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Make the Case for Product Delivery

Align your organization on the practices to deliver what matters most.

  • Organizations are traditionally organized to deliver initiatives in specific periods of time. This is in contention with product-centric delivery practices. This form of delivery acknowledges the reality that solutions of all shapes and sizes deliver continual and evolving business value over their lifetime.
  • Delivering multiple products together creates additional challenges because each product has its own pedigree, history, and goals.
  • Product owners struggle to prioritize changes to deliver product value. This creates a gap and conflict between product and enterprise goals.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Delivering products doesn’t mean you will stop delivering projects! Product-centric delivery is intended to address the misalignment between the long-term delivery of value that organizations demand and the nature of traditional project-focused environments.

Impact and Result

  • We will help you build a proposal deck to make the case to your stakeholders for product-centric delivery.
  • You will build this proposal deck by answering key questions about product-centric delivery so you can identify:
    • A common definition of product.
    • How this form of delivery differs from traditional project-centric approaches.
    • Key challenges and benefits.
    • The capabilities needed to effectively own products and deliver value.
    • What you are asking of stakeholders.
    • A roadmap of how to get started.

Make the Case for Product Delivery Research & Tools

1. Make the Case for Product Delivery Deck – A guide to help align your organization on the practices to deliver what matters most.

This project will help you define “product” for your organization, define your drivers and goals for moving to product delivery, understand the role of product ownership, lay out the case to your stakeholders, and communicate what comes next for your transition to product.

2. Make the Case for Product Delivery Presentation Template – A template to help you capture and detail your case for product delivery.

Build a proposal deck to help make the case to your stakeholders for product-centric delivery.

3. Make the Case for Product Delivery Workbook – A tool to capture the results of exercises to build your case to change your product delivery method.

This workbook is designed to capture the results of the exercises in the Make the Case for Product Delivery Storyboard. Each worksheet corresponds to an exercise in the storyboard. The workbook is also a living artifact that should be updated periodically as the needs of your team and organization change.


Make the Case for Product Delivery

Align your organization on the practices to deliver what matters most.

Table of Contents

Define product

Define your drivers and goals

Understand the role of product ownership

Communicate what comes next

Make the case to your stakeholders

Appendix: Additional research

Appendix: Product delivery strategy communication

Appendix: Manage stakeholder influence

Appendix: Product owner capability details

Executive Summary

Your Challenge
  • Products are the lifeblood of an organization. They deliver the capabilities needed to deliver value to customers, internal users, and stakeholders.
  • Organizations are under pressure to align the value they provide with the organization’s goals and overall company vision.
  • You need to clearly convey the direction and strategy of your product portfolio to gain alignment, support, and funding from your organization.
Common Obstacles
  • IT organizations are traditionally organized to deliver initiatives in specific periods of time. This is in contention with product-centric delivery.
  • Product delivery acknowledges the reality that solutions of all shapes and sizes deliver continual and evolving business value over their lifetime.
  • Delivering multiple products together creates additional challenges because each product has its own pedigree, history, and goals.
  • Product owners struggle to prioritize changes to deliver product value. This creates a gap and conflict between product and enterprise goals.
Info-Tech’s Approach
  • Info-Tech will enable you to build a proposal deck to make the case to your stakeholders for product-centric delivery.
  • You will build this proposal deck by answering key questions about product-centric delivery so you can identify:
    • A common definition of product.
    • How this form of delivery differs from traditional project-centric approaches.
    • Key challenges and benefits.
    • The capabilities needed to effectively own products and deliver value.
    • What you are asking of stakeholders.
    • A roadmap of how to get started.

Info-Tech Insight

Delivering products doesn’t mean you will stop delivering projects! Product-centric delivery is intended to address the misalignment between the long-term delivery of value that organizations demand and the nature of traditional project-focused environments.

Many executives perceive IT as being poorly aligned with business objectives

Info-Tech’s CIO Business Vision Survey data highlights the importance of IT initiatives in supporting the business in achieving its strategic goals.

However, Info-Tech’s CEO-CIO Alignment Survey (2021; N=58) data indicates that CEOs perceive IT to be poorly aligned to business’ strategic goals.

Info-Tech CEO-CIO Alignment Diagnostics, 2021 (N=58)

40% Of CEOs believe that business goals are going unsupported by IT.

34% Of business stakeholders are supporters of their IT departments (n=334).

40% Of CIOs/CEOs are misaligned on the target role for IT.

Info-Tech Insight

Great technical solutions are not the primary driver of IT success. Focusing on delivery of digital products that align with organizational goals will produce improved outcomes and will foster an improved relationship between business and IT.

Increase product success by involving IT, business, and customers in your product roadmaps, planning, and delivery

Product management and delivery seek to promote improved relationships among IT, business, and customers, a critical driver for business satisfaction.

IT

Stock image of an IT professional.

1

Collaboration

IT, business, and customers work together through all stages of the product lifecycle, from market research through the roadmapping and delivery processes and into maintenance and retirement. The goal is to ensure the risks and dependencies are realized before work is committed.

Stakeholders, Customers, and Business

Stock image of a business professional.

2

Communication

Prioritize high-value modes of communication to break down existing silos and create common understanding and alignment across functions. This approach increases transparency and visibility across the entire product lifecycle.

3

Integration

Explore methods to integrate the workflows, decision making, and toolsets among the business, IT, and customers. The goal is to become more reactive to changes in business and customer expectations and more proactive about market trends.

Product does not mean the same thing to everyone

Do not expect a universal definition of products.
Every organization and industry has a different definition of what a product is. Organizations structure their people, processes, and technologies according to their definition of the products they manage. Conflicting product definitions between teams increase confusion and misalignment of product roadmaps.

“A product [is] something (physical or not) that is created through a process and that provides benefits to a market.” (Mike Cohn, Founding Member of Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance) “A product is something ... that is created and then made available to customers, usually with a distinct name or order number.” (TechTarget) “A product is the physical object ... , software or service from which customer gets direct utility plus a number of other factors, services, and perceptions that make the product useful, desirable [and] convenient.” (Mark Curphey)

Organizations need a common understanding of what a product is and how it pertains to the business.

This understanding needs to be accepted across the organization.

“There is not a lot of guidance in the industry on how to define [products]. This is dangerous because what will happen is that product backlogs will be formed in too many areas. All that does is create dependencies and coordination across teams … and backlogs.” (Chad Beier, “How Do You Define a Product?” Scrum.org)

Products enable the long-term and continuous delivery of value

Diagram laying out the lifecycles and roadmaps contributing to the 'Continuous delivery of value'. Beginning with 'Project Lifecycle' in which Projects with features and services end in a Product Release that is disconnected from the continuum. Then the 'Hybrid Lifecycle' and 'Product Lifecycle' which are connected by a 'Product Roadmap' and 'Product Backlog' have Product Releases that connect to the continuum.

