In this ProductTank Perth talk, Adam Mullett, Product Owner at IBM, shares five key questions you can use to build a better product and become a successful product owner.
Questions are powerful. Leading with questions help you get to the right answer, no matter what you build.
The skills you learn as a product manager or product owner can be applied to any other industry or niche. An effective way to achieve it is through questions –they lead you to the correct answer. Besides, you can use questions to influence customers or users.
Mullett mentions five practices that can help you develop better products with customers in mind:
Deliberately designing feedback loops with your customers into your work will lead to better product design and adoption.
By taking a unified or structured approach to understanding people’s needs, you can pinpoint their exact requirements and create better solutions.
Here are the questions Adam says you must ask while designing a product:
- What would tell you that you have talked to enough users? If necessary, expand the net wide.
- How do you plan to include customers in your product design?
- What is your user-testing strategy?
- How can you get feedback faster?
Leading with disciplined action
Adam says if you want to achieve success, you must become disciplined. Be, do, have! It is increasingly valuable when using a methodology like a scrum or a structured process.
Here is a list of questions you must ask yourself:
- How do you know when it’s done? (It enables you to think about your work in a much more structured way)
- What and who do you must say ‘no’ to perform what needs to be done?
- What more can you do to achieve a sustainable outcome?
Telling a story
As a product manager, you own the narrative and have the responsibility and privilege to tell a good story about your teams’ efforts and work.
But how to do it? Listed below are some questions Adam believes will help you tell a great story:
- Who are the decision-makers (users/customers) who need to hear this?
- Where should you tell my story?
- Who should listen to it, and what must it include?
- How can you make your story more real, memorable, and impactful with facts and anecdotes?
- Who are your story’s heroes and villains?
Believe it or not, planning remains ineffective if you don’t consult the relevant people, especially those delivering it.
Adam says that including everyone (team, stakeholder, etc.) who can help deliver the plan when you make it generates the most predictable outcomes.
Consider asking the following questions:
- How often should you revise the plan? (If the product involves intricacies and complexities, it’s better to change your plan)
- How you involved your team in the planning? (communicate what you do and include everyone related in the process)
- What are your planning assumptions and ways to de-risk them?
- How do you align a product strategy?
Being open with your plans, progress, vision, and priorities will garner supporters and elicit valuable feedback.
To become radically transparent, Adam encourages you to ask questions like:
- What are others interested in about what you do?
- How can you show more information to receive valuable feedback?
- What information can you justify not publishing?
Whether you build a product or something else, Adam says if you ask questions, they will help you get to the solution you need. For a detailed interview, click on the link!
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