5 Hot Tips From Product People

5 Hot Tips From Product People

In September last year, we launched our new video series, A Few Minutes With. This series is all about us interviewing various leaders from across the product and technology space.

Building product teams means that we are embedded at the centre of this community, so we get some really valuable knowledge and insight, which we wanted to share with you guys.

Across the first five episodes we explored a vast range of topics with some of the UK’s top product people, all with different skill-sets which we hope will inspire and educate our audience.

So with the next season underway, we thought we could share some of our favourite topics and tips from last year… Enjoy!

1. Defining KPI’s

RAGS VADALI,

Chief Product Officer at 4th Office

You want to have one primary KPI and focus everybody’s attention on that one, and from there, you can derive a bunch of secondary KPI’s.

For instance for the current lifecycle of our product we have a few hundred active users and we are in a beta kind of situation, so the most important thing for us is usage. So our primary KPI is therefore the number of active users.

Everything else we do, whether it be good or bad, doesn’t matter if our active user base is not growing. If it’s not growing fast, then we have a problem.

The way to define what is the most important KPI is to look at the 5 – 10 things you want to measure and say “which is the one that you absolutely need be nailing”? 

About Rags

Rags started his career as an engineer in the US for EMC before moving to a Product role at Google in London.

Since then, Rags has worked as VP Product for the likes of Layar in Amsterdam and Skimlinks before joining 4th Office as the CPO and leading a team to build an awesome new email client.

2. How To Build A Roadmap

MEGAN CAYWOOD

MEGAN CAYWOOD,

Chief Platform Officer at Starling Bank

(Watch full interview HERE)

It really depends on the type of product you’re building, pr the type of company you’re building. If you’re building something that’s consumer centric versus business centric your processes will be different.

But ultimately what you’re trying to do is understand the user journey for your product, and the unique problems that customers have when using, and then figure out how to differentiate within that.

Then you’re going to spend a period of your time really understanding those problems, and figuring out how you’ll solve them, and then break that down into what you’re going to prioritise.

Once you clearly understand the problem and clearly understand how to solve it, then you can figure out the priorities that you need to work on, and you need to figure out the date at which you need to execute that by, because you often have dates that will affect your product roadmap.

3. Evolving Products To Meet Changing Market Needs

As the market and technology changes, you need to evaluate your product and how you can disrupt your product and services to keep pace with the change.

What we saw back with the move to digital is that a lot of companies were afraid to move it online, because it changed their existing business model, which would disrupt their current revenue stream.

What you need to do is be willing to understand how is this technology and innovation changing the product that you’re offering and not be afraid to disrupt your current revenue streams by building out a product that challenges that.

About Megan

Megan is currently the Chief Platform Officer at Starling Bank, one of the hottest start-ups in London and a leading challenger bank.

Her current focus is on the API strategy and Marketplace platform. Previous to that she was at Xero in San Francisco and Intuit who are featured in the Lean Start-Up book.

4. Prioritising Where To Invest

MAHESH RAMACHANDRA

MAHESH RAMACHANDRA,

Chief Product Officer at Azoomee

(Watch full interview HERE)

At the point where a startup starts to scale, the key investment is going to really be in people more than anything else.

This is the point where you may have the funds and the proof in your product & business where you can attract real talent into your organisation.

Whether that’s to bring in specialists, or whether it’s to fill out the ranks of developers, designers or product managers who are really going to bring quality into the delivery of product as you scale up to larger and larger audiences.

About Mahesh

Mahesh is a digital pioneer who has created multi-platform entertainment products in enterprises of all sizes. The products in his portfolio have regularly been listed in the Top 10 Grossing apps and have won several awards.

5. Process And Methodologies

Adam Warburton

ADAM WARBURTON,

Head of Product at Travelex

(Watch full interview HERE)

At Travelex a method we try and follow is Jobs To Be Done. Although an organisation shouldn’t have a singular process that it follows for product.

Ultimately you’ll have various products serving different customers, and with different teams building those products that means a singular way of building isn’t going to be fit for purpose.

You’re going to end up running projects that will struggle because of processes you put in place at an overarching level that aren’t ideal for the product.

So while we do follow Jobs To Be Done, not every product has to follow this or do it exactly to the book, however we take principles from methodologies like Jobs To Be Done and apply them in the best way possible that makes sense for the product we’re working on.

About Adam

Adam’s fascination with technology led him down the career path of Product Management with a particularly focus on Mobile.

His ability to get inside the customer’s head and always challenge the status quo asking ‘why do we do, what we do, in the way that we do it’ has made him an exceptionally strong Product Manager.

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Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you’re the first to see when we launch season 2 of A Few Minutes With next week.

If you or someone you know would be interested in featuring in the next round of filming then feel free to get in touch and tell me about yourself, your experience and what you would be interested in sharing with the community.

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