Phase 1

Build the case for product-centric delivery

Phase 1
1.1 Define product
1.2 Define your drivers and goals
1.3 Understand the role of product ownership
1.4 Communicate what comes next
1.5 Make the case to your stakeholders

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Define product in your context.
  • Define your drivers and goals for moving to product delivery.
  • Understand the role of product ownership.
  • Communicate what comes next for your transition to product.
  • Lay out the case to your stakeholders.

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Product owners
  • Product managers
  • Development team leads
  • Portfolio managers
  • Business analysts

Step 1.1

Define product

Activities
  • 1.1.1 Define “product” in your context
  • 1.1.2 Consider examples of what is (and is not) a product in your organization
  • 1.1.3 Identify the differences between project and product delivery

This step involves the following participants:

  • Product owners
  • Product managers
  • Development team leads
  • Portfolio managers
  • Business analysts

Outcomes of this step

  • A clear definition of product in your organization’s context.

Make the Case for Product Delivery

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5

Exercise 1.1.1 Define “product” in your context

30-60 minutes

Output: Your enterprise/organizational definition of products and services

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. Discuss what “product” means in your organization.
  2. Create a common, enterprise-wide definition for “product.”
“A product [is] something (physical or not) that is created through a process and that provides benefits to a market.” (Mike Cohn, Founding Member of Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance) “A product is something ... that is created and then made available to customers, usually with a distinct name or order number.” (TechTarget) “A product is the physical object ... , software or service from which customer gets direct utility plus a number of other factors, services, and perceptions that make the product useful, desirable [and] convenient.” (Mark Curphey)

Record the results in the Make the Case for Product-Centric Delivery Workbook.

Example: What is a product?

Not all organizations will define products in the same way. Take this as a general example:

“A tangible solution, tool, or service (physical or digital) that enables the long-term and evolving delivery of value to customers and stakeholders based on business and user requirements.”

Info-Tech Insight

A proper definition of product recognizes three key facts:

  1. Products are long-term endeavors that don’t end after the project finishes.
  2. Products are not just “apps” but can be software or services that drive the delivery of value.
  3. There is more than one stakeholder group that derives value from the product or service.
Stock image of an open human head with gears and a city for a brain.

How do we know what is a product?

What isn’t a product:
  • Features (on their own)
  • Transactions
  • Unstructured data
  • One-time solutions
  • Non-repeatable processes
  • Solutions that have no users or consumers
  • People or teams
You have a product if the given item...
  • Has end users or consumers
  • Delivers quantifiable value
  • Evolves or changes over time
  • Has predictable delivery
  • Has definable boundaries
  • Has a cost to produce and operate

Exercise 1.1.2 Consider examples of what is (and is not) a product in your organization

15 minutes

Output: Examples of what is and isn’t a product in your specific context.

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. Leverage the definition you created in exercise 1.1.1 and the explanation on the slide What is a product?
  2. Pick examples that effectively show the difference between products and non-products and facilitate a conversation on the ones that seem to be on the line. Specific server instances, or instances of providing a service, are worthwhile examples to consider.
  3. From the list you come up with, take the top three examples and put them into the Make the Case for Product Delivery Presentation Template.
Example:
What isn’t a product?
  • Month-end SQL scripts to close the books
  • Support Engineer doing a password reset
  • Latest research project in R&D
What is a product?
  • Self-service password reset portal
  • Oracle ERP installation
  • Microsoft Office 365

Record the results in the Make the Case for Product Delivery Workbook.

Product delivery practices should consider everything required to support it, not just what users see.

Cross-section of an iceberg above and below water with visible product delivery practices like 'Funding', 'External Relationships', and 'Stakeholder Management' above water and internal product delivery practices like 'Product Governance', 'Business Functionality', and 'R&D' under water. There are far more processes below the water.

Products and services share the same foundation and best practices

For the purpose of this blueprint, product/service and product owner/service owner are used interchangeably. Product is used for consistency but would apply to services as well.

Product = Service

“Product” and “service” are terms that each organization needs to define to fit its culture and customers (internal and external). The most important aspect is consistent use and understanding of:
  • External products
  • Internal products
  • External services
  • Internal services
  • Products as a service (PaaS)
  • Productizing services (SaaS)

Exercise 1.1.3 Identify the differences between project and product delivery

30-60 minutes

Output: List of differences between project and product delivery

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. Consider project delivery and product delivery.
  2. Discuss what some differences are between the two.
    Note: This exercise is not about identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each style of delivery. This is to identify the variation between the two.
Theme Project Delivery (Current) Product Delivery (Future)
Timing Defined start and end Does not end until the product is no longer needed
Funding Funding projects Funding products and teams
Prioritization LoB sponsors Product owner
Capacity Management Project management Managed by product team

Record the results in the Make the Case for Product Delivery Workbook.

Identify the differences between a project-centric and a product-centric organization

Project Product
Fund projects — Funding –› Fund products or teams
Line of business sponsor — Prioritization –› Product owner
Makes specific changes to a product —Product management –› Improves product maturity and support
Assignment of people to work — Work allocation –› Assignment of work to product teams
Project manager manages — Capacity management –› Team manages capacity

Info-Tech Insights

  • Product ownership should be one of your first areas of focus when transitioning from project to product delivery.
  • Product delivery requires significant shifts in the way you complete development work and deliver value to your users. Make the changes that support improving end-user value and enterprise alignment.

Projects can be a mechanism for funding product changes and improvements

Diagram laying out the lifecycles and roadmaps contributing to the 'Continuous delivery of value'. Beginning with 'Project Lifecycle' in which Projects with features and services end in a Product Release that is disconnected from the continuum. Then the 'Hybrid Lifecycle' and 'Product Lifecycle' which are connected by a 'Product Roadmap' and 'Product Backlog' have Product Releases that connect to the continuum. Projects within products

Regardless of whether you recognize yourself as a product-based or project-based shop, the same basic principles should apply.

The purpose of projects is to deliver the scope of a product release. The shift to product delivery leverages a product roadmap and backlog as the mechanism for defining and managing the scope of the release.

Eventually, teams progress to continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) where they can release on demand or as scheduled, requiring org change management.

Step 1.2

Define your drivers and goals

Activities
  • 1.2.1 Understand your drivers for product-centric delivery
  • 1.2.2 Define the goals for your product-centric organization

This step involves the following participants:

  • Product owners
  • Product managers
  • Development team leads
  • Portfolio managers
  • Business analysts

Outcomes of this step

  • A clear understanding of your motivations and desired outcomes for moving to product delivery.

Make the Case for Product Delivery

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5

Exercise 1.2.1 Understand your drivers for product-centric delivery

30-60 minutes

Output: Organizational drivers to move to product-centric delivery.

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. Identify your pain points in the current delivery model.
  2. What is the root cause of these pain points?
  3. How will a product-centric delivery model fix the root cause (drivers)?
Pain Points
  • Lack of ownership
Root Causes
  • Siloed departments
Drivers
  • Accountability

Record the results in the Make the Case for Product Delivery Workbook.

