radhika-dutt

27 / Product Success Starts with a Clear Vision

Description

A product’s vision communicates the change we want to bring to the world. It starts with why, but in the same breath also answers for whom. That’s why the best vision statements are outwardly focused. Product teams craft them not to declare our own goals and aspirations. But to focus attention and energy around the problems we want to solve for our users.

In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, Radhika Dutt sits down with Sean and Paul to explain how vision-driven products not only clarify the why and for whom. But they also resist the common diseases that afflict product success. In the absence of a clear vision statement that is uniquely our own, we work without direction. We confuse activity with purposeful effort. And we deliver solutions to problems our users don’t have.

But bringing vision and strategy isn’t enough. Product leaders and their teams need to translate vision and strategy into action. Radical Product Thinking, a movement co-founded by Radhika, provides a step-by-step approach to help teams build game-changing products. It guides teams through a process of applying sound vision, actionable strategy, and effective prioritization to prevent the ailments that end up killing products.

What to listen for:

[01:09]  Maintaining momentum through iteration. The right way to build products is through iteration, but we also need to limit the number of iterations by eliminating the unnecessary ones.

[03:29]  The 2 extremes of Vision statements. One aims to disrupt, reinvent, or revolutionize. The other is focused on business objectives.

[05:03]  Vision statements must be outwardly focused. Users don’t care about a company’s “best in class” aspirations.

[05:36]  3 product diseases. Strategic swelling, obsessive sales disorder, pivotitis.

[06:21]  Radical Product Thinking. It’s a response to repeatedly running into these same diseases no matter the size of the company or the industry you’re in.

[07:58]  Follow your North Star. But don’t be afraid to step back and say, “Wait a minute; we’re following the wrong star.”

[10:34]  Is there risk in being too tied to a vision?

[13:00]  Use your vision as a filter. Does this feature I’m working on align with my vision?

[14:07]  A strategy has to be flexible enough to allow you to adapt in the face of market realities.

[16:25]  Anything can be a product. Based on the commonalities, even a government policy can be a product.

[21:05]  Align your vision to where people want to go anyway. That way, the product isn’t forcing people to change. It’s adapting to what is going to be.

[22:41]  Serving multiple personas in 2-sided markets. Use your North Star to determine where your true loyalty lies.

[25:19]  How to prioritize a feature. A balance between helping me survive the quarter and fulfilling my vision.

[27:37]  Business KPIs and Product KPIs. The Ying and Yang that helps you progress toward the vision while tracking your business success.

[31:14]  Innovation. Changing people’s lives for the better.

[32:00]  Accidental Villains. As you change one person’s life for the better, you’re changing someone else’s for the worse.

[33:36]  Empathy. It’s not just about product managers showing empathy for their users. It has to happen across the whole organization.

[34:05]  Organizational cactus. The internal friction that leads to the accumulation of vision debt.

Radhika’s Recommended Reading

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Eric Ries.


About Radhika

Radhika Dutt is an entrepreneur and product leader who has participated in four acquisitions as a result of the products she built; two of these were companies she founded.

She advises organizations from high-tech startups to government agencies on building game-changing products. She co-founded Radical Product Thinking as a movement of leaders creating vision-driven change.

Radhika graduated from MIT with SB and M.Eng degrees in Electrical Engineering. She speaks nine languages and is learning her tenth.

You can follow her on her Medium publication, Radical Product or LinkedIn.

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Marty-Cagan

26 / Empowered Teams Build the Best Products

Description

The difference between the best product companies and the rest is pretty stark. And you don’t have to wait until the end of the fiscal quarter to figure which is which. Those lagging indicators will tell you only what happened. Past tense. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in what will happen, begin by examining the level of empowerment within those companies.

In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, Sean and Paul sit down with Marty Cagan, product thought leader, mentor, and founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG), to discuss the power of empowerment. The job to be done by empowered teams, Marty says, is to solve the hard problems. Sounds simple, but the implications are enormous.

So take heed, product people. Whether you’re new to the field or a seasoned product veteran, there’s something for you in our no-holds-barred conversation with Marty Cagan. What to listen for:

  • Feature Teams, Product Teams, Delivery Teams (06:47). The differences between them and empowered teams are real, and significant.
  • Empowered Teams (08:33). Like start-ups, they need to figure out the products customers are willing to buy (value) and whether those products can sustain a business (viability).
  • Innovation (11:25). Solutions to hard problems that add value for our customers and our business.
  • Role of the Product Manager (13:13). They have to go figure out something worth building. So they have a bigger responsibility on an empowered team.
  • For New & Up-and-Coming Product Managers (16:32). What hiring managers are looking for is much more about how you think about solving problems, coming at it with a different perspective. 
  • The Best Single Source of Innovation (21:56). Marty’s comments may surprise you…though maybe not. 
  • Value of Developers (25:00). If you’re just using your developers to code, you’re only getting about half their value.

