Week 1: Introduction
We dive right in! We start by providing context for the frameworks we use throughout the curriculum like our "Rocketship of WOW," the product lifecycle and how it impacts product management structure and process, and our view of the product development cycle. These will be foundational to the entire curriculum. We then embark on the definition of a kickass product management function, how it fits into the team, and on the clarification between product owner, business analysis, user experience designer, and researcher.
- State the elements that characterize successful product management organizations
- Define Net Promoter Score
- Summarize the characteristics of a great PM and identify potential gaps in your organization
- Name the 4 stages of the product lifecycle; identify which state your product is in
- Identify a PM's role in each of the 4 product lifecycle stages
- Introduction to the Course (11m)
- Setting Context (13m)
- Product Management Defined (22m)
- Product Management within Team (18m)
- Product Lifecycle Examples (7m)
Total Time: 71 Minutes
Week 2: Customer Foundations
Before we jump into some of the main operations of a product manager we have to set you up with the foundations. Everything begins with the customer. So this week focuses, first, on the problem you are solving; defining it in a way that is actionable for your team. Then we move to who you are solving the problem for; your personal. This is no ordinary, shelved, overly demographic, non-actionable personal. This is a living, personal view of your primary customer. It's done in a scrappy and collaborative way that will be brought in to the decision-making room. We then work through the key needs for your primary personal. We’ll define a need and help you figure out how to prioritize those needs; again, in a way that enables action.
- Identify the six elements of an actionable Problem Statement
- Explain why crafting a Problem Statement is important in customer understanding.
- Explain the importance of creating a customer persona, and how to use it in day-to-day product decisions
- Problem Statement (8m)
- Problem Statement Example (5m)
- Problem Statement Craft (11m)
- Customer Persona Introduction (14m)
- Photo Board (7m)
- Persona Breakdown (7m)
- Product Lifecycle Examples (7m)
Total Time: 59 Minutes
Week 3: Customer Research
Now that you have the foundations we move into scrappy research. This isn't about million dollar research projects with statistically valid samples and expensive analysis. This is about infusing the customer context/view into everything you do. It's how you build your platform as a rebel leader; infusing your operational teams with the customer learning they need to make and keep the day-to-day and big customer experience decisions. This week will enable you to gather feedback quickly and in a way that is actionable.
- Be able to name the three stages of customer research and the important elements of each.
- Explain the importance of conducting scrappy customer research.
- Define 2-3 'best practices' to keep in mind when conducting customer research.
- Customer Research Introduction (27m)
- Customer Research Plan (8m)
- Customer Research Screener (6m)
- Moderator Guide (9m)
- Mock Interview (13m)
Total Time: 63 Minutes
Week 4: Customer Needs
Customer needs are tricky. Many product management teams define them more like features vs. aspects of their environment that impact the way you define your solution whether it be a product, feature, or how you redesign a feature. This week we go deep into identifying relevant customer needs that help you build the most targeted solution for your persona. We spend time on how to prioritize those needs and how to communicate those needs in a way that best informs your requirements and scope of products/services.
- Define the ‘customer need’ using five key steps.
- Identify strategies for pinpointing customer needs.
- Be able to recall four prioritization methods.
- Customer Needs Introduction (22m)
- Customer Needs Deep Dive (12m)
- Prioritization (9m)
Total Time: 43 Minutes
Week 5: Business Strategy
Business strategy is defined so differently across organizations. This week we spend time on the building blocks of a strategy using the Business Model Canvas system. We'll take you through the different elements and discuss why they are important to consider as you think about your product strategy. We also talk about business vs. product strategy and how you develop a "line of sight" between the two.
- Define the importance of value in product management.
- Define product focus: product vision, goals & objectives and product strategy as pertaining to business strategy.
- Identify 9 components of the Business Model Canvas, and their principle purposes
- Business Strategy Introduction (5m)
- Business Model Canvas (10m)
- BMC Elements (8m)
- BMC Elements Part 2 (9m)
- BMC Elements Part 3 (9m)
Total Time: 41 Minutes
Week 6: Product Vision, Goals and Objectives
Once you have the key elements of your business strategy or it's already been defined at the leadership level, it's time to build a set of product goals and strategies that support the overall business' strategy. So we're going to go into details into building that line of sight between the two areas of the business so you're always clear on how what the product team is doing impacts the broader business success.
- Be able to define product vision.
- Define business objectives: the WHAT, HOW, and with WHOM of your product.
- Define product strategy: how you'll achieve your objectives.
- Identify four main methods a product manager uses to learn about their competitors
- Product Vision (14m)
- Business Goals and Objectives (14m)
- Product Strategy (15m)
- Product Strategy Detailed Example (8m)
- Competitive Research Introduction (26m)
- Competitive Research Deep Dive (22m) - Optional
Total Time: 77 Minutes
Week 7: Product BluePrint, Ideation
This week is turning your product strategy into a prioritized list of themes and or initiatives that will get blown out into your backlog. Many teams struggle with this because everyone has an opinion on what should be a priority. Here we will give you a simple way to galvanize the team around a prioritized list of initiatives. We also go into ways to drive effective and actionable brainstorming that will provide inputs into your product prioritization.
