From Developer to Product Manager: The Hard Parts

From Developer to Product Manager: The Hard Parts

I have been working as a front-end developer for ten years. In 2018 I changed my role after spending a few years working closely with product managers. It was something I liked and was already exploring back then. In these slides I share the main three problems I struggled with during the transition.

This was presented on March 31 at a Codemotion Webinar.

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Fernando Agüero

March 31, 2020
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Transcript

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    A podcast where we look at how tech companies work

    from the inside. inprogressshow.com
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    Tactical Strategical Tactical Types of work done Operational Short-term activities

    like: - Scoping work - Crunching data to decide what to build next - Work with developers and designers
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    Operational Connecting strategy and tactical work: - Roadmaps - Aligning

    teams Strategical Tactical Operational Types of work done
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    Strategical - Positioning the product and the company. - Planning

    long-term. Strategical Tactical Operational Types of work done
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    The Waiter The most common type of PM CEO requests

    Sales requests Marketing requests Customer requests
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    Associate PM 50% Strategic - 50% Operational The Career Path

    PM Senior PM Director of product Manage people VP of product CPO Chair in directive board Product line First level of people management
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    • You main job is to explore, define and communicate

    why you should build it. Owning the why • You main job is not to tell your team what to build.
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    • Our brains love to think in terms of solutions.

    Focusing on the problems • When someone is talking about the problem using solutions, your job is to get to the root of the problem.
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    Focusing on the problems Problem exploration User research Understanding the

    context around a problem to form a better solution to solve it
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    Focusing on the problems Solution exploration Problem exploration User research

    User testing Understanding the context around a problem to form a better solution to solve it • MVP = learn • Showing a prototype • Running experiments
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    Solution exploration Problem exploration User research User testing Understanding the

    context around a problem to form a better solution to solve it • MVP = learn • Showing a prototype • Running experiments WARNING Focusing on the problems
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    Solution exploration Problem exploration User research User testing Understanding the

    context around a problem to form a better solution to solve it • MVP = learn • Showing a prototype • Running experiments JUST GUESSING Focusing on the problems
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    Communicating the why There is not better way to understand

    the problem that to see the user frustration it with your own eyes
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    Communicating the why Invite the rest of your team to

    your sessions and calls with customers
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    Once we understand the why, we need to connect it

    with the what Communicating the why
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    Story mapping consists of ordering user stories along two independent

    dimensions: activities and implementation Communicating the why
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    Try story mapping with your team when designing a complex

    feature or flow Communicating the why
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    Are we using our time the best as we can?

    3. DECIDING WHAT TO BUILD
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    • There are frameworks we can use to decide what

    to build: benefits mapping, Kano model, etc. Deciding what to build • We need to be aware of doing only components optimization.
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    Deciding what to build Features Strategy A strategy is on

    top of features, it’s focused on goals and vision Feat. 1 Feat. 2 Feat. 3 Feat. N
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    Deciding what to build Features Strategy A strategy is on

    top of features, it’s focused on goals and vision Feat. 1 Feat. 2 Feat. 3 Feat. N Feat. X Nice to have Feat. Y Just a small thing ®
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