Winning the Product Discovery Game

RSVP for April 18th

Discovery is incredibly important though there’s a lot of ways to do discovery – so what’s the right way to do this? Or do you really need to do discovery?

Our speaker, Melissa Klemke, Head of Product at Prezzee, will take you though an interactive session and will be covering a lot including:

  • Types of research
  • Working with User Researchers (if you have them & what if you don’t)
  • Setting up a research program and customer pool
  • What market research is useful and how to do it
  • Forming hypotheses
  • Experimenting
  • Tooling (with and w/o fancy tools)
  • Solutioning & technical discovery

Our Hosts:

At Propel, we’re dedicated to helping businesses achieve sustained product success. That means not only bringing your product ideas to life, but also ensuring that they remain relevant and successful over time. With our unique blend of software development and product strategy services, we offer a comprehensive approach that goes beyond just delivering a product. Our goal is to help you create long-lasting results that drive growth and success for your business.

Founded in 2016, we are a team of entrepreneurial product strategy, design and development leaders with a track record of building businesses, creating and expanding markets, and developing new technologies that benefit millions of people across the globe.

RSVP for April 18th

How do you think about your value prop?

Or maybe the question is – do you think about your value prop? How do you communicate your value prop?

This month we’ll organise you into small groups to do a bit of a workshop. We’ll have an exercise that might mean you need to bring your own paper and scissors to help you think about your products value proposition. Jen + Liz + Steve B will be your fabulous fun hosts.

NOTE: We have some stationary from Product Camp but if you have your own sharpie to bring, that would be helpful! Sharpie colours are good!

RSVP for Thursday March 21st

Our hosts – Chargefox!

Chargefox is part of the AMS Group. Every day thousands of drivers charge their vehicle on the Chargefox network – the largest and fastest growing EV charging network in Australia. We’re owned and operated by the NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAA, RAC and RACT. The same companies supporting drivers for over 100 years.

Driving Outcomes with OKRs

RSVP for Thursday, Feb 22nd

Upgrade your product delivery with OKRs (Workshop)

One of the best things we can do as Product people is get our teams excited about solving real customer problems and measuring success. We’re going to cover just that in this session, we’ll explore how to go from strategy and discovery, to validating the impact once launched with the Objective and Key Results (OKR) framework. A goal setting framework used by some of the world’s leading product businesses, like Google, LinkedIn and SEEK. This will be a practical session, so be ready to work on your product!

Our Speaker:

Tim Newbold, OKR Coach and founder of OKR Quickstart will be our speaker. Tim founded OKR Quickstart to help tech companies unlock growth. They do this by creating focus on the biggest growth constraint, getting the team behind the plan to solve it and delivering meaningful results. He has a background leading product engineering teams in SaaS and Fintech businesses. Tim loves to work with some of the worlds leading tech businesses, such as ELMO Software, Domino’s, SEEK, Carsales & Connective.

Our Host:

David Jones
As one of Australia’s most iconic retailers we have a rich 185-year history of being a curator of world-class brands. Our people are driven by the passion and desire to inspire our customers with seamless service and experiences like no other.

RSVP here!

October – Helping Teams ‘do product’

What is the difference between a product team building a product and product teams ‘doing product’? As software companies scale and the product team grows, the difference between building ‘stuff’ and performing the practice of product management can be massive. It can greatly impact the ability to find product market fit through to the ability to scale with pace and grace.

Join us Thursday October 26th RSVP

Our speaker, Nick Wodzinski will share his experience of going from product hire #1 in startups & scale ups and working with teams building product to setting the formula for growing from 1 to many product teams. Nick will reflect on his experiences of setting up teams over the last 5 years with SignOnSite, EstimateOne, Mastt and Chargefox.

Our speaker:

Nick Wodzinski is the lead product manager at Chargefox – Australia’s largest public charging network for electric vehicles. His background is in construction tech, and he has worked setting up product teams with startups and scale ups over the last 5 years in the Australian software industry. Fast 5 Q&A with Nick

Our host:
Our wonderful friends at Everest Engineering will be our hosts for the evening.

Everest Engineering is a bold, people first community, building digital products for those who do things differently.

