Conf42 Cloud Native 2024 - Online

Leadership 2.0: Adapting to Tech-Driven Paradigms

Abstract

Embrace Leadership 2.0! Join me in exploring the crucial shift in leadership demanded by the tech revolution. Learn how to navigate the dynamic tech landscape with agility, adaptability, and a forward-thinking mindset. Elevate your leadership game for the digital age!

Summary

  • Tanvi Mishra is a senior product manager at Amazon. She explains what a product manager does to drive success. Product managers create a strategic plan or roadmap for the development of evolution of products. Stakeholder management is the key important part of actually delivering any kind of product.
  • There are essentially seven phases to product development. The first one is idea generation, followed by market research and design and planning. The final step is the launch and the post launch monitoring. The most important part is monitoring the product's performance after launch.
  • As a product manager, there are a couple of key things that you need to be very, very successful at. Clear and effective communication to articulate vision, strategy expectations, fostering collaboration across team is imperative. Embracing change and swiftly adapting and adapting existing strategies to ensure success.
  • There are three key challenges of developing and managing product lifecycles. Communication challenges can happen between multiple stakeholders. Managing conflicting priorities within the team can be complex. Embracing agile methodologies like scrum promotes iterative development. fostering a culture of innovation is crucial for sustained development.
  • As a product manager, developing teams and managing development roadmaps can be tricky. Three key challenges include business impact assessment, strategic alignment and user feedback. Amazon works on a very customer centric approach. This helps us always go back and pivot our approach whenever required.
  • Data is the coolest tool and absolutely it is a non negotiable tool for developing great products. Once the launch has been completed, there are multiple techniques for managing the product lifecycle. All of these strategies revolve around developing and evolving products post launch.

