last week week or of the the week leaf before for
13:33 as as opposed opposed to to personal personal coach coach you you know know when when the the customer customer comes comes in in and and says says give give me me something something that that I I am am demanding demanding you you build build that There's is Gonna going to be be bad bad for for me me you you know know a a waiter waiter says says okay okay if you you want want motor motor oil oil on on your your spaghetti spaghetti then then I'll I'll go go get get that that boy way by by a a personal personal coach coach says says no no you you can't can't have have a a snickers snickers for for dinner dinner you you can't can't have have candy candy for for reno Yeah for prepared food I'm I'm Gonna Gonna give give you you different different advice advice Ah and and is is money Funnier or Idol Idol I I like like the the order order taker taker metaphor metaphor but but only only for for salespeople salespeople
14:04 I I don't don't want want sales sales people people thinking thinking I I want want salespeople salespeople selling selling the the shit shit that that we've we've made made to to people people who who we we made made it it for bore and and leave leave their their mind mind and and their their creativeness creativeness in in their their strategic strategic free free to to other other people people so so I I want want them them to to be be undertakers undertakers I I want want to to empower empower them them to to give give them them a a product product and and the the sales sales tool tool they they need need to to be be successful successful and An and and one one of of the the things things that that I've I've run run into into is is that that of of a a proper proper like like prada product lead Leave that that comes comes in in first first you're you're actually actually Gonna Gonna ask ask all all the the very very uncomfortable uncomfortable questions questions so so tell tell me me what what are are the the top top four four goals goals of of the company Company
14:43 not not the the mission mission statement statement Tommy tommy the the top top four four goals goals make make money money make make money money make make money money gambling Japanese money in in a gather gap but dust that's you you know know now now you you know know that that just just empower empower that that just just bore bore that that really really gets gets the the product product guy guy like like really really gone gone at at that that point point as a they hijack hockey you you know know and and and you you actually actually are are are are asking asking very ferry uncomfortable Uncomfortable questions questions on on reddit really nobody nobody wants wants to to hear hear I I mean mean grant grant running running into into that that now now I'm I'm in in now now from from that that what what you you hear hear is is a a product product person person your you're actually actually now now empowering empowering people people so so now now the the the the technology technology guys guys are are not not the the order order takers takers they're they're actually actually empowered empowered to to be be your your innovators innovators moon never Solve saw problems problems here Yeah in intonation the nation in and that that is is of that that the that that is is very very difficult difficult to to get get to to but a once once you're you're kind kind of of in in that that mode mode for for that that is is like like nirvana nirvana you you can can actually actually do do that that come come in in and income come transfer transform my a Company company to to do do that that that's that's nirvana nirvana that that is it also so and ended his past asked agree agree like like that that that's that's how how I I positioned positioned it it is is it it that part part of of it it it's it's a a it's it's a a risk risk management management aspect aspect of of it it right right okay okay right right now now all all four four people people are are aligned aligned it it can can you you kidding kidding well well and and it's it's work working King you you take take one one person person out out of of that that situation situation one one person person changes changes their their view view are are how how they they do do something something in in the the whole whole thing thing collapses collapses it's it's a a house house of of cards cards is is not not scalable scalable and and so so putting putting proper proper to to me me product product management management is is risk risk management management both both in in process process but but also also in in doing Doing the the right right things things if if you you know know making making sure sure you've you've got got some some process process to to figure figure out out and and I I said said this this before before I I think think the the biggest biggest impact impact that that product product management management can can have have on on productivity productivity and and efficiency efficiency of of an an organization organization is is on on doing doing the the right right things things right right in In you you know know that's that's the the process process to to go go through through and and then then with with a a non non chaotic chaotic process process steve's steve's whole whole view view you you do do it it right right and and so so a a lot lot of of the the stuff stuff we're we're getting getting too too and when when when I I worked work with with somebody somebody bring bring somebody somebody in in knew knew whether whether it it was was myself myself or one lately lately in in the the past past ten ten years years been been more more helping helping advise advise people people on on it it it's it's finding finding you you you you Gotta Gotta find find that that baseline baseline of of of of of of how how it's it's Gonna going to work work in in as as a a consultant consultant I'm I'm actually actually doing doing those those tough tough questions questions great great so so I I can can let let
