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Transitioning from Tech to Product Management

Many product managers have a technical background, but how do you get that first gig? And once you've got the job, what special struggles do technical people have in a role that combines technical with business and customer understanding? Learn from Bruce McCarthy, a 20-year product person who has coached and mentored many technical people to become great at product management.

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Transitioning from Tech to Product Management

  1. 1. Product Management 102 How to Transition from a Technical Background Bruce McCarthy Chief Product Person, UpUp Labs
  2. 2. Questions
  3. 3. Challenges for techies Breaking into Product Management Listening to customers effectively Collaborating with other departments Working with Engineers
  4. 4. What is Product Management?
  5. 5. Why do companies hire us? Responsible for success or failure of products Get the greatest return on the investment Deliver as much value to customers as possible for the least cost Revenue and profit will follow
  6. 6. We Look for Opportunity Market Needs Value Business Technology
  7. 7. UX UX Sales Sales Eng Eng BD BD Services Services Finance Finance Marketing Marketing HR HR
  8. 8. UX UX Sales Sales Eng Eng Services Services Profitably Deliver Superior Value to Your Selected Customers Finance Finance Marketing Marketing HR HR BD BD
  9. 9. You Are The Quarterback Set product goals Set development priorities Drive consensus Define requirements Test & iterate Communicate the roadmap
  10. 10. Product Management Is NOT Project Management Program Management Scrum Master Services QA Documentation
  11. 11. Partnerships PRODUCT STRATEGY EOL Acquisitions Finance Pricing PRODUCT MARKETIN G PRODUCT MANAGEMEN T Analysts OEMs Advisory Boards Speaking
  13. 13. PRODUCT STRATEGY PRODUCT OWNER 75% Internal Agile Stories PRODUCT MARKETING TECHNICAL PM PRODUCT MANAGEMENT Internal/External Problem Statements, BUSINESS Requirements ANALYST 100% Internal Functional Specs
  14. 14. Traits I Look For Leadership Communication Skills Analytical Approach Business Sense Market Knowledge Technical Knowledge
  15. 15. Developing a New Product
  16. 16. Listening is the key
  17. 17. 5 levels of “why”
  18. 18. Vectors Customer/Technical Support Technical Sales/Sales Engineer Business Analyst Subject Matter Expert Entrepreneur Intern Volunteer projects
  19. 19. Positioning Your Experience Solving customer problems Understanding the market Driving business results Driving consensus Leading projects Gathering requirements
  20. 20. Working with Engineering Remember you are NOT part of the Engineering team Tell them “what” and “why,” but not “how”
  21. 21. I Help Product People Team coaching via UpUp Labs Tools: Reqqs - the smart roadmap tool for product people Blog: ProductPowers.com Twitter: @d8a_driven Email: bruce@reqqs.com Office Hours: sohelpful.me/brucemccarthy