First, in this article, we talk about the thesis behind Product Impact 2020. After talking to a number of Product People we identified a gap. The Product Angle and Product Impact 2020 is our attempt at solving this gap.
The thesis behind Product Impact 2020
Behind Products people want to buy & use there *usually* is an exceptional cross-functional team.
When the team comes together and there is alignment – everyone knows
🥅 The objectives/ mission
💪 Their specific role and how they contribute to the mission
🔑 How to get there
Creating alignment is difficult (not impossible). For that reason, building an exceptional cross-functional team is hard. Each function has its own politics, strengths, motivations, etc.
Therefore, use your communication skills as a superpower.
Growing in silos is difficult and potentially wastes resources.
Don’t just talk product with the team.
🤯 What/how they think,
💪 What motivates them
🏋️♀️ What challenges they face
🔑 What success looks like to them.
Therefore, good relationships are important in team dynamics. People like to work with other people they trust.
Working in cross-functional teams involves a lot of work, communication, and negotiation. However, from what could see during our customer research, and competitor research phase that there are not that many resources to help Product People Communicate, Negotiate & Evangelize effectively while building trust, and confidence in Product teams.
Learning from cross-functional teams
In the product world, we all know how important customer/ user research is. However, Products are made by exceptional cross-functional teams. As Product People, we can only go so far to train other Product People.
Therefore, we believe and advocate there is an opportunity to learn from other cross-functional team members. Let’s bring other cross-functional team members viewpoints into our curriculum, training materials, and coaching sessions.
Product Impact 2020 Speakers
That’s exactly what we did. Our diverse Speakers are NOT all Product People/ Managers.
If you are interested in learning from other cross-functional team members (Marketing, Engineering, and Community, Design, etc.) then this is the event for you. (Learn more here.)Product Impact 2020 is a 1-day conference where you’ll hear from amazing speakers AND participate in interactive sessions where you’ll learn by doing! Click To Tweet
Learn by doing
One of the things we learned teaching workshops/classes for the past nine-plus years is that students want actionable learning that they can relate to in their daily lives.
While there is a place for theory only, we found that the below framework worked best for us:
- Show students the theory/ concepts etc.
- Allow the students to practice how the theory/ concepts can be applied in their daily lives
- Discuss as a group (a safe environment to allow them to make mistakes, experiment, and learn by doing with fear) what they learned, how they can apply what they learned in their daily lives, and any challenges they foresee.
What we are NOT saying ❌
To be very clear we are not saying Product People should take over and do the job of Engineering, UI/UX, CX, Design, or any other function for that matter.
Seems like other Product leaders also agree ✅
If you can’t sell (actually demo, $ on the line) or market your product (pricing, packaging, positioning, messaging), you probably don’t actually understand your user & what they need.
— Maggie Crowley (@maggiecrowley) January 24, 2020
Deep appreciation/understanding of how other depts (sales, mktg, support, eng) are differently motivated https://t.co/znawX4Cf0V
— Rich Mironov (@RichMironov) January 26, 2020
Lots of b2b product managers haven’t had to buy high ticket software
It can be hard for them to relate to the actual buying process.
— John Cutler (@johncutlefish) January 12, 2020
However, it also seems like other Product leaders disagree 🤯
Above all, this was a shock to us to see this. But hey. 🤷♂️
What we think
I think we will double down on this thesis. Maybe we are wrong, but we will continue to talk to our customers/users, run experiments, take those learnings and iterate.
Prediction/ upcoming trend:
More product events/ conferences/ workshops will include speakers from other cross-functional teams.
Simple Product people need to understand how other depts operate/motivated
— Pradip Khakhar (@pradipcloud) February 20, 2020
If you have any comments feel free to tweet ☝️.
We hope to see you at Product Impact 2020.
🙏 Check out our Product Impact 2020 FAQ.