- Define a simple structure for making logic & customer-backed product prioritization decisions
- Define the effective criteria by which you will prioritize your major features and product themes
- Be able to explain the two pillars of ideation.
- Identify the three aspects of great ideation session.
- Product Blueprint Introduction (18m)
- Product Blueprint Template (9m)
- Ideation Introduction (9m)
- Ideation Specifics (12m)
- Product Lifecycle Examples (7m)
Total Time: 55 Minutes
Week 8: Learning Plans
As a product manager you are making hypotheses daily...either about your customer, the problem you're solving, etc. This week focuses on how to structure a test for your hypothesis; including how to structure your hypothesis that leads to actionable research planning, how to think about the methods of learning depending on your hypotheses, and ways to communicate that learning back into the organization.
- Define a learning plan: what it is, what it isn't, and why it is important.
- Understand how to connect key questions to core understanding to hypothesis.
- Create a working hypothesis for a learning plan using PDP template.
- Develop a product learning plan with 3 key learning goals.
- Learning Plan Introduction (13m)
- Hypothesis (14m)
- Learning Plan Build (6m)
- Learning Plan Test (7m)
Total Time: 40 Minutes
Week 9: Concept Testing and Minimum Viable WOW
Concept testing is no mystery, but doing it quickly and doing it right takes a little skill. You don’t have to be a user research expert, you just need to follow some simple principles. This week focuses on all the things to think about in setting up a simple concept test including the elements of a successful concept, the appropriate level of fidelity in that concept, how to set up the test, and good questions to ask in the test that drive product decisions.
- Be able to translate an idea into product concepts
- Outline the steps needed to get ready for a customer interview
- Describe the key elements needed in a moderator script
- Outline how to translate interview notes to product decisions
- Product Concepts Introduction (18m)
- Developing the Concept (18m)
- Pre-test Planning (22m)
- Planning for Interviews (9m)
- Detailed Moderator Script (22m)
- Analyzing and Translating Results to MVW (25m)
Total Time: 114 Minutes
Week 10: Design Specifications
Many say that design specs are a thing of the past. Well, we say THINK AGAIN! This week focuses on that detail/documentation necessary between an idea and the first epic or user stories you document. It's helping cross functional partners understand the vision, uncover dependencies, and get to shared vision on the definition of success. This week we review the necessary components of a design spec, how its used, and the definition of success.
- Understand the context in which design specs are used.
- Be able to describe how to write effective use cases.
- Define the right product metrics for their product.
- Design Specs Overview (21m)
- Design Specs Purpose (4m)
- Design Specs Solution (9m)
- Design Specs Scope and Details (14m)
- Use Cases (16m)
- Designing for Success Metrics (18m)
Total Time: 82 Minutes
Week 11: Product Development
A product manager’s relationship with their development team is mission critical. In this week we focus on how to work effectively in an agile environment; creating requirements that enable your development team to be successful; effectively managing your backlog; and making effective and durable decisions in the process. For agile experts, some of this content is optional, but get ready for a change of M O when it comes to optimizing the development process and dynamics for the best possible customer experience!
- Get an overview of the Agile development practices and pitfalls to avoid.
- Understand how the product manager role differs from the product owner role.
- Learn how design sprints can enable more informed product tradeoffs.
- Find out how to make the right tradeoffs efficiently in your backlog management process.
- Learn how to write user stories in a way that enables the best customer experience with the least amount of churn.
- Understand how to develop the best possible relationship with your development team.
- (OPTIONAL) Agile overview videos (56m)
- Product Development PM & PO (9m)
- RACI Decision Making Model (9m)
- Design Sprints (10m)
- Building and Managing the Backlog (30m)
- Creating User Stories (11m)
- Elements of a User Story (11m)
- Backlog Estimating (18m)
- Backlog Prioritization (19m)
- Ongoing Backlog Management (18m)
- Partnering with the Dev Team (22m)
- Day to Day with Development (9m)
Total Time: 166 Minutes
Week 12: Net Promoter Score & Wrap Up
Net Promoter Score is the success metric we use as a rudder in product management. This week we go into more detail on how to operationalize this metric and use it in a way that drives prioritization and action in your business. Then we finish up with a few parting words of wisdom (IMHO) for the next generation of kickass product managers! Congrats on becoming the next Rebel Leader fighting for the rights of customers everywhere!
- Understand why NPS should be understood beyond just the number.
- Understand ways in which to target improvement and how to go about driving meaningful change.
- Be able to describe key elements of effective storytelling.
- Operationalizing NPS Introduction (18m)
- NPS Set Goals (9m)
- NPS Decide Action and Drive Change (8m)
- Tell Good Stories (9m)
- Art and Science of Product Management (5m)