Marty’s Recommended Reading

What You Do is Who You Are: How To Create Your Business Culture, by Ben Horowitz.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, by Ben Horowitz.

Inspired: How to Create Tech Product Customers Love, 2nd, by Marty Cagan.

Coming Soon: Empowered, by Marty Cagan.


About Marty

Marty Cagan is the founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG).  Before founding SVPG to pursue his interests in helping others create successful products through his writing, speaking, coaching and advising, Marty was senior vice president of product and design for eBay. At eBay, he was responsible for defining products and services for the company’s global e-commerce trading site. 

Marty is a guest speaker at conferences and major tech companies around the globe, and he is the author of INSPIRED: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love.

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Stephen-M.-R.-Covey

25 / 5 Ways That Trust Inspires Innovation

Description

Trust is the ultimate collaboration tool. So says Stephen M. R. Covey, who joins Sean and Paul on this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast. In fact, trust is so vital that innovation cannot occur in its absence.

Trust inspires innovation, which Stephen sees as a “continuum of staying current and relevant with our product and service offerings.” It is the enabler, guiding teams from coordination to cooperation to collaboration. Such simple statements, but important not to confuse simplicity with underlying truth. So many takeaways from our conversation with Stephen; here are just a few –

  • Discover the 5 ways Trust inspires Innovation.
  • Product leaders need to speak the language of trust. We never used to talk this way, but today it’s what makes a leader credible.
  • Trust is foundational to all great product development. This is as true for our product’s users as it is for the team working on it.

Listen in to learn even more.

Stephen’s Recommended Reading

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness, by Frederic Laloux.

Good to Great, by Jim Collins.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

The Speed of Trust, by Stephen M. R. Covey.

Smart Trust, by Stephen M. R. Covey.


About Stephen

Stephen M. R. Covey is the New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal best-selling author of The Speed of Trust, which has been translated into 22 languages and has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.

He is co-author of the #1 Amazon best-seller Smart Trust. Stephen brings to his writings the perspective of a practitioner, as he is the former President & CEO of the Covey Leadership Center, where he increased shareholder value by 67 times and grew the company to become the largest leadership development firm in the world.

A Harvard MBA, Stephen co-founded and currently leads FranklinCovey’s Global Speed of Trust Practice. He serves on numerous boards, including the Government Leadership Advisory Council, and he has been recognized with the lifetime Achievement Award for “Top Thought Leaders in Trust” from the advocacy group, Trust Across America/Trust Around the World.

Stephen is a highly-sought-after international speaker, who has taught trust and leadership in 54 countries to business, government, military, education, healthcare, and NGO entities.

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Jake-Knapp

24 / How to Overcome Barriers to Innovation

Description

Product people chase innovation. Sometimes we grow frustrated by how much time it takes “to get there” and how many barriers to innovation stand in our way. We’ve been led to believe that sprinting as fast as we can toward innovation will help us catch that lightning in a bottle. All the while failing to consider that innovation is a long game.

Imagine the irony, says Jake Knapp, who joins Sean and Paul in this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast. The goal of the design sprint is not to help us move faster – at least not in the short term. It’s to get us to slow down. To pause, even for just a few days, by breaking down barriers and making time for one thing that really matters.

Three key takeaways from our conversation with Jake:

  • Be aware of the defaults in life that rob your attention, energy, and time.
  • Ask yourself: “what keeps me up at night?” And then listen closely for the answer.
  • Innovation is authentic and different and unique. It is the product of clarity in your mind and harmony in your heart.

Jake’s Recommended Reading

The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin.

There There: A novel, by Tommy Orange.


About Jake

Jake Knapp is the author of Make Time and the New York Times best-seller, Sprint.

Jake spent 10 years at Google and Google Ventures, where he created the Design Sprint. He has since coached teams like Slack, Uber, 23andMe, LEGO, and The New York Times on the method. 

Previously, Jake helped build products like Gmail, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Encarta. He is currently among the world’s tallest designers.

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Richard-Banfield

23 / The Product Leader’s Path To High Performance

Description

As a community, have we gotten better at product leadership? The answer depends on who we ask and what we use to measure  performance.