16:56 The the person Person who we we put put in in that that role role whether whether it's it's an an internal internal hire hire or or the the next next or or I'll I'll hire hire not not have have to to write write in in and and I'm I'm doing doing the the negotiating negotiating I'm I'm the the one one they're they're paying paying to to negotiate negotiate with with them them on on baseline baseline process process deliverables deliverables and and how how do do we we do do it it in and then then I I can can help help get get that that new new product product person person up up to to speed speed yeah Yeah you you play play you you play play the the he you play play the the game game of of that the consultant consultant is is always always the the most most smartest smartest guy guy in in the the room room even even though though that the admiral arnold people people may may be be saying saying the the same same thing thing from from just this under Understand understand what what their They're their Kate kate what what a you you know know this this goes goes back back to to my my experience experience right right out out of of Grad grad School school getting getting my my MBA MBA Gonna Gonna work work for for G G E I I was was a a market market research research analyst analyst I I knew knew I I knew knew a a ton ton about about the the market market the the competition competition the the trains transit and everything everything was was going going in in we we were were built facing facing some some issues issues some some headlines headwinds and i I I I had had ideas ideas but but I I was was like like right right out out of of business business school school what what they they do do they they pay paid half half a a million million for from McKinsey McKinsey to to come come in in and and who who are are the the people people telling telling them him what what to to do do kids kids right right now out to of business business school school who who didn't didn't know know right Right i I guess guess it's it's sort sort of of a a hippo hippo thing thing right right highest highest paid paid person person in the The room room but but you know in in that that case case the the consultant consultant if if you're you're paying paying me me money money that's that's what what I I like like about about consulting consulting if if you're you're paying paying me me money money I I can can give give you you my my opinion opinion I I can can walk walk away away I I don't don't have have to to live live with with you you decided decided not not to to do do it it
18:09 so so with with that that we're really going to shift shift at great Greg as has fast fast forward forward a a couple couple sides sides I I think think
18:15 but but what what let's let's get get into into looking looking at at the the poll poll question question what what sort sort of of goes goes into into where where does does that that higher come come from from and and I I have have added added some some context context to to the the question question Jason Jason thank Thank you you for for being being my my considerably the air air and and Ah you you know know clarifying clarifying stuff stuff in in there there when when adding adding product product manager manager to to an an organization organization for for the the first first time time
18:35 what what background background would would you you prefer prefer for for the the initial initial product product manager manager in An internal internal resource resource who who knows knows the the product product know to that the the company company works works someone someone from from your your target target industry industry with with strong strong domain domain knowledge knowledge in in external external resource resource with with product product management management experience experience or or other other end end so so obviously obviously you you see see my my vote vote was was on on the the internal internal resource resource who who knows knows
18:55 my my bias Bias right right I've i've been been that that guy guy who who came came in in as as that that VP VP and and I've I've had had issues issues with with it it so so there's there's a a bias bias openly openly admit admit self self awareness awareness is is the the first first step step that that being being said said both both places places I've I've done done this this type type of of stuff stuff have have been been a a C C E E O O product product visionary visionary like like John described described in in his his answer answer and and they they needed needed somebody somebody who who could could who who understood understood things things going going on on into into the the tactical tactical type type stuff stuff in in in in one one case case we we we we we we brought brought somebody somebody who who was was the the lead lead customer customer support support person person they they weren't were a a sales sales engineer engineer but but they they were were the the almost most the the equivalent equivalent of of a a sales sales engineer engineer on on that that on other the supports support side I they they were were the the master master problem problem solver solver if if nobody nobody else else could could figure figure it it out out they they wanted wanted to to this this person person and and so so I've I've seen seen they they were were somebody somebody who who knew knew how how to to navigate navigate the the organization organization there there is somebody somebody who who have respect respect in and the the fact fact it it was was more more a a tactical tactical position position all all I I did did there there was was help help create create process process an an artifact artifact we we negotiated negotiated with with development development and and design design on on what what is is a a theme theme look look like like was was an an ethical epic look like Like what what does does your your story story look look like like what what were were the the time time mind mind you you need if for that that it it became became an An easy easy transition transition Ah that that being being said said you you know know I I know know that that the the company company work work without without has has had had people people like like Rachmaninov if you're not say say you you can can bring bring in an external external product product manager manager in in from from any any industry industry if if they're they're a good good product product manager manager they they can't it could succeed succeed because because they they know know how how to to learn learn the the market market which which I I agree agree with with and I I could could see see that that being being a great greg where where did did you you vote vote
