Practical Product Management for Product Owners – Creating winning products with the professional product owner stances by Chris Lukassen and Robbin Schuurman is an awesome book for product owners and provides effective behaviors, useful tools, concepts, and techniques to become great product owners.
The book is built around the six preferred stances of a product owner. It starts with an introduction of misunderstood and the preferred stances of a product owner. Stances are attitudes and behaviors that product owners display at times.
In this section you get an explanation how to identify and define a product using the 5 Ps (problem, pervasive, pay, positioning and possible), what it means to build customer empathy, and how you can capture your customer insights via personas. Identifying and expressing customer value and connecting product features to outcomes and impacts complements this section.
A great customer representative product owner does:
Value is explained by using the business to consumer value pyramid which shows four levels and elements of value: functional, emotional, life-changing, and social-impact elements.
This section brings together the creation and communication of the product vision, the product goals and underlying product roadmap as well as the company value (based on Evidence-Based Management) and maximizing it through pricing strategies and tactics.
The authors describe several techniques to help you with the product backlog refinement and give five commonly used product roadmaps including tips to create them: goal-oriented roadmap, now-next-later roadmap, user story map, visual roadmap, Gantt chart roadmap.
Here we get what it means to drive inside-out, outside-in product innovation or business model innovation. How can we design and evaluate experiments and test. And when successful what does it mean for scaling products and teams.
In total 7 experimentation techniques are explained: paper prototyping, preorder page, explanation videos, landing pages, feature fake/fake door, concierge MVP and Wizard of Oz.
Decision maker product owners are improving accountability, maturity, and authority. As a decision maker product owner, you don’t need to make all decisions. When teams are more mature, they can make more decisions. A delegation poker-based technique is a great instrument to use. Decisions to be made are product vision, product strategy, business model, value proposition, go-to market strategy, legal/compliance requirements, products to include in the product portfolio, whether to add, remove or bundle products/feature sets or services. To make better decisions you must think in bets, understand the dilemmas, and make them fast (decision latency theory as the Standish Group has published).
Product owners are affected by agile governance. It’s the collaborator product owner who does the product budgeting in an agile way and create contracts that enable great product ownership and teamwork (fixed-price, time-and-material, two-stage, Joe’s bucket, agile contracts).
Organizational governance entails many elements like risk management, product documentation, facilitation of meetings, performance coaching, quality control, capacity management, organizational culture, roles & accountabilities, business goals and objectives, release management, process interventions, change management, incident management, escalation procedures, finances & budgeting, internal auditing, external auditing, mission, vision & strategy, decision making & delegating, product management, contract & vendor management, legal standards & compliance, process management, personal coaching, product development process, go-to-market approach, customer & market research approach, and many more.
Stakeholders are key. As an influencer product owner, you are often working in a complex environment and you must classify and group (user, provider, governance, influencers) your stakeholders (e.g., using the stakeholder map, the stakeholder radar), apply the right stakeholder management strategies and tactics and influence stakeholders (eagle, peacock, penguin, owl) at all levels (message, process, relationship, emotions).
Practical product management for product owners is an awesome book for product owners and provides effective behaviors, useful tools, concepts, techniques, and many examples to become great product owners. The usage of the stance concept with visionary, collaborator, customer representative, decision maker, experimenter and influencer product owners helps to understand when to use which attitudes and behaviors. A must read for product owners.
Over Henny Portman
Henny Portman is eigenaar van Portman PM[O] Consultancy en biedt begeleiding bij het invoeren en verbeteren van project-, programma- en portfoliomanagement inclusief het opzetten en verder ontwikkelen van PMO's. Hij is auteur en blogger en publiceert regelmatig artikelen.