In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, Sean and Paul pose the question to Richard Banfield, VP of Design Transformation at InVision. “A lot depends how much you are able to distance yourself from the day-to-day work and take a bigger picture viewpoint,” he responds. “If you’re in the weeds every day, it’s hard to believe that we’re making progress because those daily challenges haven’t necessarily gone away. But if you take a step back and look at the entire industry, you can see we’ve got better at a bunch of things.”

Richard’s Recommended Reading

Loonshots: How To Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries, by Safi Bahcall.


About Richard

Richard’s curiosity for product design and leadership has led to four books on these topics. As well as being co-author of Design Sprint and Product Leadership, Richard also authored Design Leadership and Enterprise Design Sprints.

When he’s not writing, speaking or teaching, he is VP of Design Transformation at InVision.

Previously, Richard was the CEO of Fresh Tilled Soil, an international product design agency. Over the past two decades, he’s delivered design and product work for hundreds of companies like Intel, GE Healthcare, Tripadvisor, Walgreens, FedEx, LendingTree, Time Warner Cable, BWIN, Ritz-Carlton, Harvard University, MIT, Hubspot, Intralinks, and Vertica. Prior to running Fresh Tilled Soil, he was a founding partner of Acceleration (now a WPP company).

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roman-pichler

22 / Combining Empathy with Tech

Description

For today’s product leaders, it’s not enough to have technical proficiency or apply the right techniques. These skills are necessary to be sure – vital even – but no longer sufficient by themselves. Effective product leaders deliver even more. To make and implement effective strategy decisions, product leaders need buy-in from key stakeholders. In a role that brings great responsibility but little direct authority, product managers need to build rapport throughout their ecosystem. With rapport comes the trust required to influence the many people in our domain and involve them in delivering solutions for customers.

In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, product management expert and leadership consultant Roman Pichler joins Sean and Paul for a behind-the-scenes deep dive into the role the softer skills – specifically, empathy – play in effective software product management. Empathy, Roman says, means recognizing that the human aspect of our job is really at the core of it – no longer just a ‘nice to have.’ Empathy is the capacity we have to understand each other’s feelings and needs, perspectives, and interests.

Roman’s Recommended Reading

The Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value, by Melissa Perri.

Making Strategy: Mapping Our Strategic Success, by Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann.


About Roman

Roman Pichler is a product management expert specialized in digital products. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching product managers and product owners, advising product leaders, and helping companies build successful product management organizations.​ 

​Roman is the author of four books, including the newly released How To Lead In Product Management, as well as Strategize: Product Strategy and Product Roadmap Practices for the Digital Age, Agile Product Management with Scrum, and Scrum. He is a prolific blogger, with more than 140 posts available on his popular blog for product professionals.​ 

​As the founder and director of Pichler Consulting, Roman looks after the company’s offerings. This keeps his product management practice fresh and allows him to experiment with new ideas. Roman is based in Wendover, near London, in the United Kingdom. 

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johanna-rothman

21 / A Pragmatic Approach to Product Management

Description

Imagine a colleague asks you to describe the software product manager role. Where would you begin? So few of us actually studied this stuff in college. How can we hope to explain it when we’re not even sure we’re doing it right? We deliver MVPs for MVAs. We set goals using OKRs and KPIs. And we apply a host of methodologies to build all this incredible software. But in the midst of all the jargon, it’s easy to lose sight of our greater purpose.

In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, Sean and Paul chat with Johanna Rothman. Also known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” Johanna helps product leaders identify problems, recognize opportunities, and remove obstacles in their development process. Though she has authored more than a dozen books on digital product management, Johanna sees software not as the end goal – but as the means by which we achieve that greater purpose – inspiring our teams to improve the world around us.

Read our blog post.

Johanna’s Recommended Reading:

The Asshole Survival Guide: How To Deal with People Who Treat You Like Dirt, by Robert I. Sutton.

Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less, by Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao.


About Johanna

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” provides frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams see and solve their problems, resolve risks, and manage their product development.

Johanna was the Agile 2009 conference chair and was the co-chair of the first edition of the Agile Practice Guide. Johanna is the author of 17 books that range from hiring, to project management, program management, project portfolio management, and management. Her most recent books are From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams (with Mark Kilby) and Create Your Successful Agile Project: Collaborate, Measure, Estimate, Deliver.

Check out Johanna’s Managing Product Development blog on her website, where you can also catch up with her e-mail newsletter and gather more information about her books. She has also contributed many columns and articles across the web, including at createadaptablelife.com and projectmanagement.com.