20:21 I I voted voted bring bring in in external external and and this this okay okay because because it it was was the the four first First time time in in see see why why voter voted this this way way is is that that if if you're you're actually actually promoting promoting internally internally the the sales sales guy guy or whomever Member project project manager manager that that is is the the danger danger of of that that is is that that you're you're always always doing doing the the same same thing thing again again and just just calling calling of a different different saw so the the project project managers managers doing doing project project management management work work and and is is calling calling a a product product manager manager and and so so you you know know check check the the box box great great I I got got a a prod are I got Gonna a product product manager manager check check the the box box moving moving on on in nest nest that that that's that's why why I I voted voted on on bringing bringing in in an an external external resource resource for for that that and and contacts Context my my situation situation to for both both were were they they brought brought a a consultant consultant to to help help with with that that which which is is you you know know
21:12 i I guess guess there's there's a a astros astros there there because because really really it it is is it's it's A A I I was was helping helping them them figure figure some some of of those those things things out out and and build build process process in in coach coach the the product product manager manager to to help help them them move move in into Edo I I can can understand understand if if you're you're not not doing doing that that type type of of investment investment worthy worthy and and external external established established product product manager manager would would would would make make sense sense
21:28 We we I I assume assume that that this this is is the the first first product product manager manager that that would would actually actually be be going going ahead on in and building building in in the The organization organization to to do do that that as as well well sort sort of a like like when when John John was was talking talking about about
21:40 but but Yeah Yeah i John John with your your take take would would you you vote vote for for well well I I I I voted voted for for the the same same thing thing you you voted voted for for but but I I did it it it under under false false pretenses pretenses in in my my Brain brain so so I I was was thinking thinking about about the the first first person person I I was was adding adding
21:55 with with the the context context that that I I already already know know added new new product product management management rights rights are of the the same same thing thing I I say say my my you you have have like like if if you you do do answer answer one one you you have have to to have have a A coach coach consultant consultant somebody somebody who who can can help help with with the the fundamentals fundamentals of product product management management what what it it is is how how to to do do it it yeah yeah and and then then you you can can be be quite quite successful successful I I think think in in that that scenario scenario if you You aren't aren't doing doing that that and and then then I I think think you you hire hire the the extra extra hour hour personally personally product product experience experience and and let let them them learn learn the the market market the the industry industry in the the guy Guy
22:20 makes makes it's it's Jason Jason less was interesting interesting I I voted voted for for in in external extra resource resources of product product management as we experience experience because because like like I I said said earlier earlier I I was was the the Internal internal resource Resource I didn't didn't know know the the product product though well but but I I sort sort of of knew knew how how to to Catholic complete works works so so maybe maybe that that is is actually actually senses since I I was was a a merger merger else kind kind of of external external internet internet even even though though the the buying buying organization Organization AH but but you you know know what what language language Greg Greg was was saying saying I I mean mean there there is is a a lot lot to to fight fight for for that that position position when when you're you're talking talking internally internally with with regards regards to to other other other other roles roles of of the the persons persons responsible responsible for for other other you you know know dynamics dynamics at The a person person have out with within any the organizations organization they they have have to to actually actually learn learn how how to to do do product product management management now now but but do do they they know know how how to to divide develop there's there's a a lot lot of of face space to to be be put put in in there there unless unless for for some some reason reason that that person person was was a a product product manager manager before before in it is is internally internally organization organization menus was on a pre presale sales now are or you it know also Susan said something something in in your your liking liking was was just just happened happened to to his his previous previous over over previous previous experience experience of of product product management management from from but but I'm I'm thinking thinking none none of of those those are are are are there there and and it's it's just just hair hair if if there's there's a a brandy brandy role role and and you you just just had had it's it's Gonna Gonna take take a a long long time time to too get get that that kind kind of of a bias Bias out out from from their their other other peers peers I I think think and and also also speak ski get get them them away away from from their their previous previous role role whether whether