Exercise 1.2.2 Define the goals for your product-centric organization

30 minutes

Output: Goals for product-centric delivery

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. Review the differences between project and product delivery from exercise 1.1.3 and the list of drivers from exercise 1.2.1.
  2. Define your goals for achieving a product-centric organization.
    Note: Your drivers may have already covered the goals. If so, review if you would like to change the drivers based on your renewed understanding of the differences between project and product delivery.
Pain Points
  • Lack of ownership
Root Causes
  • Siloed departments
Drivers
  • Accountability
Goals
  • End-to-end ownership

Record the results in the Make the Case for Product Delivery Workbook.

Step 1.3

Understand the role of product ownership

Activities
  • 1.3.1 Identify product ownership capabilities

This step involves the following participants:

  • Product owners
  • Product managers
  • Development team leads
  • Portfolio managers
  • Business analysts

Outcomes of this step

  • Product owner capabilities that you agree are critical to start your product transformation.

Make the Case for Product Delivery

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5

Accountability for the delivery of value through product ownership is not optional

Tree of 'Enterprise Goals and Priorities' leading to 'Product' through a 'Product Family'.

Info-Tech Insight

People treat the assignment of accountability for products (aka product ownership) as optional. Without assigning accountability up front, your transition to product delivery will stall. Accountable individuals will be focused on the core outcome for product delivery, which is the delivery of the right value, at the right time, to the right people.

Description of the tree levels shown in the diagram on the left. First is 'Enterprise Goals and Priorities', led by 'Executive Leadership' using the 'Enterprise Strategic Roadmap'. Second is 'Product Family', led by 'Product Manager' using the 'Product Family Roadmap'. Last is 'Product', led by the 'Product Owner' using the 'Product Roadmap' and 'Backlog' on the strategic end, and 'Releases' on the Tactical end. In the holistic context, 'Product Family is considered 'Strategic' while 'Product' is 'Tactical'.

Recognize the different product owner perspectives

Business
  • Customer facing, revenue generating
Technical
  • IT systems and tools
Operations
  • Keep the lights on processes

Info-Tech Best Practice

Product owners must translate needs and constraints from their perspective into the language of their audience. Kathy Borneman, Digital Product Owner at SunTrust Bank, noted the challenges of finding a common language between lines of business and IT (e.g. what is a unit?).

Info-Tech Insight

Recognize that product owners represent one of three primary perspectives. Although all share the same capabilities, how they approach their responsibilities is influenced by their perspective.

“A Product Owner in its most beneficial form acts like an Entrepreneur, like a 'mini-CEO'. The Product Owner is someone who really 'owns' the product.” (Robbin Schuurman, “Tips for Starting Product Owners”)

Implement the Info-Tech product owner capability model

As discussed in Build a Better Product Owner, most product owners operate with an incomplete knowledge of the skills and capabilities needed to perform the role. Common gaps include focusing only on product backlogs, acting as a proxy for product decisions, and ignoring the need for key performance indicators (KPIs) and analytics in both planning and value realization. 'Product Owner Capabilities': 'Vision', 'Leadership', 'Product Lifecycle Management', 'Value Realization'.
Vision
  • Market Analysis
  • Business Alignment
  • Product Roadmap
Leadership
  • Soft Skills
  • Collaboration
  • Decision Making
Product Lifecycle Management
  • Plan
  • Build
  • Run
Value Realization
  • KPIs
  • Financial Management
  • Business Model

Details on product ownership capabilities can be found in the appendix.

Exercise 1.3.1 Identify product ownership capabilities

60 minutes

Output: Product owner capability mapping

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. Write down the capabilities product owners need to perform their duties (one per sticky note) in order to describe product ownership in your organization. Consider people, processes, and tools.
  2. Mark each capability with a plus (current capability), circle (some proficiency), or dash (missing capability).
  3. Discuss each capability and place on the appropriate quadrant.

'Product Owner Capabilities': 'Vision', 'Leadership', 'Product Lifecycle Management', 'Value Realization'.

Record the results in the Make the Case for Product Delivery Workbook.

Differentiate between product owners and product managers

Product Owner (Tactical Focus)
  • Backlog management and prioritization
  • Epic/story definition, refinement in conjunction with business stakeholders
  • Sprint planning with Scrum Master
  • Working with Scrum Master to minimize disruption to team velocity
  • Ensuring alignment between business and Scrum teams during sprints
  • Profit and loss (P&L) product analysis and monitoring
Product Manager (Strategic Focus)
  • Product strategy, positioning, and messaging
  • Product vision and product roadmap
  • Competitive analysis and positioning
  • New product innovation/definition
  • Release timing and focus (release themes)
  • Ongoing optimization of product-related marketing and sales activities
  • P&L product analysis and monitoring

Info-Tech Insight

“Product owner” and “product manager” are terms that should be adapted to fit your culture and product hierarchy. These are not management relationships but rather a way to structure related products and services that touch the same end users.

Step 1.4

Communicate what comes next

Activities
  • 1.4.1 How do we get started?

This step involves the following participants:

  • Product owners
  • Product managers
  • Development team leads
  • Portfolio managers
  • Business analysts

Outcomes of this step

  • A now, next, later roadmap indicating your overall next steps.

Make the Case for Product Delivery

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5

Make a plan in order to make a plan!

Consider some of the techniques you can use to validate your strategy.

Cyclical diagram of the 'Continuous Delivery of Value' within 'Business Value'. Surrounding attributes are 'User Centric', 'Adaptable', 'Accessible', 'Private & Secured', 'Informative & Insightful', 'Seamless Application Connection', 'Relationship & Network Building', 'Fit for Purpose'.

Go to your backlog and prioritize the elements that need to be answered sooner rather than later.

Possible areas of focus:

  • Regulatory requirements or questions to answer around accessibility, security, privacy.
  • Stress testing any new processes against situations that may occur.
Learning Milestones

The completion of a set of artifacts dedicated to validating business opportunities and hypotheses.

Possible areas of focus:

  • Align teams on product strategy prior to build
  • Market research and analysis
  • Dedicated feedback sessions
  • Provide information on feature requirements
Stock image of people learning.
Sprint Zero (AKA Project-before-the-project)

The completion of a set of key planning activities, typically the first sprint.

Possible areas of focus:

  • Focus on technical verification to enable product development alignment
  • Sign off on architectural questions or concerns
Stock photo of a person writing on a board of sticky notes.

The “Now, Next, Later” roadmap

Use this when deadlines and delivery dates are not strict. This is best suited for brainstorming a product plan when dependency mapping is not required.