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Fin-Goulding

20 / Flow: Visualize the Possibilities

Description

It’s ironic that companies comprised of teams that have embraced Agile methodologies can at the same time find themselves in search of organizational agility. With all the best intentions, proponents of Agile dutifully adhere to its prescribed set of principles, but then we suddenly find ourselves constrained by the same demons we had sought to escape. We seem to have lost our ability to experiment and learn, to adapt and grow, and to be resilient and flexible in the face of ambiguity.

In this 20th episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, Fin Goulding joins Sean and Paul as together they explore an increasing demand for a more business agile way of working. Through the evolving lens of Flow, Fin shares his insights based on a rich career as a C-level executive in large organizations, prolific author, and expert in the field of business and technical agility. Soft-spoken yet firm, he reminds us that “…[a]gile is really a thing that you are; it’s not something that you buy.” Flow, he adds, helps us move away from a very rigid methodology into something that’s more of a philosophy, a way of being.

Have a listen to find out how.

Recommended Resources

Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework, by Mik Kersten.

Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results, by Barry O’Reilly.

Flow: A Handbook for Change Makers, by Fin Goulding and Haydn Shaughnessy.

12 Steps to Flow, by Fin Goulding and Haydn Shaughnessy.


About Fin

Fin Goulding has become an expert in Business and Technical agility, having worked as a CIO and/or CTO in several major organizations such as Aviva, Paddy Power, lastminute.comtravelocity.com, SabreHSBC, RBS and Visa.

He has consistently been named as one of the top global CIOs and is recognized as one of the most experienced enterprise agile leaders in the world today.

Fin has been pioneering new ways of working using visualization techniques and agile practices in all areas of business in order to help organizations achieve digital transformation through cultural transformation. He has a unique perspective having worked in startups, .coms, and large-scale companies and now as Founder & CTO in his own startup called the Flow Academy.

Fin is in demand as a coach for CEOs, COOs, CIOs and CTOs and as a keynote speaker and panelist. He is constantly improving and evolving business agility practices and principles through real-world expertise.

He has co-authored two of the best-selling books on business agility: Flow: A Handbook for Change Makers, and 12 Steps to Flow

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miguel-cardona

19 / The Significance of Contributive Design

Description

As organizations move inexorably to a team-based, agile methodology, how do individual contributors effectively demonstrate what they’re working on or what they’ve accomplished? If performance is measured based solely on the team’s deliverables, how do team leaders appropriately acknowledge each member’s contribution or target their professional development? Enter the notion of contributive design, in which involvement of the individual is made clear. Contributive design fosters an environment in which team members collaborate as one, but also where they’re not necessarily dependent on others for their own outcomes.

In this episode of ITX’s Product Momentum Podcast, hosts Sean and Paul welcome Miguel Cardona, professor of design, artist, and keynote speaker at ITX’s 2nd annual ITX UX 2019: Beyond the Pixels design conference. Miguel introduces us to the notion of contributive design and its far-reaching impact – not only in the classroom, where contributive tools help him evaluate the performance of project teams while isolating the contributions of each student. Contributive design applies with equal significance in the workplace as we consider the modular nature of teams, design systems, and the user experience.

Read our blog post.

Recommended Resources

Writings and Notes from Andrew Duckworth, including “One Thing Per Page.”

Design Is Storytelling, by Ellen Lupton.

Algortihms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, by Safiya Umoja Noble.

fertilegroundroc.org, an exploration of race and placemaking in Rochester, NY. In collaboration with cultural anthropologist and University of Rochester Professor Kathryn Mariner, Fertile Ground sprouts from three existing intellectual traditions: theories of space and place, urban ethnography and history, and feminist and Black geographies.


About Miguel

Miguel Cardona is an Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the New Media Design (BFA) and Visual Communications Design (MFA) programs. His classes focus on user experience and interaction design for digital experiences and products. Students from these programs are highly marketable and go on to design at companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Marvel, Lyft, Amazon, Nike, and numerous other high-profile product and creative agencies all over the world.

Most recently, Miguel was a foundation hire and lead designer for imgix, a San Francisco-based company that provides web developers the ability to resize and optimize images in real-time. Previously, he co-founded the Rochester, NY-based design and technology studio, Dwaiter Design. Miguel has more than 15 years’ experience designing and developing digital products, e-learning experiences, motion graphics, advertising, and interactive games for not-for-profit, educational, and B2B institutions. He was once mildly internet-famous for illustrating on coffee cups.

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