you you support support CS CS Anita Anita pre pre sales sales or and what what have have you you and and I'm I'm in in South South East east West West are are clean clean with with somebody somebody has has to you to to get get a a really really great great product product management management process process down down Ah Ah I I think think the the best best thing thing to to do do is is hire hire really really experienced experienced external external product product manager manager to to concrete kind of create that that organizations organizations and and then then you you don't don't have have any any kind kind of of a a bias bias from from previous previous relationships relationships with within any the organization order Asians in in In that that of of course course assumes assumes you you didn't didn't have have it it consulting consulting work work to to cutting cutting your your management management consulting consulting like like you you said said um Grande grant arm it it obviously obviously that that could could change change a a lot lot of of those those dynamics dynamics it's it's interesting interesting I I do do this this when when you you were were talking talking there there maybe maybe it's start they thinking get about about you you know know
24:14 my my bias bias right right the the VP VP Maybe maybe sometimes sometime the the director director get get somebody somebody who's experienced experienced I've I've seen seen people people give give out out the the VP VP title title for for product product when when this is the the first first person person with with the a person person really really wasn't wasn't qualified qualified for for it it
24:25 but but get getting Somebody somebody who's who's good good enough enough we who could can bring bring process process and stability stability I I could could easily easily see see that that as as a a path path that that Jason Jason that that you you actually actually clarified clarified some some things things in in thinking thinking in in my my head head thank thank you you steve steve
24:39 well Well I I answered answered the the extra external person personal is well well and and yet yet
24:45 it it seems seems that that you you need need to to step step back back and and say say where's where's the the hole hole in in the the organization organization in in terms terms of of expertise expertise
24:53 I'm I'm assuming assuming that that I I accompanied You you know know has has domain domain expertise expertise you you know know you you know know how how to to manage manage large large facilities facilities you you know know how how to to secure secure
25:05 things things you you now know you you you you got got domain domain expertise expertise on on the the team team
25:11 but but do we We have have market market expertise expertise do do we we have have of of you you know know technical technical expertise expertise where's where's where's where's the the hole hole and and I I think think in in general general my My sense Sense senses is that that we we have have a a lack lack of of business business expertise expertise spout step we've we've got got you you know know finance finance people people but but we we don't don't have have anybody anybody who who knows knows the the metaphors metaphors of of product product management management the the order order of of the the methods methods of of managing managing products products in in the the twenty twenty first first century century so so we we got got tech tech skills skills we've we've gotten gotten conceivably conceivably market market skills skills usually usually we we have have domain domain skills skills what what we're were meant missing thing is is business business goals goals and and so so that's that's why why I would would go go outside outside to to bring bring somebody somebody and and who's who's and it and and I I like like your your idea idea of of bringing bringing in in a a director director with with the the intent intent of of going going to to a a VP VP if if you you work work out out any any of it's not not bringing bringing in in somebody somebody over over here year and and no no end end in in admitting admitting that that up it front brought This this is is this this a a six six month month trial trial you you know know it's caliber kind of a higher higher now now annual and will will promote promote you you later later or or we we won't won't and and you you know know it's it's yours yours to to new new jersey jersey lose lose their their Swiss Swiss interesting interesting Steve Steve because because what what you you assumed assumed is is that that they they understood understood that The the person person making making the the decision decision understood understood the the fundamentals fundamentals of of product product management making it written and business business in and you as has this this is is the the first first time time at bring bringing it it in in you you know know that's that's again again we're we're having having a a consultant consultant helps helps or or whether whether it's it's to to advise advise them them hey hey declining The climbing work work without without found found rich rich marrying and off off through through a a video video on on you you tube tube like like that that reached reached out out he he talked talked with with them them and and his his his his suggestion suggestion was was an an extra extra resource resource he he wasn't wasn't gonna Gonna be be the the person person to to go go help help them them right right he he he he introduced introduced them them to to a a mutual mutual friend friend of of ours ours somebody somebody who's who's been been on on our our panel panel in in that that person person said Said Okay okay if if I'm I'm going going to to help help them them figure figure this this out out I I need need somebody somebody who's who's done done it it and that's that's how how I I got got brought brought in in
26:52 in in but but it you you know know I I think think part part of of it it Is is how how would would you you know know right right I I required recall i'd write write a a white white paper paper on on the the state Steve Yeah Yeah i I Guess Guess so I'll I'll make make an a note egg about about you you know know I'm I'm also also reminded reminded I I did did a a sales sales call call in in New New York York and and it it was was like like the the one one of of the the first first sales sales calls calls I've I've ever ever made made it in as as a a consultant consultant