  • Now
    What are you going to do now?
  • Next
    What are you going to do very soon?
  • Later
    What are you going to do in the future?
A priority map laid out as a half rainbow with 'Now' as the inner, 'Next' as the middle, and 'Later' as the outer. Various 'Features', 'Releases', and an 'MVP' are mapped into the sections.
(Source: “Tips for Agile product roadmaps & product roadmap examples,” Scrum.org, 2017)

Exercise 1.4.1 How do we get started?

30-60 minutes

Output: Product transformation critical steps and basic roadmap

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. Identify what the critical steps are for the organization to embrace product-centric delivery.
  2. Group each critical step by how soon you need to address it:
    • Now: Let’s do this ASAP.
    • Next: Sometime very soon, let’s do these things.
    • Later: Much further off in the distance, let’s consider these things.
A priority map laid out as a half rainbow with 'Now' as the inner, 'Next' as the middle, and 'Later' as the outer. Various 'Features', 'Releases', and an 'MVP' are mapped into the sections.
(Source: “Tips for Agile product roadmaps & product roadmap examples,” Scrum.org, 2017)

Record the results in the Make the Case for Product Delivery Workbook.

Example

Example table for listing tasks to complete Now, Next, or Later

Step 1.5

Make the case to your stakeholders

Activities
  • 1.5.1 Identify what support you need from your stakeholders
  • 1.5.2 Build your pitch for product delivery

This step involves the following participants:

  • Product owners
  • Product managers
  • Development team leads
  • Portfolio managers
  • Business analysts

Outcomes of this step

  • A deliverable that helps make the case for product delivery.

Make the Case for Product Delivery

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5

Develop a stakeholder strategy to define your product owner landscape

Stakeholder Influence

Stakeholders are a critical cornerstone to product ownership. They provide the context, alignment, and constraints that influence or control what a product owner is able to accomplish.

Product teams operate within this network of stakeholders who represent different perspectives within the organization.

See the appendix for activities and guidance on how to devise a strategy for managing stakeholders.

Image of four puzzle pieces being put together, labelled 'Product Lifecycle', 'Project Delivery', 'Operational Support', 'and Stakeholder Management'.

Exercise 1.5.1 Identify what support you need from your stakeholders

30 minutes

Output: Clear understanding of stakeholders, what they need from you, and what you need from them.

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. If you don’t yet know who your stakeholders are, consider completing one or more of the stakeholder management exercises in the appendix.
  2. Identify your key stakeholders who have an interest in solution delivery.
  3. Consider their perspective on product-centric delivery. (For example: For head of support, what does solution delivery mean to them?)
  4. Identify what role each stakeholder would play in the transformation.
    • This role represents what you need from them for this transformation to product-centric delivery.
Stakeholder
What does solution delivery mean to them?
What do you need from them in order to be successful?

Record the results in the Make the Case for Product Delivery Workbook.

Exercise 1.5.2 Build your pitch deck

30 minutes (and up)

Output: A completed presentation to help you make the case for product delivery.

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. Take the results from the Make the Case for Product Delivery Workbook and transfer them into the presentation template.
  2. Follow the instructions on each page listed in the instruction bubbles to know what results to place where.
  3. This is meant to be a template; you are welcome to add and remove slides as needed to suit your audience!

Sample of slides from the Make the Case for Product Delivery Workbook with instruction bubbles overlaid.

Record the results in the Make the Case for Product Delivery Workbook.

Appendix

Additional research to start your journey

Related Info-Tech Research

Product Delivery

Deliver on Your Digital Product Vision

  • Build a product vision your organization can take from strategy through execution.

Build a Better Product Owner

  • Strengthen the product owner role in your organization by focusing on core capabilities and proper alignment.

Build Your Agile Acceleration Roadmap

  • Quickly assess the state of your Agile readiness and plan your path forward to higher value realization.

Implement Agile Practices That Work

  • Improve collaboration and transparency with the business to minimize project failure.

Implement DevOps Practices That Work

  • Streamline business value delivery through the strategic adoption of DevOps practices.

Deliver Digital Products at Scale

  • Deliver value at the scale of your organization through defining enterprise product families.

Extend Agile Practices Beyond IT

  • Further the benefits of Agile by extending a scaled Agile framework to the business.

Build Your BizDevOps Playbook

  • Embrace a team sport culture built around continuous business-IT collaboration to deliver great products.

Embed Security Into the DevOps Pipeline

  • Shift security left to get into DevSecOps.

Spread Best Practices With an Agile Center of Excellence

  • Facilitate ongoing alignment between Agile teams and the business with a set of targeted service offerings.

Related Info-Tech Research

Application Portfolio Management

Application Portfolio Management (APM) Research Center

  • See an overview of the APM journey and how we can support the pieces in this journey.

Application Portfolio Management for Small Enterprises

  • There is no one-size-fits-all rationalization. Tailor your framework to meet your goals.

Streamline Application Maintenance

  • Effective maintenance ensures the long-term value of your applications.

Build an Application Rationalization Framework

  • Manage your application portfolio to minimize risk and maximize value.

Modernize Your Applications

  • Justify modernizing your application portfolio from both business and technical perspectives.

Review Your Application Strategy

  • Ensure your applications enable your business strategy.

Application Portfolio Management Foundations

  • Ensure your application portfolio delivers the best possible return on investment.

Streamline Application Management

  • Move beyond maintenance to ensuring exceptional value from your apps.

Optimize Applications Release Management

  • Facilitate ongoing alignment between Agile teams and the business with a set of targeted service offerings.

Embrace Business-Managed Applications

  • Empower the business to implement their own applications with a trusted business-IT relationship.

Related Info-Tech Research

Value, Delivery Metrics, Estimation

Build a Value Measurement Framework

  • Focus product delivery on business value–driven outcomes.

Select and Use SDLC Metrics Effectively

  • Be careful what you ask for, because you will probably get it.

Application Portfolio Assessment: End User Feedback

  • Develop data-driven insights to help you decide which applications to retire, upgrade, re-train on, or maintain to meet the demands of the business.

Create a Holistic IT Dashboard

  • Mature your IT department by measuring what matters.

Refine Your Estimation Practices With Top-Down Allocations

  • Don’t let bad estimates ruin good work.

Estimate Software Delivery With Confidence

  • Commit to achievable software releases by grounding realistic expectations

Reduce Time to Consensus With an Accelerated Business Case

  • Expand on the financial model to give your initiative momentum.

Optimize IT Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization

  • Deliver more projects by giving yourself the voice to say “no” or “not yet” to new projects.

Enhance PPM Dashboards and Reports

  • Facilitate ongoing alignment between Agile teams and the business with a set of targeted service offerings.

Related Info-Tech Research

Org Design and Performance

Redesign Your IT Organizational Structure

  • Focus product delivery on business value–driven outcomes.

Build a Strategic IT Workforce Plan

  • Have the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

Implement a New IT Organizational Structure

  • Reorganizations are inherently disruptive. Implement your new structure with minimal pain for staff while maintaining IT performance throughout the change.

