Today at #mtpcon London+EMEA — thanks to several engaging sessions and interactive talks — we learned a lot (unfortunately too much to fit into this post). If you’re a Mind the Product member you can catch up with all the action next week (see you dashboard for updates) but for now, we’re sharing a few inspiring insights as day one comes to a close.
It’s all about the outcome
In the opening keynote of the day, Georgie Smallwood, Chief Product Officer and Founder at Auxilia taught us a lesson on product outcomes. We learned that outcome shouldn’t be revenue or feature-focused, it should be an overarching goal that benefits our users.
Organisations need the right purpose and strategy to reach their outcomes and, Georgie explained, these outcomes are all about impact. “That’s why we’re in product, to deliver value,” she said. “If there’s no impact in your product then you’re going nowhere,” it doesn’t matter how you get to that outcome, find the things that work for you — the products we make are all about the impact that they create.
Lead in the right way to build product growth
In one of the three first breakout sessions of the day, Toulope Ayeni, explained that product managers often aren’t managed correctly to help them develop. She offered some tips on how we can learn and grow as product managers.
- Hire for skills and diversity — these are imperative to find the right people to manage product managers.
- Grow by developing your team. Use the team skills spectrum to scale and develop. Stay connected with your team and have one-to-one conversations with them to have a regular understanding of team progress.
- Lead in the right way. Don’t command and control, micro-manage, and don’t always be the one to provide the answers. It’s important for leaders to listen and give teams the autonomy to suggest new feature ideas. Following these steps will excel your teams’ growth.
Cross-collaborative roadmapping reduces Zoom fatigue
In her session, Agata Bugaj explained how product managers who deal with countless zoom meetings and endless to-do lists aren’t creating a sustainable or effective work pattern for themselves. She talks us through a framework that enables teams to have separate roles while committing to the same goals.
The monthly roadmap ensures that everyone is on the same page and creates an effective way to provide feedback. Using the framework drastically reduces the number of meetings to address ongoing issues — it aligns all teams by simplifying the lines of communication.
When you’re working cross-functionally, it’s important for everyone to have the right data. Having this information enables teams to act on these insights and portray this to all team members.
Share team capabilities through times of uncertainty
All product managers in recent times have dealt with heaps of uncertainty. In this breakout session, Randy Silver taught us to utilise dragon mapping to deal with uncertainty and to work together as a team to deal with uncertain change.
We also learned that teams have shared capabilities. The key, he told us, is to think about how you take care of them and for that, he said, team onboarding can be super important. Randy’s advice? Borrow ideas from others to find the best strategies and tools at your disposal.
Don’t convince your customers, inspire them through storytelling
In her interactive breakout session, Petra explained how to tell a good story. If you’re able to tell good stories, she told us, it builds trust, makes others laugh, and provides a desire for your product. Petra reassured us that everyone has the ability to tell a story well, offering tips and even a simple framework to use as a guide.
We learned how every story has a beginning, middle, and end, and to create a path of a hero’s journey, better-enabling people to understand the vision of your product. Focus on who you want to involve in your story, your users, or your team she told us, present the problem and explain how your product has the answer to it.
The moral of Petra’s story? Don’t convince your customers, inspire them!
Don’t mistake your process for your product
Jeff Patton, author of User Story Mapping led the closing keynote to cap off a great first day at #mtpcon London+EMEA. He discussed how to create an effective mindset in product design and development.
Viewers of the closing session enjoyed a real-time example where Jeff jotted down his ideas in a scenario and explained the thought process behind product thinking. We learned that the business is not our customer and that we must not mistake our process for our product.
The minute you start giving people things to build without saying why, you start failing with product thinking, he said.
Jeff explained that if you’re in a business where you’re working like a service provider, you should instead aim to provide more for your customers. “Become an expert reframer,” he said. “People are going to ask for new features all the time. Your job is to create those into problems-to-solve or outcomes-to-achieve.”
Go to where people use your products and get them to teach you how they use them. Your customers will appreciate you doing this and will love to communicate with you directly.
Day one done
Closing day one, our very own Martin Eriksson wrapped up the amazing experience from live backstage at the Barbican — the venue for day two! After a year of such uncertainty, it was amazing to see our team back, in real life, at the Barbican in London, at what to us is our home of product!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for day one and to our wonderful crew and sponsors for all of their support!
We’ll be back tomorrow with even more insights from the in-person portion of our first hybrid #mtpcon. Find out what at mindtheproduct.com/london and, if you’re a Mind the Product member, you’ll be able to access all of the incredible keynote talk and session videos on your membership dashboard from Monday 25 October.
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.
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