27:14 and and
27:16 I i had had already already I I thought thought I'd I'd already already sold sold the the thing thing and and the the guy guy the the the the GG GG but but may they called called me me and and said said the the president president wants wants to to me me with with you you he he wants wants to to see see if if you you and and he he agree agree on on what what product product management man Spinners Ass and and I'm I'm like like wow wow man Man you you know know so so I I go go up up there there and and I I said said dino dino tell tell me me why why I'm I'm here here and and he he said said well well the the first first guy guy we we hired hired to to do do coaching coaching for for our our product product team team came came in in and and said said my my fee fee is is three three percent percent of of your your Ad Ad buy buy
27:42 and and he he said said what what what what does does that that have have to to do do with with product product management management and the guy says Oh Yeah Yeah I do marketing product management business of anything with the word product in add you know and and the Guy's like just some generic Markham consultant so they bounced out in the second one came in and he was actually talking about product management as
28:03 a scrawl master
28:06 answer the press has like in a week we've had a little Yeah Who's coming through here We Wanna make sure You're not yet another one
28:14 and so we talked about you know what is this role of product management and how is it connected to the organization and at the end of the call was weird I mean I went all the way to New York Virginia I was in the office with him for two hours and that was it but it anyway it ended up being a year long engagement for me to go up and work with their team but he I enjoy he had a sense of what product management was Gonna contribute as opposed to your scenario grant whereas like I've been told by the board to get a product manager whatever that Is I actually did a research project there were a whole bunch of VP start uPs with VP of product positions the Philadelphia area and I actually I said I'm not interested in the role
28:59 I'm trying to find out why you're trying to hire for this Position now just as a consultant try to understand
29:07 every time it was a piece every time it was a VC funded company it was the board said you're at this size weather is number of people are a number from new our Playbook says it's time to hire a VP of product and to me that's the wrong reason Ah but you know far be it from me to tell VC VC fund is what Gotta have their play Bucks Rank Yeah I got in Steve I was sure you're going to go in the present What did meet me and I came out he goes in his answers Me Steve I was in one of your first classes and I've been a fan because we're all still fans right well i guess I didn't have that at a different place in South Carolina baby it felt like I've been calling you Principal's office there like you know you must meet the president before you begin their training and I'm like oh wow you what what is what's Gonna happen here and he's like Hey I just went like you now I was in one year classes forever ago and I was really great I hope You'll Yeah I'll be able to help my team out and it was it was not at all what I was expecting a thought I've been called in on the carpet all right so with that we're going to move to our open ended questions and this is one
30:12 that actually few months ago so you can and I got into a fight with one of the guys from who the project management tool base camp
30:21 in
30:23 this this argument that happens frequently with people who come from design VC centric product backgrounds this concept that there was no product manager on the iPhone inside was like steve jobs was the product manager on the iPhone right we'll know he was the O he's got a product it was this literal semantics thing but here's the question is accompanied doing product management Canada company be doing product management even if they don't have a form a product management function in John I'm really great at you because you you You're at a big you know dot com company Yeah you but you better the other ones can a company be doing private message me if it's not a formal function yes of course yeah of course like at some point at some point you are somebody is figuring out what is the right next thing to build and in theory why that is the next right thing to build and helping engineers take down the path of building I think I think that's I mean Massive over simplification of what we do is product managers but I think it is core to what is the important bits and you have to do the things Else I don't know what you guys
31:34 are safe
31:36 now I mean
31:39 Yes of Course I mean we're managing the products whether we have a product manager or not we need may not be following you know industry standard we may not be using the best methods but Somebody's doing something and I remember back in the day when I was at pragmatic we had that thirty seven box chart chick lit diagram thing guess what every thing on there was being done by somebody and ice I used to make a point that these things need to be owned and the one who owns it is the one who writes it down and keeps it current
32:16 and then you're you go Oh golly now thirty two of the thirty seven Jesus got unknowns because you know nobody wrote it down and nobody's keeping it current but still i mean those things are being done in reno in my role in product manager meant from as prime manager I come in and they're like hey which of the following can you take over for Me I mean people were delighted to have somebody to take the stuff on so my challenge was to say no I don't wanna Do project management I don't wanna be the best demo Boy or a demo Girl I don't Wanna be you know you're lackey or your janitor or your secretary
32:53 but those things are being done Question is whether they're being done by the right people and if they're being done right