Build an IT Employee Engagement Program

  • Measure employee sentiment to drive IT performance

Set Meaningful Employee Performance Measures

  • Set holistic measures to inspire employee performance.

Master Organizational Change Management Practices

  • PMOs, if you don't know who is responsible for org change, it's you.

Appendix

Product delivery strategy communication

Product roadmaps guide delivery and communicate your strategy

In Deliver on Your Digital Product Vision, we demonstrate how the product roadmap is core to value realization. The product roadmap is your communicated path, and as a product owner, you use it to align teams and changes to your defined goals while aligning your product to enterprise goals and strategy.

Diagram on how to get from product owner capabilities to 'Business Value Realization' through 'Product Roadmap' with a 'Tiered Backlog', 'Delivery Capacity and Throughput' via a 'Product Delivery Pipeline'.
(Adapted from: Pichler, “What Is Product Management?”)

Info-Tech Insight

The quality of your product backlog – and your ability to realize business value from your delivery pipeline – is directly related to the input, content, and prioritization of items in your product roadmap.

Define product value by aligning backlog delivery with roadmap goals

In each product plan, the backlogs show what you will deliver.
Roadmaps identify when and in what order you will deliver value, capabilities, and goals.

Two-part diagram showing the 'Product Backlog' segmented into '1. Current: Features/ Stories', '2. Near-term: Capabilities', and '3. Future: Epics', and then the 'Product Roadmap' with the same segments placed into a timeline.

Multiple roadmap views can communicate differently, yet tell the same truth

Product managers and product owners have many responsibilities, and a roadmap can be a useful tool to complete those objectives through communication or organization of tasks.

However, not all roadmaps address the correct audience and achieve those objectives. Care must be taken to align the view to the given audience.

Pie Chart showing the surveyed most important reason for using a product roadmap. From largest to smallest are 'Communicate a strategy', 'Plan and prioritize', 'Communicate milestones and releases', 'Get consensus on product direction', and 'Manage product backlog'.
Surveyed most important reason for using a product roadmap (Source: ProductPlan, 2018)

Audience
Business/ IT leaders Users/Customers Delivery teams
Roadmap View
Portfolio Product Technology
Objectives
To provide a snapshot of the portfolio and priority apps To visualize and validate product strategy To coordinate and manage teams and show dev. progress
Artifacts
Line items or sections of the roadmap are made up of individual apps, and an artifact represents a disposition at its highest level. Artifacts are generally grouped by various product teams and consist of strategic goals and the features that realize those goals. Artifacts are grouped by the teams who deliver that work and consist of features and technical enablers that support those features.

Appendix

Managing stakeholder influence

From Build a Better Product Owner

Step 1.3 (from Build a Better Product Owner)

Manage Stakeholder Influence

Activities
  • 1.3.1 Visualize interrelationships to identify key influencers
  • 1.3.2 Group your product owners into categories
  • 1.3.3 Prioritize your stakeholders
  • 1.3.4 Delegation Poker: Reach better decisions

This step will walk you through the following activities:

To be successful, product owners need to identify and manage all stakeholders for their products. This step will build a stakeholder map and strategy.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Product owners
  • Product managers
  • Development team leads
  • Portfolio managers
  • Delivery managers
  • Business analysts

Outcomes of this step

  • Relationships among stakeholders and influencers
  • Categorization of stakeholders and influencers
  • Stakeholder and influencer prioritization
  • Better understanding of decision-making approaches and delegation
Product Owner Foundations
Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3

Develop a product owner stakeholder strategy

Stakeholder Influence

Stakeholders are a critical cornerstone to product ownership. They provide the context, alignment, and constraints that influence or control what a product owner is able to accomplish.

Product owners operate within this network of stakeholders who represent different perspectives within the organization.

First, product owners must identify members of their stakeholder network. Next, they should devise a strategy for managing stakeholders.

Without accomplishing these missing pieces, product owners will encounter obstacles, resistance, or unexpected changes.

Image of four puzzle pieces being put together, labelled 'Product Lifecycle', 'Project Delivery', 'Operational Support', 'and Stakeholder Management'.

Create a stakeholder network map to product roadmaps and prioritization

Follow the trail of breadcrumbs from your direct stakeholders to their influencers to uncover hidden stakeholders.

Legend
Black arrow with a solid line and single direction. Black arrows indicate the direction of professional influence
Green arrow with a dashed line and bi-directional. Dashed green arrows indicate bidirectional, informal influence relationships

Info-Tech Insight

Your stakeholder map defines the influence landscape your product operates in. It is every bit as important as the teams who enhance, support, and operate your product directly.

Use “connectors” to determine who may be influencing your direct stakeholders. They may not have any formal authority within the organization, but they may have informal yet substantive relationships with your stakeholders.

1.3.1 Visualize interrelationships to identify key influencers

60 minutes

Input: List of product stakeholders

Output: Relationships among stakeholders and influencers

Materials: Whiteboard/flip charts, Markers, Build a Better Product Owner Workbook

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. List direct stakeholders for your product.
  2. Determine the stakeholders of your stakeholders and consider adding each of them to the stakeholder list.
  3. Assess who has either formal or informal influence over your stakeholders; add these influencers to your stakeholder list.
  4. Construct a diagram linking stakeholders and their influencers together.
    1. Use black arrows to indicate the direction of professional influence.
    2. Use dashed green arrows to indicate bidirectional, informal influence relationships.
  5. Record the results in the Build a Better Product Owner Workbook.

Record the results in the Build a Better Product Owner Workbook.

Categorize your stakeholders with a prioritization map

A stakeholder prioritization map helps product owners categorize their stakeholders by their level or influence and ownership in the product and/or teams.

Stakeholder prioritization map split into four quadrants along two axes, 'Influence', and 'Ownership/Interest': 'Players' (high influence, high interest); 'Mediators' (high influence, low interest); 'Noisemakers' (low influence, high interest); 'Spectators' (low influence, low interest). Source: Info-Tech Research Group

There are four areas in the map, and the stakeholders within each area should be treated differently.
  • Players – players have a high interest in the initiative and the influence to effect change over the initiative. Their support is critical, and a lack of support can cause significant impediment to the objectives.
  • Mediators – mediators have a low interest but significant influence over the initiative. They can help to provide balance and objective opinions to issues that arise.
  • Noisemakers – noisemakers have low influence but high interest. They tend to be very vocal and engaged, either positively or negatively, but have little ability to enact their wishes.
  • Spectators – generally, spectators are apathetic and have little influence over or interest in the initiative.

