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Product Excellence Summit ‘22: Opportunity in the face of uncertainty

Product Excellence Summit ‘22: Opportunity in the face of uncertainty

Our third annual Product Excellence Summit brought together product, engineering, and design professionals from all over the world, and with it, a wealth of insights on how to — as our theme suggested — embrace uncertainty in times that are anything but.

Below, we wanted to take you through a few of the highlights (with more detailed posts and on-demand video from the event coming soon!)

Focusing on opportunities that emerge from uncertainty

Productboard Co-founder and CEO Hubert Palan kicked off the event to give a state of the union for product management, noting that product teams are most equipped to navigate uncertainty.

“Uncertainty is nothing new for Product people. Our job has always had uncertainty. We thrive in uncertainty,” Palan said.

He advised the audience to refocus on the work that matters, including engaging the core customer base and deepening relationships. 

 

 

 

In times of economic and other forms of uncertainty, companies are most likely to reevaluate their tools, but many businesses don’t revisit their product strategy.

“Don’t underestimate the change of customer needs during times of uncertainty. Take the extra time and talk to your customers. And more importantly, listen to your customers,” Palan said.

Take it from an actual guardian of the galaxy: Success is how you handle failure

Planetary Protection Engineer Dr. Moogega Cooper took the stage for an engaging presentation centered on perseverance, noting that challenges related to launch timelines were not exclusive to product teams, as a group of NASA engineers could attest to as they sent the Perseverance rover and its accompanying vehicles to Mars on make-or-break timelines.

 

 

 

She implored the audience to take these challenges as inspiration to excel in their work, and said that the possibilities for success can be “limitless” with the following qualities: curiosity, questioning rules, trust, taking calculated risks, and having a common goal. 

“Success is in how you handle your failures,” she said.   

Achieving product goals comes down to 6 factors, says Forrester

Lisa Singer, v.p. and research director at Forrester Research, noted that the difference between the importance and urgency needs to be taken into account as organizations aim to achieve their long-term goals.

“Something that is urgent needs to be done now, because if you don’t get it done now there will be consequences immediately…in your work life, it might be addressing a customer problem,” she said.

At its lowest common denominator, it boils down to six major factors: 

  • Customer centricity
  • Strategic alignment
  • Being informed by data
  • Accountability
  • Continually improving
  • Being well-resourced

 

 

 

Singer also noted that product teams cannot do this alone — accountability is having the courage to say that better tools are needed for greater outcomes.

“Product management should not have to do more with less. Product management is driving the success of the company,” Singer said.

Product management is a team sport, according to Productboard’s SVP of Product

Productboard’s Senior V.P. of Product Srinivas Krishnamurti began his keynote by sharing an evident truth: product management does not need to be a lonely island on both an internal and external level. This often begins with customers.

“Everyone should be listening to their customers, and we should make that as easy as possible,” he said.

For Productboard, this not only means democratizing feedback outside of product, but also being able to segment and analyze with speed and scale by leveraging machine learning and smarter topic detection.

 

 

 

“When there’s a body of feedback from your customers in the system, it’s not all equal…you can leverage [segmentation] to slice and dice feedback to understand what different customers are saying,” he said.

Visit the Productboard Blog in the coming weeks for more highlights from the Product Excellence Summit.

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