33:00 so has anybody ever done a fan art of the pragmatic marketing framework with chocolates or where did that idea come from safe
33:08 It was some consultant started referring to those kinds of charts as chick lit charts and or you also sometimes they're called place mats Yeah I've I've heard I've heard it called the place mat because you know We apparently any by any diagram that has lots of little squares is referred to my banner one of those Guys is a chick shop okay I own the place but actually I used to do build product stacks okay Here's my foundation You're my Content our application layers even when you axe in every product I was building a road map for I did it visualizing it with boxes and stuff and I quit like that my head of engineering called it the place back
33:52 Yeah anything that our boys by right as long as it's laminated it's a place where
33:59 Greg
34:01 I agree with John and Steve course Yeah you can actually have the AH Yes and yes and just an amateur scientists in sudden we're going to get into in on if you're looking for a fight and like wait a minute maybe not I said I think that one of the that's why like I started out in our our thing is like okay why do I need product management if I already have my business guys already have my sales guys already have my technology people and I a program managers doing these things is just that you know how are they doing it properly are they actually looking forward all those things but if you have you know that big commitment from certain the senior executives to do this then then you're actually doing product management
34:51 you would bring in a product manager to kind of formalize a lot of those things and and organize everything which the downside of that is they turn into a cat hurt her Project manager has opposing product manager on but
35:07 it but I think you can definitely do this a thing is the organizations get more complex than it becomes a little bit more difficult
35:16 and that's where we talked about when you talk in and when you share that answer couple sides ago I was like oh Gosh I felt you know shut down because we're coming back the slide was exactly conversation was thinking about with the site but to your point that's thousand we talk about that it comes to scale right how do you at some point unita you you've got more than one development team or you've got more than one product and you're having to start know every time you add in another facet their complexity can only remove a fast Complexity kit can be not impacting that so is a good consultant you just say you know hey how's that working for you right like that as you start having more products that interact with each other
36:00 to kind of create that entire portfolio that becomes really interesting and difficult I mean john probably get runs into that with with where he is the headlong I've run into that as well where you have multiple products that you're trying to bring together and in now is fate the day just you have to have a cohesive organizational function to bring all those together so that it doesn't look like a mishmash OH good point in in I think you know Steve your your comment everything about you know when Michelle and I got married our pastor there we had a string quartet playing the four seasons part of it and we we got the video of it in you hear pastor they're going they're going to play this till they're done how's it you know isn't working for you was working for you until it's not till it's done working for you in a mentor of mine I quoted a sales training guy in the automotive space at said if you keep doing what you're doing you can keep getting what you're getting and so at some point this is Gonna break at some point this is this is Gonna need to scale and that's where we need but some form of product management in place right but it took to scout where it needs to go to at some point you're not selling what you bill you're not build in what you can sell you're not and you don't even know if you're building the right things and it's spine when a company starts it's it's the President's pet project and ninety nine percent of those fail but the one you joined the start of the president was right because he built a product or she built a product that they needed in their real lives but it's the second and third and fourth and ninth product where they are now so distanced from the realities of the market there you know they're now thinking hey I could probably buy it OH now you're actually a lot about boats but they can't really tell you much about the domain they used to sir so many somebody to replace not an other figure other Gotcha Day I think the other thing is if you have Good Slash gray product management early on in that in Steve's scenario you can it becomes a multiplying factor for the success of the company right it is much more likely if you're doing it well to be a successful company yes people are maybe doing it that you know the head he you may be doing product management seat of the pants but I can you had a really good product manager comes and make sure you're solving them for the right next problems it's a it's a exponential growth increase her desk it it even in a private equity type world of
38:43 roll UPS right
38:46 In that case it but whether it's the P E firm or some executive at the base company they're doing product made by identifying how do these pieces fit together what are our targets that is product management right it's billed by
39:00 In you know a longtime friend of ours frank tate if you look at what he did with front frontline education he'd looked at everything they did they still the product management for each of the ones that had but his Growth curve was based his growth was based on here all the adjacent segments are built out a full comprehensive solution for K twelve e R P and he he executed that but the product management was who do we buy in that case so even at that level I think their product management happening I think we spent plenty of time on this one we're Gonna go to the next one so we've talked about who to hire right we just talk a little bit is is product manager meant happening What should the major considerations for an organization be as they launch product management outside of who to hire
