2015 Schedule

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Tuesday, Sep 29
12:00pm — 1:30pm
477 attending

The Future of Product Management

Current State of Lean

  • Empathize with customers
  • Understand the risks
  • Figure out which risks are the most detrimental to the business
  • Devise experiments to validate your risk-reducing solutions

Current State of Product Management

  • Keep things moving
  • Plan Epics
  • Write Stories
  • Accept/Reject stories
  • Data Geekery
  • PM's are known as the glue, the pace setter, the pragmatist, and the decider

Future of Product Management

  • Wearables, fashion, devices
  • 12 year olds look at the world and presume nothing is impossible
  • Mobile first
  • Multipart products and services (phone, body, web, in-store all have different experiences)
  • Complex supply chains (e.g. a just-in-time clothing manufacturer based on facebook likes)
  • New constraints based on the physical world


  • Tie Society: re-intermediation. Inventory personally curated for you by a stylist. Fullfilment is about pick and pack to someone you've never met
  • Service design will lead us into the next decade
  • There are many steps in the customer journey
  • How do we create a cohesive experience around very complicated purchase decisions?
  • Quirky: community management. At what price is this product too cheap or low quality? What's it like to negotiate store placement of a Quirky product at Target?
  • Lollywolly Doodle - Children's clothing company that adds 20 new garments to their Facebook page. The ones that get the most likes get added to their permanent inventory. You can buy via the comments section of Facebook.

Agile is a beautiful thing

  • Organizing the backlog is not the future of Product Management

Leveling Up

  • Kent Beck taught us in Extreme Programming that:
  • Courage to speak truths pleasant or unpleasant fosters communication and trust
  • Courage to discard failing solutions and seek new ones encourages simplicity
  • Courage to seek real concrete answers creates feedback
  • These are the challenges PMs face
  • This is effectively the Lean Manifesto


  • Not ownership
  • You're not a dictator; you're a facilitator

Differential diagnosis

  • What are all the symptoms
  • Is there an intersection of symptoms?
  • What scenarios caused this intersection of symptoms?
  • This is NOT process implementation
  • The process serves the goal
  • The PM does not serve the process

Group Facilitation

  • Not Heroism
  • PM's don't go into a corner and come back with a decision.
  • They should be the glue
  • They should get the right minds in a room and extract value
  • They should get the right minds in a room and come to an agreement
  • It's not consensus or democracy
  • It's an agreement for the purpose of moving forward
  • Sometimes a PM has to make the call
  • They make the call in service to the team, not because they're the hero

Experienced Makers

  • Not just MBAs
  • You need to have lived it so you can improvise when you need to


  • Not Dogmatic
  • Have philosophical conversations about why we are here and what we are doing as a team

Whole business

  • Not point solutions
  • Be able to telescope
  • MVP of a wedding cake is a delicious, beautiful cupcake
  • Be able to articulate why we are doing what we are doing

Everyone is faking it

  • CEOs don't know 90% of what they need to
  • Lean on tools like Lean Canvas et all to remind us what we should be thinking of