Product Heroes Wiki

Sharp, short, and actionable tips on Product-oriented questions.

PRODUCT

How do you create a successful product strategy?

Creating a successful Product is about helping the users effectively.

To validate the value the product is bringing to the users, we should always have in our strategy:
(1) short iterations – in order to be able to react quickly to discoveries and learnings.
(2) user interviews – interviewing is crucial. It’s the only way to gather real feedback, quickly and efficiently. NPS is a measure, direct feedback is the real deal.

Meeting deadlines is secondary compared to delivering real value. Following an established plan is paving the path to forgetting the reality of the users.

A Product exists to solve a problem the users are having. The entire strategy should revolve around solving that problem.

Understanding and refining this comprehension regularly is a key factor of a product’s success.

This knowledge should be shared as much as possible so that everyone in the company can have the same understanding, and learn from each other.

Without a clear understanding of the “Why?” prioritizing efficiently is almost impossible, as there are no clear criteria on what is the most useful for the users.

Success is real only if we measure it.

By having metrics in place, we will be able to review them regularly and update our strategy very quickly if things are not going in the direction we were planning.

By setting clear goals, and sharing them across the company, will empower the teams to make better decisions.

There is a lot of frameworks out there to set up goals and metrics (like OKR) but the tool does not really matter. We should ensure that we have clear goals and metrics, commonly understood, so that everyone is working in the same direction.

How can I improve the user experience of my product?

User Experience can be pretty hard to get perfect in one shot. The best way to succeed here is to formulate a hypothesis, then quickly create a prototype of what could be an improvement.

Quickly is the keyword here, avoid spending months on it.

Then test the prototype with real users. You might validate your hypothesis, or invalidate it. Maybe the UX was already good – so you don’t really need to improve it. Maybe the problem is somewhere else, and the users will let you know. Maybe the prototype is not perfect yet, and you can quickly iterate on it.

Collaboration

How to align my stakeholders?

Stakeholders are, most of the time, people struggling with an impressive amount of problems. To gain alignment here, you have to avoid to be another problem: you want to be perceived as solution creators.

Acknowledge their own objectives – they might greatly differ from yours. If there are any opposed objectives, state them so that you can propose an “in-between” solution.

Clear and focused communication is key. Stakeholders receive a lot of information. Use empathy again here: focus your communication on what they need to know, and avoid adding unnecessary details. (No, your VP does not need to know that GitHub is going to be down for 2 hours – especially as you found a way to avoid impact on the roadmap!).

How to collaborate with a Project Manager?

Project Managers are experts in creating and executing plans. Project Managers will want to have this understanding of the milestones and the available people to execute a project.

With these details, they will be the best people to come back with a realistic plan. In an Agile approach, we should help them to understand the steps and iterations so that they can plan effectively while staying ready to adapt to change.

If you are a Product Manager, your roles will overlap a little: acknowledge the situation with them to avoid any confusion.

CAREER

How to train in Product Management?

The best way to train yourself to be effective in Product Management is by focusing on the mindset. Tools like Jira, Aha!, Miro… are good to know for sure. But if you don’t have the right mindset, they won’t help your product to be better.

Mindset is about being focused on users, knowing how to manage expectations, understanding how to influence without power. The best way to get this mindset is by actually practicing and/or being coached by experts.

Luckily, Linky Product can help you with that 🦸‍♂️ Check out our online Bootcamp, online courses, and 1:1 coaching sessions here: https://www.linkyproduct.com

What are the soft skills of a good PM?

Product Managers need empathy. To understand their users, then to understand their stakeholders.

They also need leadership. To influence the organization, to lead and inspire the teams around them to follow their vision. They need courage! They are going to make tough decisions. They are inevitable and it’s thanks to these decisions that the product will be successful.

Finally, they need organization. Product Managers are living in a world of constant chaos and are organizing this chaos. They have to be able and to enjoy organizing chaos.

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