Transcript

This transcript was autogenerated. To make changes, submit a PR.
Everyone, I am thrilled to be here today to explore the captivating world of leadership 20. And this one's from a very unique vantage point, a lens of a senior product manager buckle up as we navigate the intricacies of product development and team leadership in this ever evolving tech landscape. So, a quick introduction. About me my name is Tanvi Mishra and I work as a senior product manager at Amazon. I've been working with Amazon for over almost seven years and I have worked on a range of different products from Amazon launches in Netherlands, Sweden and Poland, and now working with Amazon trade. So what does exactly a product manager do? Or how do they drive success? I think it's a combination of couple of key responsibilities, number one being strategy. Product managers are the architects of strategic initiatives. They steer the product towards alignment with business goals. They specialize in the ability to envision the future landscape, understand what the customer needs, and formulate winning strategies. The second one is vision. The product leader acts as the torch bearer of the product's long term vision. This entails not only foreseeing industry trends, but also inspiring teams to innovate and constantly create products that stand the test of time. Roadmap planning is the third one. Crafting a roadmap is the key to chartering a course through uncharted waters. Product managers create a strategic plan or roadmap for the development of evolution of products over time. This roadmap outlines enhancements, milestones, and that all of these steps are being done by the product team to aim and achieve the key metrics of any product development. Stakeholder management is the fourth and the key important part of actually delivering any kind of product. Successful product leaders recognize that any product success is a result of actually successful partnerships with diverse stakeholders. Effective communication, collaboration and negotiation skills are vital to navigate this intricate web of relationships. So what does a product development looks like? In my view, there are essentially seven phases, the first one being idea generation. At this stage, creative collaboration and identification of potential concepts are looked at. What can be an ideal solution? What does the customer want? What can we look at? And everyone comes together to identify what can be the right product. Then comes the second step, which is market research. This step is essentially an in depth analysis to validate market needs and assess competition. This is identifying different customer touch points. What are the pain points? What does a customer lack in the current experience that can be potentially implemented by the product team? The third one is conceptualization. This is defining a very, very clear and a demanded product concept, and it is supposed to be based on research insights that was done at the market research stage. Here you define minute and smaller parts of the product. For example, a product needs to be red in color because the preference of the customers was supposedly in the red and the orange phase. So this is defining deeper concept and requirements. The next one is design and planning. At this stage, you develop a comprehensive plan outlining the product features, the architecture and the development roadmap. Then comes prototyping, which is creating a preliminary version of the product for testing and validation. This can be a very initial phase of the product, can be if it's a digital product, can be in gamma phases, can be in beta phases. To identify is the prototype working fine? Is it supposed to go? Absolutely. As is in production and identifying issues with your product ahead of time. Then there is testing and refinement via the product and the prototype testing, you go back, identify, test the multiple facets that you've designed, do rigorous evaluation, identify processes to feed in the user, feedback, incorporation, and then from a forward looking roadmap, you refine the product. And then comes the final step, which is the launch and the post launch monitoring. At this stage, when you're launching, you introduce the product to the market. But the most important part is actually monitoring its performance even after launch and ensuring that this performance leads to further improvements or developing strategies to ensure success. As an organization, my topic which is leadership 2.0, what are the traits for success here? I think as a product manager, there are a couple of key things that you need to be very, very successful at. The first one is visionary thinking, the ability to anticipate the marketing trends, vision of product managers, vision of what the landscapes are going to be, and the ability to guide teams towards innovation is going to be very, very important. The second one is adaptability. Embracing change and swiftly adapting and adapting existing strategies to ensure success. In the long run, it is imperative to thrive in this dynamic tech environment. Imagine how many products have become obsolete, how many products have changed, the requirements of the customers have changed. Imagine the whole boom of technology at this age. The next one is communication. Clear and effective communication to articulate vision, strategy expectations, fostering collaboration across team is imperative. Here. The vision, the documentation cannot be just in your head. It needs to be a part of everyone's brain, everyone's collaboration. Whoever is participating in this journey, then comes the next part, which is a special one for me, which is empathy. As a product manager, if you come with empathy, understanding the customer needs and understanding what their pain points are become easier. Also, you become a winner in the team dynamics. Understanding the market nuances and driving products to resonate with users to actually develop truly a winning product becomes easier. So empathy definitely is a key. Now the challenges of developing and managing product lifecycles I think in my view there are three key challenges, the first one being communication challenges. Communication challenges can happen between multiple stakeholders because there are a lot of stakeholders in this journey. Development teams, key stakeholders like leadership, cross functional teams can be a big challenge. Then the second one is time and pressures. While everyone has the time to develop the product, we also need to balance the need for speedy development and ensuring that the quality of the product is what it is supposed to be and at the same time that the customers actually require the solution. While you can develop an amazing product ten years down the line, that the customer do they really need it? Also, the fact that you might not have the luxury of everything tech from tech investment at your luxury in your organization. So you need to balance out timeline pressures are often at crunch resource allocations, efficiency and