Practical Product Management for Product Owners: Creating Winning Products with the Professional Product Owner Stances

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February 2023

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Practical Product Management for Product Owners: Creating Winning Products with the Professional Product Owner Stances
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Dave West     xvii

Introduction     xxi


Part I.   The Stances of the Product Owner     1

Chapter 1. Agile Product Management     3

      Is It Product Owner or Product Manager? 3

      What Is Product Management? 4

      Working in a Product-Led, Sales-Led, or Marketing-Led Organization 6

      What Is a Product Owner? 7

      Different Types of Product Owners 9


Chapter 2. Introducing the Product Owner Stances     3

      The Misunderstood Stances of a Product Owner 17

      The Preferred Stances of a Product Owner 27


Part I Summary     35


Part II. The Customer Representative     37

Chapter 3. How to Identify and Define Product     39

      Introducing the Customer Representative 39

      What Is a Product? 43


Chapter 4. Building Customer Empathy     49

      Talking to Customers 49

      Observing Customers 49

      Effectively Dealing with Biases When Collaborating with Customers 51


Chapter 5. Capture Your Customer Insights Via Personas     55

      User Personas 55

      Creating Personas 56


Chapter 6. Identifying and Expressing Customer Value     61

      The Functional Elements of Value 63

      Emotional Elements of Value 64

      Life-Changing Elements of Value 64

      Social-Impact Element of Value 65


Chapter 7. Connecting Product Features to Outcomes and Impacts     67

      Connecting Goals, Impacts, Outcomes, and Features 68


Part II Summary     73


Part III. The Visionary     77

Chapter 8. Creating and Communicating Product Vision     79

      Introducing: The Visionary 79

      Connecting the Product Vision to the Company Mission, Vision, and Values 83

      A Product Vision Aligned with the Company Mission and Vision 87

      Elements of an Inspiring Product Vision 90


Chapter 9. Communicating the Product Vision Effectively     93

      The 3x3 Storytelling Framework 95

      The Power of Reasoning 99

      Make It SEXI 100


Chapter 10. Crafting Product Goals That Align Stakeholders and Teams     103

      What Is a Product Goal? 104

      Characteristics of Great Product Goals 106

      How to Create Product Goals 108

      Inspect and Adapt Product Goals 109

      Having Multiple Product Goals: Is That an Option? 110


Chapter 11. Creating the Right Product Roadmap for Your Audience     113

      Introduction to Product Roadmaps 113

      Types of Product Roadmaps 117

      Roadmap 1: The Goal-Oriented Roadmap 118

      Roadmap 2: The Now-Next-Later Roadmap 120

      Roadmap 3: The User Story Map 122

      Roadmap 4: The Visual Roadmap 124

      Roadmap 5: The Gantt Chart Roadmap 126

      Eleven Tips for Roadmap Creation 128


Chapter 12. Identification of Company Value and Impact     131

      Understanding Company Value and Impact 131

      Expressing Company Impact 137

      Key Value Area 1: Current Value 139

      Key Value Area 2: Unrealized Value 141

      Key Value Area 3: Time to Market 145

      Key Value Area 4: Ability to Innovate 147


Chapter 13. Maximizing Value through Effective Pricing Strategies and Tactics     151

