Reflektions.com

Paul Ortchanian

This blog discusses leadership and product management. Have a product team that could be more effective? Need expertise on challenges ranging from strategy, crafting roadmaps and motivating the team to deliver the right thing in the right timeframe? Contact me at paul@reflektions.com

What I've been reading on Product Management - 06/2018

A round-up of interesting articles I've read over the last week or so, mostly about product management, Leadership and Prioritization. Leading by Letting Go Getting People to Believe in Something They Can’t Yet Imagine Value Propositions That Work Why most product managers suck (and how to be a better one) Slow Deciders Make Better Strategists Rethinking Product Management: How to Get from Start-up to Scale-up 20 Product Prioritization Techniques: A Map and Guided Tour What Product Managers Can Learn from the Apple iPod The Complete Guide to the Kano Model Aligning Your Product Roadmap with Company Goals Product managers for the digital world The Four Styles of Management Prioritizing for Strategic Alignment What It Takes...

Can’t prioritize? Use this 6 Week Process to Generate Your Product Roadmap

Despite the proliferation of tools designed for road mapping, prioritization remains the most difficult part of the product. Without a process for roadmap reinforcement, it just won’t stick. Over the years, as a Product Manager, I established an effective product management process. With it and backed with strong strategy and leadership I helped develop roadmaps that aligned influential individuals and companies. Towards the end of any given quarter, I often rely on this fast-paced and collaborative 6 week process to refine priorities. I focused it on understanding the current state, identifying strategic opportunities, defining requirements, creating a vision of the future, and defining a staged plan to evolve the customer experience...

What I've been reading on Artificial Intelligence and Data science - 06/2018

A round-up of interesting articles I've read over the last week or so, mostly about product management, Artificial Intelligence and Data science. How companies can navigate the age of machine learning The AI-First Business Model Human-Centered Machine Learning Machine Learning for Product Managers Machine Learning and Product Managers Always start with a stupid model, no exceptions. The Cold Start Problem with Artificial Intelligence Deep Learning vs Classical Machine Learning Why Deep Learning Is Suddenly Changing Your Life What does it mean to be an AI Product Manager? Are You Setting Your Data Scientists Up to Fail? A Product Management Framework for Machine Learning — Part 1 of 3 A Product Management Framework for Machin...

Tomorrow’s Product Managers Will Need Solid Data, Model and Problem Understanding

Tomorrow’s Product Managers Will Need Solid Data, Model, and Problem Understanding When people talk about Product Management of the future, the first theme that comes to mind is artificial intelligence (AI). AI is changing the fundamental structure of every industry. We’re interacting with technology in new ways, from giving voice commands to virtual assistants to having Smart Reply suggest quick responses to our messages. In Alpha’s Product Management 2018 Insights study, a third of respondents reported having AI or machine learning incorporated into their products. Does that mean it’s time to embrace the mathematical techniques that enable the building of intelligent software applications using the family of techniques known as dee...

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Below is a list of Paul Ortchanian’s upcoming and past speaking engagements. Product Management Festival 2018, Tomorrow’s Product Managers Will Need Solid Data, Model, and Problem Understanding, Singapore (canceled) Founder Institute 2017, Great companies are built on great products, Montreal, Canada . . . Flash Belt 2008, Minneapolis, U.S.Flash Forward 2008, San Francisco, U.S.FITC Toronto 2008, CanadaFITC Toronto 2007, CanadaFlash Belt 2007, Minneapolis, U.S.Flash Forward 2007, Boston, U.S.FITC Winnipeg 2006, CanadaFITC Toronto 2006, CanadaFITC Toronto 2005, CanadaFlash Forward 2005, New York, U.S.Flash Forward 2005, San Francisco, U.S.FITC Toronto 2004, CanadaFlash Forward 2004, San Francisco, U.S.Banff Interactive Screen 2003,...

Product Managers, Make your CEO provide a clear vision

There are so many articles about the challenges and stresses of being a Product Manager. But this is an article about your CEO’s duty to set a vision, to define why your company exists. For some product managers, the thought of talking openly about the void left by a missing vision statement is paralyzing. And as a product leader gets more senior, the need to clearly define the product strategy intensifies. In Alpha’s Product Management Insights study of more than 150 digital product managers, 32% percent said that their biggest wish in the coming year was a clearer product roadmap / strategy. So how frequently do you and the CEO interface? Does the CEO provide general direction? He should provide general direction. Without it you can...

Our immersion into Deep and Machine Learning at WatchMojo

Big data holds big promises for WatchMojo. Back in Q1 of 2017, in my quest to create proprietary products and innovations to link past video views and engagement to future video projects, I had heard about algorithms that can learn from data without relying on rules-based programming. To create value for our viewers, I asked if we had a dataset, then set our objective to discover which videos would be highly engaging and shared. We researched online, hired a data scientist and after a few attempts analyzing our records, got to develop statistical techniques and build interactive visualizations. In our first attempt, we envisioned gaining a better understanding of our data through machine learning, but truth be told, I grew more confuse...

You accomplish everything through others

Imagine attempting to persuade a stakeholder and it results in increased resistance. So much talk, so much rationale, so many facts. And because your approach was logical — one that leveraged data, your experience, and expertise — friction and disagreement ensues. The Product Manager title alone won’t sway others, nor will it command the attention of stakeholders. Bottom line, we have no power to make other people see things as we do. You aren’t going to win every battle. Leadership is going to be wrong sometimes. Engineers will estimate wrongly. And Sales will always promise things your product doesn’t and will never do. And because you work at the intersection of groups of people — often people from different backgrounds — there will ...

The case for rotating though products

The market changes. Trends in the marketplace affect the appeal of your message and the profitability of your product. Winning products thrive on big thinkers with the expertise to solve common challenges. Should a company hire a product manager with years of experience in, and knowledge of, the industry? How about a product manager who can quickly master a market and domain. One with generic, transferable product management capabilities. One who engaged with not just new technologies but also new business models. Who evolved in tandem with the types of products, customers, and markets they engaged with. You make your own luck. Rotating through products doesn’t require an MBA or the perfect mix of business, technical and design...

To make engineers more autonomous create a partnership

It is 5:00PM in the office, and a member of the engineering team stops by the Product team desk and expresses they want to build everything at once. When discussed, the head of engineering states that excessive rework undermines motivation. That they prefer focusing on code without a lot of distraction. That continual change tends to corrupt the structure of the software and once something is “done" it should never be revisited. What is wrong with these people? Is there a subculture of haters holding back continuous integration so to prevent the validation of the evolving product? It turns out the answer is no. Customer-centric rapid delivery can be perceived as a randomized environment. Rework could show problems in the requirements ...