Online time: four (4) 4-hour sessions or five (5) 3-hour sessions
Passionate Product Leadership prepares product owners or product managers, UX people, senior engineers, and coaches or Scrum masters to participate effectively in a product-centric Agile process.
Use this course to give product team members a common foundation of product-centric concepts, processes, and practices.
Participants will learn:
- How product thinking is different from a typical project-centric approach
- How to identify their products and organize cross-functional teams around them
- The basic elements of product’s continuous improvement lifecycle
- Practices like story mapping, OKR writing, and effective release planning
- How to collaborate effectively as a product team
- How to work together to lead product teams in building successful products
This is not just a product ownership class
This online workshop is about product thinking and how to apply it in your organization.
A strong product-centric approach places emphasis on customers and users and creating successful outcomes and, ultimately, a big impact on your business. All that sounds good, maybe obvious, right? But, in your organization you may be focused more on happy business stakeholders and on-time delivery than successful products. It’s not that those things aren’t important. It’s just that focusing mostly on those things can distract you and your team from really focusing on the outcomes that benefit your organization.
One of the first things you’ll learn is that, while “product owner” may be a Scrum role, product ownership is a whole team responsibility. If you’re a product owner or product manager you likely already know that you’ll be the most successful if you’re collaborating effectively with your whole team, and if your whole team understands product thinking.
This workshop will help you build a deeper understanding of product thinking and the ways of working that support it. We’ll build on agile principles and Scrum practice and add back the product thinking you don’t get with agile development alone. You’ll leave with a mindset that will help you help others in your organization, along with the practices that’ll help you do your job on a daily basis.
21st century tech product development concepts and practice
You may have noticed that technology products are different today than they were 10 or 20 years ago. They work more like services. They continuously evolve and improve. And, not surprisingly, the way we design and build them has evolved and improved. In this workshop we’ll talk about approaches we layer on top of agile development and the Scrum framework. Things like:
- Lean Startup and Lean UX practice
- Design Thinking
- Dual-Track Development
- User Stories and Story Mapping
You’ll learn how these contemporary practices knit together in a holistic approach to product development. You’ll learn how to:
- Evaluate how product-centric your process is today
- Organize product teams around your products and product areas
- Understand the critical product leadership roles on a product team
- Scale product teams within large complex organizations
- Build shared understanding of your current products using simple proto-personas and journey maps
- Identify good product metrics
- Write useful OKRs that help your team focus prioritization and planning
- Organize product roadmaps and strategic plans around business outcomes
- Drive product discovery work using hypotheses and tests
- Create successful product release strategies that emphasize earning and learning with each release
- Create successful development strategies that emphasize predictability and quality
- Work with your team to help them tactically plan and manage each sprint
- Integrate continuous discovery and delivery in dual-track development
8 Reasons why taking this live online workshop is better
I’ll be honest with you. I used to hate online workshops. I always thought they were second best. But, thanks to living during a pandemic, I’ve started to realize all the advantages to them. Here’s a few:
- Low daily time commitment: I can participate a few hours a day and still have time to get other work done, or have a life outside of work.
- No travel: No time in a plane or car, just a short walk from one room to another.
- You’ve got a mute button: There are always interruptions in life, and they seem to stress me less in an online class. I can mute a mic, turn off video, and answer a question, or put the dog out.
- No pants: Speaking of less stress, it’s nice to sit down in shorts and a t-shirt to work. Some of you may already get to do that. In an online workshop, you can come as you are. But, if you’re not wearing pants (or trousers for the UK people) please avoid standing while on camera.
- More time to ask questions: When I teach an in-person workshop, there are usually too many people, and never enough time to speak with everyone. Participants often go home sad they didn’t get to ask the questions they wanted or have the conversation they wanted. Now, online, I can follow every class with an office-hours session. No agenda. Come, talk, dig into the tough questions you didn’t want to bring up with the whole group.
- More time to think: Since we’ll be meeting and working only a few hours a day, you’ll have the rest of your day and your night to “sleep on it”. For me, I’ve loved having more time to think deeply about what I’ve learned. The best questions come to me hours after I’ve processed the concept and not while I’m learning it. How about you?
- More interaction with other participants: Personally, I’m a bit of an introvert. So talking to more people isn’t usually a benefit for me. But, online it’s become one. Zoom breakout rooms help keep conversations small and quiet. During this workshop you’ll work with a couple different groups and have several one-on-one conversations with individual participants. I find talking with someone about a concept, and getting their perspective, deepens my understanding.