39:50 Greg I'm going to go to you because you've spent more to this is another thesis isn't it yes it is I think that the major consideration his commitment
40:01 so are they committed for Yeah salted Yeah I mean it we talked about in AH steve you talked about like a little bit about or we're Gonna we're Gonna test the waters We're going to see if it actually works that's not commitment that is I got some extra money and I want to see what this thing is and you know if it doesn't work primers go back to where we are now no crime no foul AH but you're either Gonna do it or not it's it's you're Gonna commit to a product management function in organization or you're not in the end I've run into those unfortunately
40:40 In all the trial periods come in that's I think that's the major consideration that has to happen you're Gonna do it or not and then you Gonna whack In that in that sort of goes to that VC situation where the VC Board tells you to but to hire a VP of product management of the C E O's not bought in are committed to that that's the those are the situations where I've got hired as a VP of product and then stepped on toes and eventually separated with the CEO because they didn't they wouldn't do the jobs that they were committed to their mindset are the function of product management jason what's your take
41:16 Yeah I think that's another major consideration is you know what is what do you want for growth for your company you know the product manager going Gonna be there to the kids create great products that is going to bring new market growth and if you don't have an idea of you know what you want your company to be in several years in a vision for that road sand product managers whoever it is it comes in is Gonna hard time of you realize our vision if you do that
41:47 so I think having having a solid vision to where you wanna be can be a major consideration for them and then of course you know commitment is to follow through with it
41:58 and Jason I was hoping you were Gonna go a different way just from your original answer on the Monday Question I thought my view is you have to have a baseline of what what what's happening who's doing it now right if we iowa you always have to start with the baseline before you can change it right now so When I read your answer the first thing in My Head was that's that this is where the question actually came from was because it was the mapping out who's doing what now and of the artifacts look like because that gives us a starting point to know where we need to get get too but I loved you this answer as well Thank you for your Feedback on that John Yeah I think what you were just saying and greg it said earlier it ties back to some version of organizational readiness Like the to be the the individuals not just the CEO in your case is coming in and the VP in stepping on toes but like a horde there's people doing pieces of this job all around then be ready to stop doing those pieces and a hand them off to somebody else and be comfortable with the fact their job is going to change as a result of product management becoming a function of gave me a huge half my one client because there's one per everybody's excited about this concept except for one person
43:09 A person is losing their cookies or whatever and I think I need them manage that that person with kid gloves good one so so you find a way to spin it as to what is in it for them that you're using this new thing have Yeah Affluent Steve You're thought
43:26 well I suspect it's US variant on greg comment on commitment I mean I I had to situations that come to mind one was I was hired to launch a product and IKE I chose First to do customer discovery and found that nobody wanted it needs solved a problem that people didn't have and secondly We were completely not geared to deliver I mean it had in it it is no way aligned with our distinctive competencies so I ended up sitting down with the president like two weeks after I joined sang can we please shoot this before we squander any more money but you Gotta tell me if this is strategic if this is a new direction for the company than I can launch it but I'm going need up a new sales force I'm Gonna need a whole bunch of implementation consultants but if if if you think it's Gonna be like a just a quick hit on the bottom line let me trust you if it will be but it's not the way you mean and so there are two weeks after I took this job they are they allowed me to kill the product that they'd spent on ER now
44:31 upwards towards a million dollars worth on so far and I'm like you know hey it sunk cost let's let's The worst Thing You've heard me say this being the worst possible thing that could happen now is we get a few customers
44:44 if we got a lot that be great if we got none that be great but now we're Gonna get a few and we're gonna have a stinker sitting around for years they have the support and then the other story that came to mind was I joined a company where the president said our developers are terrible so I went to development and I said so I hear you guys are terrible
45:05 but I Wanna do well here you know how can i help out and they say well you know Yeah and grant and well anyway
45:13 weird our requirements change every fifteen minutes every time the President has an idea somebody comes running in here and saying stop what you're doing and as we're having this conversation somebody came running in and saying stop what you're doing and so a week later I went down to the President I said I now the problem in the organization it's you you need to shut the hell up for like ninety days annually was another one of those If I knew now what I knew then kind of a thing but you know I'M surprised it and say hey you're fired get out of here you not showing me respect but what he really said was OH I see your point but I nice said a a sentence from you is three months of work The Dev team so you decide how long I Will I will cut you know say that it also I've run into that exactly same thing in people get confused and so did you find steve Yeah you basically to man handled the President say okay all your questions really come from to me will have a conversation with autism the Napa and then have the conversation would like the city over the head of the development site Listen I understand the President's Gonna ask or something like that but you Gotta clear it with me before you change in in that actually in the first situation where this I was hired as the VP of product that was that we'd be in a team meeting view all company meeting in their you'll be talking about ideas he had and also the development team's gone off building stuff the marketing team long building programs because
