A Better Shipyard – Joff Redfern on The Product Experience "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs April 04 2019 True Agile Development, Lean, product leadership, product management, product management career, Product Management Skills, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 581 Joff Redfern Product Management 2.324

A Better Shipyard – Joff Redfern on The Product Experience


Joff RedfernFew people have more experience in leading product teams than Joff Redfern. Now the VP of Product at Atlassian, he’s held similar roles at LinkedIn, Yahoo!, and Fidelity Investments. Joff’s team at Atlassian creates the products that many of us use to manage our own product and development processes; he’s got a unique viewpoint on the state of product management. He joined us to talk about keeping an open mind, and how he uses the metaphor for building a better shipyard to create great product teams.

Quotes of the Episode

I’ve been doing product management long enough that I remember when Waterfall was the best practice… when lean [and] the Agile Manifesto came out, that was a moment where I had to step back and say no, [Waterfall] has its downside; it’s disconnected with the customer…

Another retooling was learning to work with a tremendous amount of data, cohort data, A/B testing. Throughout my career, I’ve had these periods where I’m trying to learn something new, essentially unlearn what I’d learned in the past, relearn this new methodology – it just makes it so much fun.

The four attributes we look for [in hiring]: someone who leads and inspires, someone who is seeking out product mastery, drives outcomes, and is a great communicator.

Listen if you’d like to learn more about

  • How to hire a great team
  • Setting up a growth architecture for your people
  • The history of Product
  • How to set up your team for success
  • Maintaining a continuous learning mindset
  • Loving – and hating – Jira and Confluence

Links mentioned in this episode

  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink – US / UK / DE 
  • The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, by Frederick P Brooks, Jr. – US / UK / DE
  • Follow Joff on Twitter


The Product Experience is hosted by Lily Smith and Randy Silver.

Lily enjoys working as a consultant product manager with early stage and growing startups and as a mentor to other product managers. Lily has spent 13 years in the tech industry working mainly with startups in the SaaS and mobile space. She has worked on a diverse range of products – leading the product teams through discovery, prototyping, testing and delivery. Lily also founded ProductTank in Bristol, the Product Managers’ meetup with regular events and talks on Product now with 800+ members and growing. This year Lily will be launching ProductCamp in Bristol and she joins the MTP team as co-host of The Product Experience podcast.

A recovering music journalist and editor, Randy has been working as an interactive producer and product manager across the US and UK for nearly 20 years. After launching Amazon’s music stores in the US and UK, Randy has worked with museums and arts groups, online education, media & entertainment, retail and financial services. He’s held Head of Product roles at HSBC and Sainsbury’s, where he also directed their 100+-person product community. He’s also spoken at Mind the Product Engage (Hamburg), at a number of ProductTanks (London, Zurich, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford,  & Brighton… so far!) and at conferences across the US and Europe.

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Our theme music is from Hamburg-based Pau, featuring ProductTank Hamburg’s own Arne Kittler on bass. Listen to more on their Facebook page

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