Inspired (notes) Marty Cagan

Beyond Agile/Lean

  • Risks are tackled up front, rather than at the end.
Value riskWhether customers will buy it
Usability riskWhether users can figure out how to use it
Feasibility riskWhether our engineers can build what we need with the time, skills, and technology we have
Business viability riskWhether this solution also works for the various aspects of our business
  • Products are defined and designed collaboratively, rather than sequentially.
  • It’s all about solving problems, not implementing features

Key Concepts

Continuous Discovery and Delivery

  1.  Will the user buy this (or choose to use it)?
  2.  Can the user figure out how to use this?
  3.  Can our engineers build this?
  4.  Can our stakeholders support this?

Product vision and MVP

The MVP should be a prototype, not a Product

The PM Key Responsibilities

  • Deep Knowledge of the Customer
  • Deep Knowledge of the Data
  • Deep Knowledge of Your Business
  • Deep Knowledge of Your Market and Industry

Interaction with Product Designers

  1. Do whatever you need to do to have your designer sit next to you
  2. Include your designer from the very inception of every idea
  3. Include your designer in as many customer and user interactions as possible. Learn about the users and customers together.
  4. Fight your temptation to provide your designer with your own design ideas. Give your designer as much room as possible to solve the design challenges him or herself
  5. Encourage your designer to iterate early and often. The best way you can encourage this is to not get all nitpicky about design details with the very early iterations. More generally, encourage your designer to feel free not to just iterate on the particular design approach but to explore alternative solutions to the problem.

The Engineers

Engage with your devs each day.

  • Solicit their ideas and input for the items you’re working on in the discovery
  • Talk about items they are working on and if there are any questions around them

Involve the engineers in the customer pains you are trying to solve and the business problems you face

Product Marketing Managers

Product Marketing should play an essential role in

  • Discovery
  • Delivery
  • go-to-market

Modern product marketing managers represent the market to the product team. The positioning, the messaging, and a winning go-to-market plan.

PMM are deeply engaged with the sales channels and know their capabilities, limitations, and current competitive issues.

The role of Leadership

The goal as a PM leader is to get a holistic view of product. One of the big challenges of growth is knowing how the whole product hangs together. Some people lite to think of a holistic view as connecting the dots between the teams.

The 3 Key roles are:

  • Leader of Product Management
  • Leader of Product Design
  • Leader of Technology Organization

The head of Product  Role


  • Team development
  • Product vision
  • execution
  • product culture

The head of Technology Role

Six major responsibilities:

  • Organization
  • Leadership
  • Delivery
  • Architecture
  • Discovery
  • Evangelism

The Delivery Manager Role

Are typically also the scrum masters of the team

Might have a title of project manager

Important role if you have >5 product teams

Principals of Structuring Product Teams

Core principals:

  • Alignment with investment strategy
    • ( You need to have an investment strategy, and your team structure should be a reflection of that.
  • Minimize Dependencies
    • A big goal is to minimize dependencies as it helps teams to move faster and more autonomous.
    • Track down dependencies continuously and ask yourself how they can be reduced
  • Ownership and Autonomy



Objectives (Why, What) need to be

  • Significant
  • Concrete
  • Action-Oriented
  • Inspirational

Key Results

  • Specific & time bound
  • Aggressive yet realistic
  • Measurable & Verifiable