Today, #mtpcon Digital APAC got off to an exciting start! We saw three engaging keynotes covering discovery, product development, and cybernetics, plus a plethora of interactive breakout sessions. Here’s what we learned throughout the day…
Kicking things off from Mind the product HQ in the UK meant that by 4.30 am our time we’d already caught up and chatted with people from Sri Lanka, New Zealand, the US, the UK, Dubai, Singapore, Japan, and done a little desk yoga to get in the zone. What did we learn? Coffee is key. Among other things.
Coffee and intros done and it was on to the main event!
Visualise process through The Opportunity Solution Tree framework
Product Discovery Coach Teresa Torres opened the conference with her keynote. She focused on developing a team approach to continuous discovery. “We need to make sure that our research activities are in service of driving our product outcome because our product outcome is how we’re going to create customer value in a way that also creates business,” Teresa said.
She walked the audience through The Opportunity Solution Tree framework, a simple visual she created to help teams visualise their processes as they go through discovery.
Product development is messy!
The second keynote of the day was led by Cameron Adam, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Canva. Cameron discussed the three stages of product development at a high growth technology company. “It’s a messy process that differs depending on who you are, where you are in a multitude of different contexts,” he says. There are a million ways to make a product. In his talk, he discussed the three key areas you need to solidify to develop yours.
Cybernetics should matter to us all
In the closing keynote of the day, Genevieve Bell, Director of the 3A Institute (3Ai), discussed cybernetics and why it should matter to us all. She revealed why she thinks a cybernetic approach makes sense of the world that we live in, and how it might be useful for unlocking all sorts of values.
“While it’s tempting to think about cybernetic systems as always needing to involve computing,” she said, “I’ve come to realise they don’t have come to realise they really are about this interplay between the technical, the ecological, and the human.”
Understand your stakeholders’ point of view
Throughout the day, attendees joined breakout speaker sessions between the keynotes. These ranged from topics from creating engaging storytelling to being a rebel in product…
First up, Product Leadership Consultant Rich Mironov explained that, as product managers, we’re always going to be faced with various stakeholder requests. There isn’t just one single metric that measures all possible choices.
“We as product folks have to understand and appreciate each of these groups’ points of view. However, we don’t necessarily have to agree to do it right so we love them but we don’t necessarily say yes.”
When it comes to customer feedback, variety is key!
UX Researcher Anna Lee Anda, User Researcher at Zendesk Singapore, explained how incredibly important it is to conduct the right amount of research while remote. In her session, she showcased the critical methods needed to create and provide the right insights.
Anna explained how a variety of customer feedback is key. “You don’t just want your loudest customers. You want the quiet ones who may also have something important to say,” she says. Additionally, a mix of old and new customers can provide a balanced consumption of research.
“Everyone has a job to do, think about the different dynamics and look for the right reactions.” Show them a whiteboard, keep things interactive, and ensure that participants feel engaged and empowered to contribute.
Being Agile is made easier with the right tools
In this sponsored Lucidspark session, senior solution engineer Emily Keator covered what it looks like to be a UX designer at an agile product organisation. Through the eyes of a UX designer named Anna, Emily showed our audience how a team can use a tool like Lucidspark.
One of the key features of using Lucidspark is the ability to create breakout boards. This can be executed before or during a session. While in the breakout sessions, you’re able to use the collaborative tools available.
Storytelling — use it to inspire, invite, and engage
Why bother with storytelling? In her interactive session, Yamini Naidu, author of Supercharge Results with Storytelling explained that it inspires, invites, and engages. “It helps stakeholders and customers to engage with the product as it brings a product or service to life,” she said.
She additionally explained the need for people to see a combination of data and narrative. “People need to see data, but it isn’t enough. If you have great data with a story then this is the most effective way to connect and engage,” Yamini said that for product teams to connect and engage people with storytelling, they must always look to tell stories with a purpose and a result in mind.
Product Discovery — it’s the secret sauce of great Agile
Product Leadership Consultant Anthony Marter provided some insights into agile teams in his breakout session. Throughout the talk, he discussed the secrets to high performing and engaged teams.
He explained that the best and most effective teams are highly motivated. This motivation comes from a sense of purpose, autonomy, and a sense of mastery.
Your journey as a product manager is your journey – own it
Head of Product at Gnobe, Colin Pal, shared his journey as a product manager and gave us some tips that he learned along the way. He explained that not everyone can or wants to be a rockstar. Understand the different types of product managers. Learn to work with them and help them succeed. “I value heart and grit over talent and skill”.
When you start believing the product management hype, you’ll learn the hard way. Colin says he did when he was at the top of his game. When push comes to shove, he said, “no one is indispensable”.
There’s more to come tomorrow!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for day one and to our wonderful crew and sponsors for all of their support. More to come tomorrow! Find out what at mindtheproduct.com/digital/apac and, if you’re a Mind the Product member, you’ll be able to access all of the incredible keynote talk and session videos this coming Friday (16th April) on your membership dashboard.
Not yet a member? Join today! Got membership with your #mtpcon Digital ticket? Activate your account today — instructions on how to access your new membership (if included with your event ticket) can be found in any email you receive about the event.