In this ProductTank Wellington talk, Kevin Mansfield, CPO at Nomos One, provides an iterative approach that product managers can use to build a product organisation from scratch. Watch the video to see his talk in full, or read on for an overview of his key points:
- Start with a vision
- Ruthlessly prioritise
- Structured collaboration and communication
- Great teams build great products
- Culture is a great enabler, empowering teams
Start with a vision
As a product leader, you will have experienced both good and bad environments, and you need to use that to map out your vision of your product. Working with a blank canvas can be hard, but knowing what good looks like gives you a starting point. This vision shouldn’t be too rigid either, as you need to take on the specifics of the business.
Product managers need to focus first on the development cycle; otherwise they won’t get to do anything else. In the beginning, you’ll be wearing two hats and move between leading and doing, so you’ll need to prioritise what you can achieve.
Structured collaboration and communication
As the product leader, you are the one who knows the value of alignment. No single business discipline can achieve anything without another, and the product leader must champion the product. One way to do this is by constructing a product council, where each member represents a part of the business. The purpose is to provide all the areas of the business with a forum where they can find answers.
Great teams build great products
Product managers need to hire well, so there must be a process. Focus on team-building with T-shaped personnel and have a strong interview process with a product thinking case interview and a technical interview.
Culture is a great enabler, empowering teams
Product managers need to focus on outcomes over outputs by doing things well first and then trying to do them fast later by using a fixed-length cycle with varying scope, where the aim isn’t to produce the same quantity of work per cycle but the same value.
The key takeaways from this talk are that you need to have a vision and you must ruthlessly prioritise as you can’t do all the things you need to do at once. Collaboration and communication must be put in structured recurring forms so that teams can discuss and work together. Great culture is a great enabler of conscious tactics, and coaching will likely be needed to progress and gradually build your world so that culture can spread.
Enjoy more ProductTank content
ProductTanks are informal meetups, created by Mind the Product, to bring local product people together and to enable speakers to share amazing product insights. Today we have ProductTanks in more than 200 cities across the globe and there’s probably one near you.
Learn more about ProductTank – find your local meetup, explore more ProductTank content, see the latest ProductTank news, and discover ways to get involved!