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Product of Theseus - NIDC2020

Product of Theseus - NIDC2020

Presentation for NI Developer Conference 2020.

Do you need to create a clear vision of why your product exists and where it’s going, grounded in the reality of what it does, why, and for what audience? If you’re building products - you’ll find this talk helpful.

Ship of Theseus is a thought experiment about a boat that leaves on a journey and during that voyage, it’s continually mended. When it arrives as its destination, every part has been replaced. This results in a philosophical question: Is it still the same boat?


October 10, 2020

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  1. The Product of Theseus Heather McNamee - 
 Open Strategy

    Partners NI Developer Conference 2020
  2. How do you express… the value of your product in

    a way that is grounded in evidence to help users be successful?
  3. Scary things I’ve seen • Surprised by their own users!

    BOO! • Sales selling things that don’t event exist. Ghosts! • Painful workarounds that break in new versions. • Features that don’t even get used. • Losing to competition who are better at communication. • No one even knowing what a product actually does, for whom, and why.
  4. What even is a boat? Displace water ✅ An oar

    or a sail! A rudder or a keel! Can propel ✅ Control direction ✅
  5. With each feature, someone had to decide…. Does this feature

    belong in this product? Who is it for? What are they doing with it? And why?
  6. How do you make decisions about product direction? How do

    you express this to stakeholders, decision makers and users?
  7. Value Map Target Audience Trust & Vibrancy Signals Buyer’s Journey

    Editorial Plan Channels & Asset Plan Strategic Narrative Personas OSP Strategic Framework
  8. Living documentation containing an inventory of all features and benefits

    of a product, expressed as value statements. Value Map - What it is.
  9. Clarify, build consensus, enhance understanding: • what our product IS

    and • what it DOES and • what VALUE it delivers • … in a series of value statements. Value Map - What it does.
  10. • Living documentation and • Single source of truth of

    product and service features, using • Agreed-upon language for all stakeholders. Value Map - Value it Delivers.
  11. • Feature - Atomic unit of functionality or attribute. •

    Activity - How you apply the feature in a workflow or process. • Benefit - The positive result of applying a feature. = Value Statement Anatomy of a Value Statement Value Statement Benefit Activity Feature
  12. • Clear vision of the components = clear positioning of

    the platform. • The positioning statement articulates the fundamental essence of value statements that comprise a product. Positioning Statement Product Positioning Statement Value Statement Feature Area/Activity Benefit Value Statement Value Statement Value Statement
  13. Results from qualitative survey of users in the developer persona.

    • “We develop our Most Products with Symfony. Now we want a CMS with Symfony.” • “Sulu is a Symfony bundle without blocking access to Symfony. So there is great Symfony integration.” • “Symfony Full Stack, use our own business logic.” Case example: Sulu - full-stack Symfony CMS • “innovative backend”
 • “Beautiful backend for content managers.” • “Intuitive modern admin UI yet powerful developer experience.” • “very nice structured admin. good UX/UI” • “The enormous flexibility, lightning-fast support, simplicity of usage for content managers” • "How easy it is to setup a simple website and keep focus on custom development instead of template development” • “Easy extensibility using custom entities”
  14. The Value Map Workflow 7. Get to work! (VM is

    always WIP) 1: Industry Research 2. M arket-Level C ues 3: W orkshops / Interview s 4: Value M ap M odelling 5. Value M ap Drafting 6. Feedback & Iterate
  15. Examples of value statements Value Statement Benefit Activity Feature Sulu’s

    innovative, beautiful backend provides a modern admin UI to simplify your app’s user experience. good user experience build your app with Sulu Flexibility to extend your own custom entities and business logic to seamlessly integrate with Symfony applications. seamless integration integrate with Symfony applications custom entities modern admin UI
  16. Sulu’s Guides • Show newcomers how to be successful. •

    Content for mixed audiences (decision making unit). • Employ the language of the users. • Learn from the experiences of other happy users. https://sulu.io/guides Examples of using it in content strategy
  17. Authentic Communication: Compelling & Accurate Empathy Clarity Trust The Value

    Map helps create accurate content, with clear and consistent language. Authentic Communication
  18. What do you consider part of your product? The CLI,

    the UI, Docs, Services, Support, Marketing…
  19. How do I find this out? Where is this information?

    • In the product? • In a feature list? • The documentation? • In a series of shared (very long) internal process docs that Jill used to maintain, but she moved to another team. And just no one knows anymore.