46:43 he's a seat Yeah right we follow his direction I think there's some level of and he was spit balling but they were taken it as new new requirements yeah and you know steve out last one on this but What you're saying with that that president engineering team it goes back to the the most efficiency productivity gains you can get out of vellum organization is making sure that working on the right stuff
47:06 because finishing what they start Yeah and drucker drucker is that right officials efficiency is getting things done right of this is getting the right things done right and and so as we go into that it your son isn't direct offload for every occasion I neither do you know you know Steve I have to it's at the time like andrea we need to give you I swear I think we need to give you that the title of you know drunk driver fellow fellow in residence We can do that I would love that man but drucker also says to your son costing you know everyone's mind you step back and say if we weren't this business now would we get into it right and that was really my Point yeah exactly so We're Gonna go to Our Rapid Fire I'm going to leave US up here for a second so everybody has a chance to read it so I'm not putting anybody on
48:00 too often I asked this question to the first person who's often Jason but the summers can be greg and they start their thank you the answer and they want to wait for everybody to order so they can have their answer ready so if you could give one piece of advice to someone joining a company as their first product management resource what would it be and in the context of a put around this Is We've talked about a lot of travails right that there's not commitment there there's not process there there's somebody who was was doing that right what would your first what you're you're your piece or key advice be to somebody who is going in as the first product management resource Greg
48:36 talk to your steel Johnson to other Pete talk to talk to all the different people within the company and what they're doing and how they're executing first
48:49 right John You're next if he stole mine clearly
48:57 Yeah I think understanding the landscape of how work gets done Already is probably a good job number one
49:07 and then did it the greg part of understanding who's doing network Yeah and who stars on a subway
49:14 grate Jason so the goes back or somebody said earlier I think for instance this is a brand new function in this organization I definitely think they're talking everybody's important but the first one to talk to is to see you In it that conversation doesn't go well as far as what the CEO advisers product manager should be so they can be successful for the organizations there's no need to talk to development sales pre sales are learning anything else you can walk in so you need that you need to sea level support you level support understanding what problem that organization is trying to solve a product management yes that makes a great essence actually steve will shoot I had a different answer but I like Jason's a lot I like I like everybody's hands I'm Gonna be a little different and say UM become the first thing would be to become the expert on customers because no one else has that expertise sales knows the deals they're working Customers now customer support knows the call they just got off you know pro professional services knows though deal they're implementing right now no one else has a market view and being able to go to meetings and say well that's really cute mister opinion boy but here or what the facts say and I remember vividly Anais the U S person was saying you know we've made all these changes with the U axe and everybody loves it and I reached in my recorder and brought out a recording from the prior day where they said man I don't know what kindergartner you hired to design your you axe but man that thinks socks i can't get my work done and everybody in the room was Aghast in and I thought the U S was terrible but my opinion while interesting is Irrelevant I was able to produce middle market evidence that I was rife so I agree with everybody else but you know early on let's make sure that you you become the expert on the market because everything else has been done sicker with corollary that to steve is that the sales guy knows what the customer wants the product guy needs to understand what the customer needs I like that yeah but my deal greg is that they know the customer they talk to today they have completely forgotten my customer from last week or last month they have the memory of a goldfish you're dry
51:36 you know Jason's answer was Gonna be my Answer So you know Jason wins this rapid fire round but the truly it's Gonna be I'm Gonna go with Yes aunty all of the above in it and this has been the week of Yes and I think if I I've I've outdone myself and I've set of A terrible precedent that I have to now follow to have questions that great yes and all along the way so
52:04 with that said Greg John Jason Steve as always these These weekly cause like I feel like give matchbox cars and you had the little thing you pull it would go round and pull up to speed it up again these calls are my little thing you pulled to get me hopped up again a go through a long week have things happen you get drained and this call just give me all that energy back back to make it for the next week thank you guys offer a wonderful conversation enlightening thoughts and discussion in gosh Next week we are going to be talking about sort of the other part of this which is when you're hiring product management and existing organizations so I started thinking about that I still you know what what we'll get that out on Monday and Wednesday and will talk to you guys next week so thank you guys so much have a good evening or afternoon or Weekend or whatever it doesn't didn't register