- A chance to sharpen online collaboration skills: Sadly, online collaboration is part of the new normal for people working in technology. During this workshop you’ll get more comfortable with Zoom and collaborating with online tools like Mural. That’s going to help you in your everyday job.
What you’ll see and do during the workshop
I’ll teach this live online workshop using a mixture or discussion, traditional presentation, and lots of live hand-drawing to support discussions. If you’ve seen a talk from me, you know what this looks like. It’s immensely easier to focus on than powerpoint bullets. It looks a little like this:https://player.vimeo.com/video/206617354
You’ll use Zoom to connect with the class and your teammates. You’ll get good at muting and unmuting yourself and staging your background to impress other participants.
You’ll use Mural to support online collaborative work. You’ll get hands-on practice every day.
After every workshop day you’ll have time for deep-dive discussions during optional “office hours” sessions with me, your instructor.
Not just for product managers and owners
While one person in a team may hold a product manager or product ownership role, it takes a cross-functional team with strong product thinking to design and build the product. That’s why this class isn’t just for product owners.
- If you’re a product manager or product owner, this workshop is for you.
- One thing you likely already know is that best product decisions balance business, user experience and technology concerns. If you’re a UX practitioner or senior engineer, this workshop is for you.
- If you’re a Scrum master or agile coach, have you seen your organization struggle to apply product thinking using a Scrum and agile approach? If you’d like to better understand how to help your organization become a strong product organization, this workshop is for you.
- If you’re a business stakeholder, manager, or leader in your organization, do you understand how product thinking changes the way you’ll need to work with teams? If you’d like to better understand how to motivate teams and keep them focused on successful outcomes while being self-directed, this workshop is for you.
4 days, 4 hours per day
We’ve got a lot to cover, and it’ll take 4 half-days to do it.
We’ll meet daily, Monday through Thursday, via Zoom:
9:00 am PST to 1:00 pm PST
We’ll take frequent short breaks every 60-90 minutes so you can stay hydrated and caffeinated.
We’ll keep the class exercise groups small. You’ll do team work in smaller groups of 3 to 5 people. You’ll work with two different groups during the class, and have some one-on-one conversations with other participants. Ideally you’ll get to meet and speak with everyone in the workshop.
What you’ll get
Worksheets, articles, and a 120-page course guide: Supporting material will help you recall and practice everything we discuss in the workshop.
Scrum Alliance Certification: This is a certified scrum product ownership course, so at the conclusion of the class you’ll receive CSPO certification with the Scrum Alliance along with an initial membership with them.
About your instructor
I’m Jeff Patton. I’ve been in Software development for over 25 years. I started working with Extreme Programming in 2000. The term Agile was coined in 2001 and I learned I was using an Agile process. In that first Agile job, my business card said “product manager.” While I’ve served in almost every role in software development, product leadership is where I’ve always focused.
I’ve learned over the past 20 years that good product thinking takes a blend of good business thinking, product management, user experience design, and strong engineering practice. It can only be done as a collaborative effort. And, I merge all these disciplines together as best I can in what I teach.
Glube: A friend of mine used this made-up word combining “glue” and “lube.” And, that’s what I do. I help keep all these practices glued together in one holistic approach, and help keep them each spinning and interacting smoothly.
I’m known for lots of public speaking and for authoring the book User Story Mapping.
Outline of topics covered
Day 1: Product Development Fundamentals
- Visualizing output, outcome, and impact
- Understanding and evaluating the whole product development lifecycle
- Understanding the biggest threats to product-centric process
- Organizing product teams around your products
Day 2: Listen, Learn and Focus
- User stories and story essentials
- Story Mapping
- Proto-personas and journey maps
- Identifying product problems and opportunities
- Product metrics and KPIs
- Using vision, strategy, and OKRs to focus priority
Day 3: Product Discovery
- Evaluating and prioritizing opportunities
- Turning ideas into hypotheses
- Identifying risky assumptions and tests
- Involving the whole team in discovery activities
- Continuous discovery and delivery using dual-track development
Day 4: Release Planning and Product Delivery
- Breaking down features using a story map
- Creating an incremental release strategy
- Identifying releases to learn and releases to earn
- Creating development strategies focused on predictability and quality
- Collaborating with the team every sprint