1.3.2 Group your product owners into categories

30 minutes

Input: Stakeholder map

Output: Categorization of stakeholders and influencers

Materials: Whiteboard/flip charts, Markers, Build a Better Product Owner Workbook

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. Identify your stakeholder’s interest in and influence on your Agile implementation as high, medium, or low by rating the attributes below.
  2. Map your results to the model below to determine each stakeholder’s category.
  3. Record the results in the Build a Better Product Owner Workbook.
Same stakeholder prioritization map as before but with example positions mapped onto it.
Level of Influence
  • Power: Ability of a stakeholder to effect change.
  • Urgency: Degree of immediacy demanded.
  • Legitimacy: Perceived validity of stakeholder’s claim.
  • Volume: How loud their “voice” is or could become.
  • Contribution: What they have that is of value to you.
Level of Interest

How much are the stakeholder’s individual performance and goals directly tied to the success or failure of the product?

Record the results in the Build a Better Product Owner Workbook.

Prioritize your stakeholders

There may be too many stakeholders to be able to manage them all. Focus your attention on the stakeholders that matter most.

Stakeholder prioritization table with 'Stakeholder Category' as row headers ('Player', 'Mediator', 'Noisemaker', 'Spectator') and 'Level of Support' as column headers ('Supporter', 'Evangelist', 'Neutral', 'Blocker'). Importance ratings are 'Critical', 'High', 'Medium', 'Low', and 'Irrelevant'.

Consider the three dimensions for stakeholder prioritization: influence, interest, and support. Support can be determined by rating the following question: how likely is it that your stakeholder would recommend your product? These parameters are used to prioritize which stakeholders are most important and should receive the focus of your attention. The table to the right indicates how stakeholders are ranked.

1.3.3 Prioritize your stakeholders

30 minutes

Input: Stakeholder matrix, Stakeholder prioritization

Output: Stakeholder and influencer prioritization

Materials: Whiteboard/flip charts, Markers, Build a Better Product Owner Workbook

Participants: Product owners, Product managers, Development team leads, Portfolio managers, Business analysts

  1. Identify the level of support of each stakeholder by answering the following question: how likely is it that your stakeholder would endorse your product?
  2. Prioritize your stakeholders using the prioritization scheme on the previous slide.
  3. Record the results in the Build a Better Product Owner Workbook.
Stakeholder Category Level of Support Prioritization
CMO Spectator Neutral Irrelevant
CIO Player Supporter Critical

Record the results in the Build a Better Product Owner Workbook.

Define strategies for engaging stakeholders by type

Stakeholder strategy map assigning stakeholder strategies to stakeholder categories, as described in the adjacent table.

Info-Tech Insight

Each group of stakeholders draws attention and resources away from critical tasks. By properly identifying your stakeholder groups, the product owner can develop corresponding actions to manage stakeholders in each group. This can dramatically reduce wasted effort trying to satisfy Spectators and Noisemakers, while ensuring the needs of the Mediators and Players are met.

Type Quadrant Actions
Players High influence; high interest – actively engage Keep them updated on the progress of the project. Continuously involve Players in the process and maintain their engagement and interest by demonstrating their value to its success.
Mediators High influence; low interest – keep satisfied They can be the game changers in groups of stakeholders. Turn them into supporters by gaining their confidence and trust and including them in important decision-making steps. In turn, they can help you influence other stakeholders.
Noisemakers Low influence; high interest – keep informed Try to increase their influence (or decrease it if they are detractors) by providing them with key information, supporting them in meetings, and using Mediators to help them.
Spectators Low influence; low interest – monitor They are followers. Keep them in the loop by providing clarity on objectives and status updates.

Appendix

Product owner capability details

From Build a Better Product Owner

Develop product owner capabilities

Capability 'Vision' with sub-capabilities 'Market Analysis, 'Business Alignment', and 'Product Roadmap'.

Each capability has three components needed for successful product ownership.

Definitions are on the following slides.

Central diagram title 'Product Owner Capabilities'.

Define the skills and activities in each component that are directly related to your product and culture.

Capability 'Leadership' with sub-capabilities 'Soft Skills', 'Collaboration', and 'Decision Making'.
Capability 'Product Lifecycle Management' with sub- capabilities 'Plan', 'Build', and 'Run'. Capability 'Value Realization' with sub-capabilities 'KPIs', 'Financial Management', and 'Business Model'.

Capabilities: Vision

Market Analysis

  • Unique solution: Identify the target users and unique value your product provides that is not currently being met.
  • Market size: Define the size of your user base, segmentation, and potential growth.
  • Competitive analysis: Determine alternative solutions, products, or threats that affect adoption, usage, and retention.

Business Alignment

  • SWOT analysis: Complete a SWOT analysis for your end-to-end product lifecycle. Use Info-Tech’s Business SWOT Analysis Template.
  • Enterprise alignment: Align product to enterprise goals, strategies, and constraints.
  • Delivery strategy: Develop a delivery strategy to achieve value quickly and adapt to internal and external changes.

Product Roadmap

  • Roadmap strategy: Determine the duration, detail, and structure of your roadmap to accurately communicate your vision.
  • Value prioritization: Define criteria used to evaluate and sequence demand.
  • Go to market strategy: Create organizational change management, communications, and a user implementation approach.

Info-Tech Insight

Data comes from many places and may still not tell the complete story.

Capability 'Vision' with sub-capabilities 'Market Analysis, 'Business Alignment', and 'Product Roadmap'.

“Customers are best heard through many ears.” (Thomas K. Connellan, Inside the Magic Kingdom)

Capabilities: Leadership

Soft Skills

  • Communication: Maintain consistent, concise, and appropriate communication using SMART guidelines (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely).
  • Integrity: Stick to your values, principles, and decision criteria for the product to build and maintain trust with your users and teams.
  • Influence: Manage stakeholders using influence and collaboration over contract negotiation.

Collaboration

  • Stakeholder management: Build a communications strategy for each stakeholder group, tailored to individual stakeholders.
  • Relationship management: Use every interaction point to strengthen relationships, build trust, and empower teams.
  • Team development: Promote development through stretch goals and controlled risks to build team capabilities and performance.

Decision Making

  • Prioritized criteria: Remove personal bias by basing decisions off data analysis and criteria.
  • Continuous improvement: Balance new features with the need to ensure quality and create an environment of continuous improvement.
  • Team empowerment/negotiation: Push decisions to teams closest to the problem and solution, using Delegation Poker to guide you.

Info-Tech Insight

Product owners cannot be just a proxy for stakeholder decisions. The product owner owns product decisions and management of all stakeholders.

Capability 'Leadership' with sub-capabilities 'Soft Skills', 'Collaboration', and 'Decision Making'.

“Everything walks the walk. Everything talks the talk.” (Thomas K. Connellan, Inside the Magic Kingdom)

Capabilities: Product lifecycle management

Plan

  • Product backlog: Follow a schedule for backlog intake, refinement, updates, and prioritization.
  • Journey map: Create an end-user journey map to guide adoption and loyalty.
  • Fit for purpose: Define expected value and intended use to ensure the product meets your end user’s needs.

Build

  • Capacity management: Work with operations and delivery teams to ensure consistent and stable outcomes.
  • Release strategy: Build learning, release, and critical milestones into a repeatable release plan.
  • Compliance: Build policy compliance into delivery practices to ensure alignment and reduce avoidable risk (privacy, security).

