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Introduction to Technical Product Management for Developers

Introduction to Technical Product Management for Developers

At one time or another, every developer will be faced with having to handle some technical aspects of product management - whether it's dealing with scheduling issues, negotiating project scope, prioritizing bug fixes, or even helping to analyze the cost structure for a new feature. I'll give you some hands-on tips and tricks you can immediately put to use to help you be a more well-rounded developer and contribute to technical product management.


Joshua Silver

October 17, 2015


  1. Introduction to Technical Product Management for Developers Joshua Silver VP,

    Product Development Patientco
  2. Agenda • About me • Dev vs Product Management Mindset

    • Two Key Product Management Functions • Understand the WHY? • Summary
  3. About Me • CS degree from GA Tech • Helped

    internationalize CareerBuilder.complatform • Technical co-founder of Patientco • Fun Fact: – Travel junkie: 25 countries by the time I was 25
  4. About Patientco • Simplifies patient billing for healthcare providers •

    Bills that patients can actually understand! • Founded in 2009 in Atlanta • Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company • We’re hiring: http://www.patientcolife.com
  5. Development vs Product Management Mindset

  6. Think like a Product Manager • Increase impact • Reduce

    wasted development effort • Expand scope of influence • Enhance the product …. and much more!
  7. Development HOW should the product be built?

  8. Product Management WHAT product should be built? WHEN should it

    be built? FOR WHOM should it be built? WHY should it be be built?
  9. Dev PM HOW WHAT WHEN WHO WHY Traditional Setup

  10. Dev PM HOW WHY WHO Thinking Like a Product Manager

  11. Two Key Product Management Functions

  12. Tale of Two Developers “Can’t be done”

  13. Tale of Two Developers “Can’t be done” - - -

    “Anything is possible”
  14. Tale of Two Developers • Which developer … would you

    rather work with? … is acting in the company’s best interest?
  15. First Key Function determining SCOPE

  16. Simplify Everything by 20% • Nice-to-have VS Need-to-have • Continuous

    delivery to stakeholders with feedback required before continuing • “What would happen without … ?” • Reward building LESS - NOT more! • Hard part is figuring out which 20%
  17. ANOTHER Tale of Two Developers “Easiest First”

  18. ANOTHER Tale of Two Developers “Easiest First” - - -

    “Hardest First”
  19. ANOTHER Tale of Two Developers POLL: “Easiest First” “Hardest First”

  20. ANOTHER Tale of Two Developers Best answer: “Value First”

  21. Second Key Function determining PRIORITIZATION

  22. Plan for the Long Term, but Find Early Wins •

    Refactor vs “pile higher” • What’s likely to change in the future? – Built flexibility into that • Deliver Early, continuously • “Path complete” vs “section complete”
  23. HOW? Scope Prioritization

  24. Understand the WHY?

  25. Understand the WHY? • Good developer: – Completes ticket; meets

    requirements • Great developer – Clarifying questions and narrows scope • Outstand developer: – Understands WHY ticket is being done and makes great design decisions
  26. Understand the WHY? • Customer empathy • WHY – WHY

    – WHY – WHY – WHY • Usage Patterns • Another way?
  27. None
  28. Customer Interaction • Ethnographic Field Study – aka “Onsite visit”

    • “Day in the Life” • Sales calls • Account review Webex
  29. Actions Speak Louder • Usage DATA as a proxy •

    Customers LIE! … or just honestly don’t know • A/B Testing
  30. Summary

  31. Summary • Change development mindset: – Scope – Prioritization •

    Understand the WHY? – Customer empathy – Data driven decisions
  32. Questions? joshua.silver@patientco.com http://www.PatientcoLife.com/