      Introduction to Product Pricing 151

      The Product Pricing Process 153


Part III Summary     165


Part IV. The Experimenter     169

Chapter 14. Driving Inside-Out Product Innovation     171

      Introducing: The Experimenter 171

      Inside-Out Innovation Sources 175


Chapter 15. Driving Outside-In Product Innovation     183

      Outside-In Innovation Sources 183

      Market Segmentation 184


Chapter 16. Thinking Differently: Driving Business Model Innovation     189

      Market Analysis and Trends 189

      Getting Inspiration from Other Companies 191

      The Impact on Your Business 196

      The Return of the Business Model Canvas 197


Chapter 17. Selecting Product Experiments to Run     199

      The Truth Curve: Select the Right Experiments and Tests 199

      Experimentation Techniques Explained 203


Chapter 18. How to Design and Evaluate Experiments and Tests     215

      Defining Hypothesis 216

      Capture Learnings 218


Chapter 19. Approaches for Scaling Successful Products and Teams     221

      Scaling Approaches for People and Teams 221

      Typical Antipattern for Scaling People and Teams 224

      A Better Approach for Scaling People and Teams 227

      Approaches to Scaling the Product or Service 229

      Focus on the Product First, Then on People and Teams 230

      Eight Effective Strategies for Scaling a Product 232

      How Product Owners Contribute to Product Scaling 235


Part IV Summary     237


Part V.  The Decision Maker     241

Chapter 20. Improving Accountability, Maturity, and Authority     243

      Introducing: The Decision Maker 243


Chapter 21. Evaluating Your Product Decisions     255

      Product Management: A Game of Poker or Chess? 255

      Evaluating Decisions in an Honest and Transparent Way 258


Chapter 22. Make Better Decisions: Thinking in Bets     259

      The Buddy System or Decision Pod 260

      Accepting Uncertainty in Decision Making 261


Chapter 23. Navigating Product, Process, and Team Dilemmas and Decisions     263

      Making Choices 263

      Navigating Dilemmas 265


Chapter 24. Improving the Speed and Quality of Decisions     269

      The Cost of Delaying Decisions 269

      Fast Decisions Are More Successful than Slow Decisions 270

      Special Snowflake Syndrome 273

      Why You Should Probably Make Decisions Fast(er) 274

      How to Speed Up Your Decision Making 274

      Empowered Product Owners 275


Part V Summary     277


Part VI. The Collaborator     281

Chapter 25. How Agile Governance Affects Product Owners     283

      Introduction to the Collaborator 283

      Introducing Agile Governance 287

      Organizational Governance Entails Many Elements 291

      Effectively Dealing with Governance 295


Chapter 26. Product Budgeting Done in an Agile Way     297

      Three Horizons 298

      Budgeting Is Like Product Backlog Management 300

      A Strategy and Market Perspective on Budgeting 304


Chapter 27. Creating Contracts That Enable Great Product Ownership and Teamwork     309

      What Is a Contract? 310

      Who Takes the Risk? 313

      Two-Stage Contracts 314

      Joe's Bucket 316

      Money for Nothing 317

      Change for Free 318

      Elements of an Agile Contract 319


Part VI Summary     323


Part VII. The Influencer     327

Chapter 28. Stakeholder Management in Complex Environments     329

      Introducing: The Influencer 329

      Definition of Stakeholder 333

      Stakeholder Classification/Categorization 335

      Information and Insights to Gather on Stakeholders 338

      The Influence of the Stakeholder 340


Chapter 29. Tools for Stakeholder Classification and Grouping     343

      The Stakeholder Map 344

      The Stakeholder Radar 351

      Alternative Stakeholder Identification and Grouping Techniques 357


Chapter 30. Applying Stakeholder Management Strategies and Tactics in Practice     359

      Creating a Communication Strategy 359

      Tips for Improving Your Stakeholder Management in Practice 362


Chapter 31. How to Influence Stakeholders on All Levels     369

      Being a Lyrebird 369

      The Process of Communication 371

      Four Layers of Communication 374

      Building Relationships with Stakeholders 375

      Adapting Your Tune to Your Audience 382


Chapter 32. Mastering the Art of No to Optimize Value Creation for the Product     387

      What Makes Saying No So Hard? 388

      Five Steps toward Saying No Effectively 389

      The Jedi Mind Trick 392


Chapter 33. Negotiating With Stakeholders, Customers, and Users     393 

      Be a Mirror 394

      Label Emotions 395

      Getting to Yes! 396

      How to Tell If a Yes Is Real 398

      Bend Their Reality 398

      Create the Illusion of Control 400

      Guarantee Execution 400

      Bargain Hard 401

      Find the Black Swan 402 


Part VII Summary     405


Closing Summary     409


Index     413



Chris Lukassen has been active in product management for 20+ years, and co-created's Professional Scrum Product Owner - Advanced course. He currently trains product managers in Scrum, leadership, user experience, and metrics. Robbin Schuurman is a product leader, consultant, Professional Scrum Trainer, and leader of Xebia's Product Management Academy. He supports organizations in digital, agile, and product transformations; and helps product owners grow customer impact, improve agility, and shorten time-to-learn. Lukassen and Schuurman co-founded The Value Maximizers.