Run

  • Adoption: Focus attention on end-user adoption and proficiency to accelerate value and maximize retention.
  • Support: Build operational support and business continuity into every team.
  • Measure: Measure KPIs and validate expected value to ensure product alignment to goals and consistent product quality.

Info-Tech Insight

Product owners must actively manage the full lifecycle of the product.

Capability 'Product Lifecycle Management' with sub- capabilities 'Plan', 'Build', and 'Run'.

“Pay fantastic attention to detail. Reward, recognize, celebrate.” (Thomas K. Connellan, Inside the Magic Kingdom)

Capabilities: Value realization

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  • Usability and user satisfaction: Assess satisfaction through usage monitoring and end-user feedback.
  • Value validation: Directly measure performance against defined value proposition, goals, and predicted ROI.
  • Fit for purpose: Verify the product addresses the intended purpose better than other options.

Financial Management

  • P&L: Manage each product as if it were its own business with profit and loss statements.
  • Acquisition cost/market growth: Define the cost of acquiring a new consumer, onboarding internal users, and increasing product usage.
  • User retention/market share: Verify product usage continues after adoption and solution reaches new user groups to increase value.

Business Model

  • Defines value proposition: Dedicate your primary focus to understanding and defining the value your product will deliver.
  • Market strategy and goals: Define your acquisition, adoption, and retention plan for users.
  • Financial model: Build an end-to-end financial model and plan for the product and all related operational support.

Info-Tech Insight

Most organizations stop with on-time and on-budget. True financial alignment needs to define and manage the full lifecycle P&L.

Capability 'Value Realization' with sub-capabilities 'KPIs', 'Financial Management', and 'Business Model'.

“The competition is anyone the customer compares you with.” (Thomas K. Connellan, Inside the Magic Kingdom)

Avoid common capability gaps

Vision

  • Focusing solely on backlog refining (tactical only)
  • Ignoring or failing to align product roadmap to enterprise goals
  • Operational support and execution
  • Basing decisions on opinion rather than market data
  • Ignoring or missing internal and external threats to your product

Leadership

  • Failing to include feedback from all teams who interact with your product
  • Using a command-and-control approach
  • Viewing product owner as only a delivery role
  • Acting as a proxy for stakeholder decisions
  • Avoiding tough strategic decisions in favor of easier tactical choices

Product Lifecycle Management

  • Focusing on delivery and not the full product lifecycle
  • Ignoring support, operations, and technical debt
  • Failing to build knowledge management into the lifecycle
  • Underestimating delivery capacity, capabilities, or commitment
  • Assuming delivery stops at implementation

Value Realization

  • Focusing exclusively on “on time/on budget” metrics
  • Failing to measure a 360-degree end-user view of the product
  • Skipping business plans and financial models
  • Limiting financial management to project/change budgets
  • Ignoring market analysis for growth, penetration, and threats

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Research Contributors and Experts

Photo of Emily Archer, Lead Business Analyst, Enterprise Consulting, authentic digital agency.

Emily Archer
Lead Business Analyst,
Enterprise Consulting, authentic digital agency

Emily Archer is a consultant currently working with Fortune 500 clients to ensure the delivery of successful projects, products, and processes. She helps increase the business value returned for organizations’ investments in designing and implementing enterprise content hubs and content operations, custom web applications, digital marketing, and e-commerce platforms.

Photo of David Berg, Founder & CTO, Strainprint Technologies Inc.

David Berg
Founder & CTO
Strainprint Technologies Inc.

David Berg is a product commercialization expert that has spent the last 20 years of his career delivering product management and business development services across a broad range of industries. Early in his career, David worked with product management and engineering teams to build core network infrastructure products that secure and power the internet we benefit from today. David’s experience also includes working with clean technologies in the area of clean power generation, agritech, and Internet of Things infrastructure. Over the last five years, David has been focused on his latest venture, Strainprint Technologies, a data and analytics company focused on the medical cannabis industry. Strainprint has built the largest longitudinal medical cannabis dataset in the world with the goal to develop an understanding of treatment behavior, interactions, and chemical drivers to guide future product development.

Research Contributors and Experts

Blank photo template.

Kathy Borneman
Digital Product Owner, SunTrust Bank

Kathy Borneman is a senior product owner who helps people enjoy their jobs again by engaging others in end-to-end decision making to deliver software and operational solutions that enhance the client experience and allow people to think and act strategically.

Photo of Charlie Campbell, Product Owner, Merchant e-Solutions.

Charlie Campbell
Product Owner, Merchant e-Solutions

Charlie Campbell is an experienced problem solver with the ability to quickly dissect situations and recommend immediate actions to achieve resolution, liaise between technical and functional personnel to bridge the technology and communication gap, and work with diverse teams and resources to reach a common goal.

Research Contributors and Experts

Photo of Yarrow Diamond, Sr. Director, Business Architecture, Financial Services.

Yarrow Diamond
Sr. Director, Business Architecture
Financial Services

Yarrow Diamond is an experienced professional with expertise in enterprise strategy development, project portfolio management, and business process reengineering across financial services, healthcare and insurance, hospitality, and real estate environments. She has a master’s in Enterprise Architecture from Penn State University, LSSMBB, PMP, CSM, ITILv3.

Photo of Cari J. Faanes-Blakey, CBAP, PMI-PBA, Enterprise Business Systems Analyst, Vertex, Inc.

Cari J. Faanes-Blakey, CBAP, PMI-PBA
Enterprise Business Systems Analyst,
Vertex, Inc.

Cari J. Faanes-Blakey has a history in software development and implementation as a Business Analyst and Project Manager for financial and taxation software vendors. Active in the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), Cari participated on the writing team for the BA Body of Knowledge 3.0 and the certification exam.

Research Contributors and Experts

Photo of Kieran Gobey, Senior Consultant Professional Services, Blueprint Software Systems.

Kieran Gobey
Senior Consultant Professional Services
Blueprint Software Systems

Kieran Gobey is an IT professional with 24 years of experience, focused on business, technology, and systems analysis. He has split his career between external and internal customer-facing roles, and this has resulted in a true understanding of what is required to be a Professional Services Consultant. His problem-solving skills and ability to mentor others have resulted in successful software implementations.

Kieran’s specialties include deep system troubleshooting and analysis skills, facilitating communications to bring together participants effectively, mentoring, leadership, and organizational skills.

Photo of Rupert Kainzbauer, VP Product, Digital Wallets, Paysafe Group.

Rupert Kainzbauer
VP Product, Digital Wallets
Paysafe Group

Rupert Kainzbauer is an experienced senior leader with a passion for defining and delivering products that deliver real customer and commercial benefit. Together with a team of highly experienced and motivated product managers, he has successfully led highly complex, multi-stakeholder payments initiatives, from proposition development and solution design through to market delivery. Their domain experience is in building online payment products in high-risk and emerging markets, remittance, prepaid cards, and mobile applications.

