One Year To Product Management.

Communication

Summary: If you don’t communicate , you are letting your people down. The role of a product management is to communicate. The SCR ( with the five elements ; situation , problem, root cause, impact and resolution) is a framework used to drive actions. Executives typically care about increasing revenue, decreasing cost and decreasing risks incorporate this into your resolution. To avoid problems in planning – Leverage the W Framework which defines who should be involved, when they should be involved and what they should do. Good planning starts with top down planning. Remember in strategy- scoring one big hit is more important than trying to achieve multiple goals.

Given the fact that we can’t stop communication – then we must embrace it – Andrew Bosworth

Communication is the job: Engineers code, designers design and product managers communicate.

Everyone is communicating and the art of not communicating is in fact a form of communication. People are curious and interested in the world around them. They will fill the gap if you do not contribute towards.

There are eight communication tactics that Bosworth recommends. Layer your message so that people can take what they want from the communication. Consider the second order communication – what are the nuggets that people can share with others who may not be at that meeting. The aim is for you message to have high fidelity which can be achieved by leveraging memorable expressions. Communicate defensivly- consider what is the most cynical interpretation of the the message. Consider all attendees of your meeting and refine your message so that it isn’t picked up the wrong way. Repetition is king. Keep tying back to your original point. This is an insight that advertisers have know for years! Use multiple channels – people pick up information in different ways. Utilise different mediums to make sure your message catches fire! Keep the lines of communications open – Whether that is the all hands, meetings or regular emails comms that have to be sent out. You want to keep these lines of communication open and regular. Side note: Jason Speros does an excellent job at keeping lines of communication open through his Monday Newsletter which has everything you need to know about the product. Communicate early and often people prefer to hear what is happening as opposed to be surprised by progress. Fight the inclination to wait until you have something to announce.

Telling stories like a McKinsey Consultant : The SCR framework distilled the principles of story telling down in order to communicate insights to the business. From the period of stability, to the development of a problem, understanding the problem, dealing with the root cause, addressing the root cause and then addressing it.

There are a couple of definitions to kick off. Situation is the current context that we are aware of and that we can accept. Complexity is the reason why the situation is addressed and resolution the action required to resolve the problem or address the opportunity.

Framing the problem: can be achieved by playing around with the following different elements; situation, problem, root cause, impact of not addressing and the implication. For example; the majority of our clients are leveraging automation, however the cost of acquisition is significantly higher than the life time value of our customers, the reason for this is the majority of advertisers are not utilising first party data to optimise their results . The way we can address this is to leverage offline conversion tracking and optimise to wards true business value.

S= 1 = The stable era. C = 2 + 3 + 4 = The discovery of a major problem, the identification of the root causes, and the projected impact should the root causes not be addressed. R = 5 = The plan to solve the problem by addressing the root causes.

For most executives, success is some combination of (i) increasing revenue (ii) lowering cost (iii) reducing risk (iv) reducing effort. Though you may only present one resolution (which may have multiple phases), strive to discover it by first enumerating than prioritizing a set of mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive (MECE) ways of solving the problem. strong resolution includes (a) what need to be done (b) how it will be done (c) when it will be done, and (d) by whom it will be done. Moreover, the resolution should include concrete milestones by which progress & success will be measured. Finally, the resolution should include side-benefits and expected consequences (with containment plans were applicable).

Nothing is more certain to cause a project to fail than a misunderstanding of the problem you are solving – Lenny Rachitsky

Luckily this can be solved in three easy steps ; 1). crystallise the problem statement, 2). Align with stakeholders on what the problem statement is and 3). Continue coming back to that problem statement.

In order to crystallise the problem statement you need to be able to describe the problem, understand what you are solving for, how do you know whether this is the right problem to solve for, how do we know that we have solve this problem and who are we building this solution for?

Useful framework for defining the problem with a story: I am X . I am trying to Y. But Z because Z0 which makes me feel W.

You can’t expect the organization to “just know” how to pull together a quarterly plan. Working without an agreed-upon framework can often be a recipe for disaster. – Lenny Rachitsky.

Introducing the “W Framework”, which aligns to the who, what and when. For example, who should have a say in the plan, and when? What exactly does each stakeholder need to deliver, and to whom? Who sets the timelines? Who holds everyone accountable? And who makes the final call? These questions are too often left unanswered, which leads to chaos and disappointment during the planning process. The who will consistent of the executive leadership team and individual teams. Ideally this will be a combined effort between the people in charge and the people actually doing the work.

The framework consists of fours steps; 1.) Leadership team shares a high level strategy with the team. 2.) Teams respond with proposed plans 3.)Leadership integrated this into the plans and 4.) Teams make final tweaks and get buy in on the plan.

A good company strategy at this stage gives a succinct overview of what Leadership believes is the path to winning.

Teams need to know what investments need to be made now, in order to set the company up for success down the road. They need to know where the biggest risks to the business lie. Leadership has the best understanding of these things, and as planning kicks off, must ensure that this context is communicated.

The five elements of a strategic documents; mission, vision, goal, strategy and strategic pillars. Mission is what you are trying to achieve, vision is what it looks like when you achieve it, goal is how you concretely know you have achieved it, strategy – what is the path to achieving this? Strategic pillar – three to five bets that you make towards achieving your goals. Remember in strategy- scoring one big hit is more important than trying to achieve multiple goals.

DHM Model as a way to build product strategy: What d

Actions:

Decide on what you need to communicate. Leverage the SCR framework ( including the five elements – situation, problem, root cause, impact and resolution). Join Toastmasters. Purchase Strategic Presentation Document. Decide on what your one breakout hit is going to be.

DHM Model: How does your product delight, what