managing resources is one of the key challenges that I go through as a product manager. Managing conflicting priorities within the team can be absolutely complex. Strategies that I use often to overcome these challenges are collaborative tools. For example, using Asana Slack confluence to bring everyone together in the team and define clear timelines, define clear ownership doing product tracking documentation on an ongoing basis becomes imperative to not just keep a track for yourself, but communicate to the stakeholders on what is happening. The second one is agile methodologies. Embracing agile methodologies like scrum promotes iterative development, adaptability and continuous improvement. Then fostering a culture of innovation, product development and product launches is not a one time thing. I think it's a culture that is important. So cultivating an environment that encourages creativity, problem solving is crucial for sustained development of not just yourself, but your team. Like any other team in Appison, what I've learned is the classic two pizza team in which there is a smaller team and these are key contributors that are absolutely required to deliver a successful product. And it is enough to share two pizzas within the team and everyone has their appetite satiated. But at the same time it is successful, timeline driven and it is also ensured to reduce any kind of bureaucracy that can potentially happen in the process. It is a very, very common concept in Amazon. Then as a product manager, developing teams and managing development roadmaps can be absolutely tricky in this case. If you see there are three key challenges that I always come across and I use key strategies to always come back and get my anchor back to my journey. I think it starts with business impact assessment often when product managers are confused as to what to look at, what to prioritize, it is necessary to evaluate whether the product and its features have the potential to drive the key goals for business. For example, it can be revenue, it can be growth, it can be any kind of custom account, it can be profits. Depending on what the business is actually aimed at, the product should deliver in line with that. The second one is strategic alignment. So ensuring that the product roadmap and the vision is aligned with the business objectives, not just for now, but in the long term. It cannot be that your product is conflicting with what the organization wants in the long run. So pivoting and adapting to the strategic vision is absolutely important. The next one is user feedback. Analysis qualifies. Incorporate any kind of user feedback to identify which features are priority zero. Absolutely. Which are non negotiable, priority one which are important but can be deprioritized, for example, in the next six to twelve months. This is imperative to balance any kind of resource utilization and at the same time ensuring maximum success. If I tell you Amazon works on a very customer centric approach and we often prioritize features, for example, which enhances user experience over a lot of times just driving profitability, for example. This helps us always go back and pivot our approach whenever required. And whenever there is a conflicting view on product development, the next one is I want to talk about is the data driven approach. I think one thing that Amazon has absolutely taught me is relying on data for 100% of decision making. As a product manager, data is the coolest tool and absolutely it is a non negotiable tool for developing great products. As a product manager, I, and for that matter, everyone uses and measures success through key metrics which are absolutely business relevant. For example, user engagement, tracking any kind of interactions that the users have had with your product, such as time spent on the app or features that were absolutely used or click through rate to gauge is the product actually relevant to the end customer? The second one can be conversion rates. For example, is the product actually resulting in any kind of conversion? Is it resulting in any kind of sale? Then a very key important one can be customer satisfaction. In this case, identifying while the customer is actually using it. Are they truly happy with the product or not? And then the fourth one being retention rate. Yes, the customer can be unhappy, but sometimes they don't leave the product. Retention rate is the key to identify what is that ticking point that the customer refuses to use your product, ideally on a standard basis. Retention shouldn't be like retention should be less than 2%, and most customers and most products should not reach to that point. But retention rate is still an imperative metric, and tracking these metrics, not just these, but any kind of business relevant metrics, are absolutely important to go back and identify if you're going on the right direction or not as a part of the product journey. Once the product lifecycle has started, it just doesn't end at launching the product and post launch. Once the launch has been completed, there are multiple techniques for managing the product lifecycle, the first one being sunsetting. It is almost like strategically retiring products that are no longer relevant or aligned with the marketing trends or even organizational goals. For example, Amazon actually discontinued Kindle Voyage, which was an e reader, in response to changing customer preferences and advancement in the Kindle technology. The second one can be pivoting. Yes, the product can be a successful product at launch, but adapting the product strategy based on market feedback or shift in the industry trend is really important. In case of Amazon, Amazon Echo actually started as a voice activated assistant, which then evolved to evolving like a complete smart home hub as a one spot, one size fits all kind of a product. The last one is continuous iteration. Implementing any kind of ongoing improvements and updates to enhance product value and competitiveness is an absolute must for long term success. For example, in case of Amazon, Amazon prime membership program keeps adding these new features, some kind of new benefits. There are always while there is a standalone app, there are for example, wine program that got launched or you as an end customer keep getting better updates on more products to try based on your purchase history. Right? All of these strategies revolve around developing and evolving products post launch as well. I have listed down some key resources which can be utilized for enhancing your knowledge. Not just knowledge, but actually skills and understanding deeper details of product management here. Thank you you so much for your time. If there are any questions, I'm absolutely available. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn. Thank you so much.
...

Tanvi Mishra

Product & Strategy Head @ Amazon

Tanvi Mishra's LinkedIn account



Awesome tech events for

Priority access to all content

Video hallway track

Community chat

Exclusive promotions and giveaways