Research Contributors and Experts

Photo of Saeed Khan, Founder, Transformation Labs.

Saeed Khan
Founder,
Transformation Labs

Saeed Khan has been working in high tech for 30 years in both Canada and the US and has held a number of leadership roles in Product Management over that time. He speaks regularly at conferences and has been writing publicly about technology product management since 2005.

Through Transformation Labs, Saeed helps companies accelerate product success by working with product teams to improve their skills, practices, and processes. He is a cofounder of ProductCamp Toronto and currently runs a Meetup group and global Slack community called Product Leaders, the only global community of senior-level product executives.

Photo of Hoi Kun Lo, Product Owner, Nielsen.

Hoi Kun Lo
Product Owner
Nielsen

Hoi Kun Lo is an experienced change agent who can be found actively participating within the IIBA and WITI groups in Tampa, FL, and a champion for Agile, architecture, diversity, and inclusion programs at Nielsen. She is currently a Product Owner in the Digital Strategy team within Nielsen Global Watch Technology.

Research Contributors and Experts

Photo of Abhishek Mathur, Sr Director, Product Management, Kasisto, Inc.

Abhishek Mathur
Sr Director, Product Management
Kasisto, Inc.

Abhishek Mathur is a product management leader, an artificial intelligence practitioner, and an educator. He has led product management and engineering teams at Clarifai, IBM, and Kasisto to build a variety of artificial intelligence applications within the space of computer vision, natural language processing, and recommendation systems. Abhishek enjoys having deep conversations about the future of technology and helping aspiring product managers enter and accelerate their careers.

Photo of Jeff Meister, Technology Advisor and Product Leader.

Jeff Meister
Technology Advisor and Product Leader

Jeff Meister is a technology advisor and product leader. He has more than 20 years of experience building and operating software products and the teams that build them. He has built products across a wide range of industries and has built and led large engineering, design, and product organizations.

Jeff most recently served as Senior Director of Product Management at Avanade, where he built and led the product management practice. This involved hiring and leading product managers, defining product management processes, solution shaping and engagement execution, and evangelizing the discipline through pitches, presentations, and speaking engagements.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Electrical Engineering) and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo, an MBA from INSEAD (Strategy), and certifications in product management, project management, and design thinking.

Research Contributors and Experts

Photo of Vincent Mirabelli, Principal, Global Project Synergy Group.

Vincent Mirabelli
Principal,
Global Project Synergy Group

With over 10 years of experience in both the private and public sectors, Vincent Mirabelli possesses an impressive track record of improving, informing, and transforming business strategy and operations through process improvement, design and re-engineering, and the application of quality to business analysis, project management, and process improvement standards.

Photo of Oz Nazili, VP, Product & Growth, TWG.

Oz Nazili
VP, Product & Growth
TWG

Oz Nazili is a product leader with a decade of experience in both building products and product teams. Having spent time at funded startups and large enterprises, he thinks often about the most effective way to deliver value to users. His core areas of interest include Lean MVP development and data-driven product growth.

Research Contributors and Experts

Photo of Mark Pearson, Principal IT Architect, First Data Corporation.

Mark Pearson
Principal IT Architect
First Data Corporation

Mark Pearson is an executive business leader grounded in the process, data, technology, and operations of software-driven business. He knows the enterprise software landscape and is skilled in product, technology, and operations design and delivery within information technology organizations, outsourcing firms, and software product companies.

Photo of Brenda Peshak, Product Owner, Widget Industries, LLC.

Brenda Peshak
Product Owner,
Widget Industries, LLC

Brenda Peshak is skilled in business process, analytical skills, Microsoft Office Suite, communication, and customer relationship management (CRM). She is a strong product management professional with a Master’s focused in Business Leadership (MBL) from William Penn University.

Research Contributors and Experts

Photo of Mike Starkey, Director of Engineering, W.W. Grainger.

Mike Starkey
Director of Engineering
W.W. Grainger

Mike Starkey is a Director of Engineering at W.W. Grainger, currently focusing on operating model development, digital architecture, and building enterprise software. Prior to joining W.W. Grainger, Mike held a variety of technology consulting roles throughout the system delivery lifecycle spanning multiple industries such as healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and utilities with Fortune 500 companies.

Photo of Anant Tailor, Cofounder & Head of Product, Dream Payments Corp.

Anant Tailor
Cofounder & Head of Product
Dream Payments Corp.

Anant Tailor is a cofounder at Dream Payments where he currently serves as the COO and Head of Product, having responsibility for Product Strategy & Development, Client Delivery, Compliance, and Operations. He has 20+ years of experience building and operating organizations that deliver software products and solutions for consumers and businesses of varying sizes.

Prior to founding Dream Payments, Anant was the COO and Director of Client Services at DonRiver Inc, a technology strategy and software consultancy that he helped to build and scale into a global company with 100+ employees operating in seven countries.

Anant is a Professional Engineer with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from McMaster University and a certificate in Product Strategy & Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Research Contributors and Experts

Photo of Angela Weller, Scrum Master, Businessolver.

Angela Weller
Scrum Master, Businessolver

Angela Weller is an experienced Agile business analyst who collaborates with key stakeholders to attain their goals and contributes to the achievement of the company’s strategic objectives to ensure a competitive advantage. She excels when mediating or facilitating teams.

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Authors

Hans Eckman

Ari Glaizel

Contributors

  • Emily Archer, Lead Business Analyst, Enterprise Consulting, authentic digital agency
  • David Berg, Founder & CTO, Strainprint Technologies Inc.
  • Kathy Borneman, Digital Product Owner, SunTrust Bank
  • Charlie Campbell, Product Owner, Merchant e-Solutions
  • Yarrow Diamond, Sr. Director, Business Architecture, Financial Services
  • Cari J. Faanes-Blakey, CBAP, PMI-PBA, Enterprise Business Systems Analyst, Vertex, Inc.
  • Kieran Gobey, Senior Consultant Professional Services, Blueprint Software Systems
  • Rupert Kainzbauer, VP Product, Digital Wallets, Paysafe Group
  • Saeed Khan, Founder, Transformation Labs
  • Hoi Kun Lo, Product Owner, Nielsen
  • Abhishek Mathur, Sr Director, Product Management, Kasisto, Inc.
  • Jeff Meister, Technology Advisor and Product Leader
  • Vincent Mirabelli, Principal, Global Project Synergy Group
  • Oz Nazili, VP, Product & Growth, TWG
  • Mark Pearson, Principal IT Architect, First Data Corporation
  • Brenda Peshak, Product Owner, Widget Industries, LLC
  • Mike Starkey, Director of Engineering, W.W. Grainger
  • Anant Tailor, Co-founder & Head of Product, Dream Payments Corp.
  • Angela Weller, Scrum Master, Businessolver
  • 12 of anonymous company contributors
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