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Week 2 takaways

Watch Alex Cowan as he reviews the techniques discussed this week to build stronger, durable products with a tight focus.
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You’ve learned some really practical ways to build stronger, durable products with a nice, tight focus. Let’s review a few things. We looked at the kind of product manager you might be. And one thing you might want to think about is, where are you now on this spectrum and is that different than where you want to go? And if so, what might be the next steps to help yourself moving to the direction that you want to go? We learned about how to apply seven key methods. Regarding agile, I would think about, where you can go and particularly how you can bring in stronger inputs to your team and the difference to that might make. We talked about design thinking.
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Go out and try interviewing a couple of customers. Don’t get permission. Don’t try to get buy-in that we’re going to do design thinking from everybody necessarily, try to find time to interview a few customers, create a couple personas, and show them how useful these things can be. If they’re still not convinced, try running some of those Google AdWord ads against your personas and see where you can move the needle that nothing convinces people that love numbers more than numbers. So there is a way to very quickly pair this stuff together and ensure some results if you think it’s going to be a hard to sell to everyone engaged. We talked about the hook framework.
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I would take a few minutes and sketch out a trigger action variable reward and investment for some of your product interactions that you think are most important and see if it tells you something. See if you think you can measure some of these things and maybe hypothesize one thing that you can do to either load more triggers or lower the action barrier, or amplify the rewards, or increase the investment. And see if that moves a needle on your product engagement or your growth. And we talked about lean startup.
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I would highly encourage you to consider an MVP vehicle next time you have a big new product or feature, but even if you don’t you can make a lot of meaningful progress just by taking what you think are the pivotal assumptions that you’re operating under right now with your product, probably implicitly and spell them out. Get them on the board. We believe that if we do x for the customer, they will respond in y way. We’ll put that up on the board, talk about it with collaborators. See if it spurs any ideas about where you’re focused, if you’re focused on the right place and maybe some easy opportunities to do better with the customer. We talked about story mapping.
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All you need is three things. Some storyboard squares, you can just make. Remember it’s not art. You’re just there to show and tell a story. You need some storyboard squares, you need some painters tape to create those stripes, and then you need some post its to put your storyboards, you’re user stories up, rather. And I think you may find that that is a really great thing to sit with your team and talk about and use to engage your team in the stories that you guys have created together. Remember the Taper story, people may understand as a little as one 10th of what we’ve shown.
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So the story blap maybe a really great way to increase engagement within your team, build better software, create better concordance with you and the rest of your team. And finally we talked about making prototypes, balsamic is a great tool, we’ll show you some resources to go and apply it and you can make a prototype in just a few minutes. And then it will take a few minutes worth, that may half an hour to make it interactive and it will allow you to learn usability tests before you invest in working software. So we talked about how to apply this across the funnel. What is your funnel now? And how are you moving customers across it?
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If you had to pick one of these points, where you would like to be better, which one would be? And what might you do to increase performance there? And then finally, we talked about solving the right problem, finding the right solution, and then a bunch of other tools that kind of flow from that, to help you manage your big customers, create better relationships with them. Are any of those applicable to situations you’ve run in recently with some accounts, where they had a product question? Try some of these things out, see how they work for you. The key is, trying things quickly, experimenting and seeing what works for you in your particular role.

In this video, Alex reviews the week’s techniques to implement as a successful product manager including agile, design thinking, creating personas, the hook framework, lean startup, and story mapping. Did any of these techniques resonate with you? Do you see yourself embracing a particular technique moving forward?

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