Fanni Fejes shares a powerful coaching tool that is used at Founders Factory to help entrepreneurs develop a strong product mindset. They realised early that product management doesn’t scale, but that successful startups hinged on the founders developing a strong product mindset. To move from that problem statement to the desired outcome, they decided to help ingrain a product mindset via structured product coaching.
To help entrepreneurs hone their product mindset, they needed to work on both theory and practice. The toolkit includes:
- A curated reading list,
- A coaching framework,
- Product skills / knowledge self-assessments,
- Peer-based learning (regular product forums)
- Regular retrospectives
- And facilitated meetings (e.g. demos of what a product mindset “looks like”)
And while that’s an incredibly comprehensive approach, the team was still hearing the same questions over and over again.. “Are there any frameworks / tools that I should be using?”, “What are the best practices?”, “How do I know if these outputs are good / bad?”
5 Slide Product & Practice
To try and help their members make better product decisions more confidently, Fanni developed a quick & easy way to understand product management tools & frameworks. The premise is simple – an introduction to a product tool or practice, followed by a hands-on example of how to deploy it, followed by a round of feedback. The goal was simply to help participants develop confidence in what tools they should be using, and why.
Each session lasts 1 hour, involves 5-10 people, and features jut 5 slides:
- An introduction to the topic / tool
- When is it useful?
- Some tips, tricks, and gotchas
- Good / bad examples of how to use it
- An explanation of the example task.
From there, participants practice using the tool / framework on a hypothetical example (based on a real scenario), followed by presentations to the group and a round of feedback.
Overall, the results have been very successful! NPS, qualitative feedback, and tool retention are all impressively high, and they’ve even discovered that this approach can be a powerful alignment tool! Helping people develop product thinking, as well as empathy with both customers and product managers, is a great way to frame conversations and highlight potential cognitive biases and silos. Given that that’s a huge part of what product management is about, tools like this are definitely worth adding to your arsenal!