How to Dip Your Toe into the AI water

As a product manager, have you gotten caught into the AI frenzy? Or feel like you’re missing out and not sure where to start?

This month we’ll talk about how to make use of AI and tools like ChatGPT in your product world. RSVP for September 21st

– How to use Generative Ai in your workflow, i.e. pad out a persona

– How to incorporate it into an existing product i.e. Shopify launching Sidekick, a personal commerce assistant

– What could you do to build from the ground up with chatGPT, as an example. i.e. this is the hardest to predict at the moment as well but we can explore some of the future opportunities

Our speaker:

Tim O’Neill is the Co-founder of Time Under Tension. They help companies make sense of Generative AI and how it can be used for their products.

Find out more at and his LinkedIn profile.

Our host:

Thank you Catapult for being our September host!

Catapult exists to unleash the potential of every athlete and team on earth. Operating at the intersection of sports science and analytics, Catapult products are designed to optimize performance, avoid injury, and improve return to play. Catapult has over 400 staff based across 24 locations worldwide, working with more than 3,800 Pro teams in over 40 sports across more than 100 countries globally. To learn more about Catapult and to inquire about accessing performance analytics for a team or athlete, visit us at Follow us at @CatapultSports on social media for daily updates.

RSVP for September 21st

Product Camp 2023

Take your mind back to August 2019.. it was a bit chilly and we had 300 people interested in product all together for Product Camp. We celebrated 10 years of Product Camp in Melbourne, where Rich Mironov virtually spoke to us about the importance of community and history of Product Camps, Georgia Murch helped us understand feedback, Antony Ugoni shared his knowledge and experiences with bringing the data and about 20 of our community gave talks (after they pitched & the attendees voted on what they wanted to hear).

AND then there was that thing – that prevented us from gathering together.

But we’re excited to say… we’re back. Join us on Saturday August 5th (RSVP)!

Same familiar ‘unconference’ style event where we organise the venue and keynotes (including Ken Sandy and one TBA) and make sure you have some food and water during the day – but you (!) are active participants! You can pitch a talk idea, or run a panel discussion or ask for a working talk to help you work thru a problem.

For more details and to submit a talk idea, go to

NOTE: If Camp is at waitlist, we recommend you add yourself and check back in. As the day gets closer, numbers will change and spaces will become available. If you are one of the people who have RSVP’d but something has changed and you can’t make it, please change your RSVP to no so others can attend.

Making retention fun – how games get players coming back for more

RSVP for Thursday July 20th

Retention and engagement are often a key focus for product teams, and the games industry has some great insights into how they think about these 2 concepts to attract and keep their users.

While games have some unique difference to many products, the concepts in this talk are ones any product team can apply in their user journey. Retention is also not a once and done job, so thinking about opportunities to keep your customers engaged along the entire lifecycle of using your products will also be something discussed in this talk.

Our speaker:
Sebastian Pattom – Director at Product at Electronic Arts (EA) will share his experiences and knowledge of his work in the retention space.

Our hosts:
Canva is a global online visual communications platform designed to empower the world to design. We create beautiful designs from presentations to infographics, videos, t-shirts and social media graphics.

We recently launched the Canva Visual Worksuite – a suite of new workplace products and features built to empower anyone to communicate visually, on any device, from anywhere in the world.

We believe that our responsibility goes far beyond business as usual, and that what’s good for business can be good for the world: This is part of our two-step plan. We truly believe that good for humanity is good for business, and times are really changing around people’s expectations of what they expect from businesses. We’ve come a long way, though we believe we’re still only 1% of the way there.

Thanks Canva! Check out their current product jobs.

RSVP for Thursday July 20th. If your plans change and you can’t attend, please update your RSVP so people on the waitlist can attend. Thank you!

June Meetup: Just what ARE you getting yourself into????

You have decided you want to be a product manager and gotten that first job – or maybe you’re in your second PM role. Is it all you thought it would be?? What really have you gotten yourself into as a new product manager?!?

And this session is not just for folks who are new to product management! Folks who have been there … we need your wise words of wisdom and you’ll learn something new too!

This month, we’ve gathered a panel of new product folk (3 years or less) to share their stories of what their grappling with at the start of this career journey. We’ll be taking questions from the audience and guiding the discussion as we tap into this moment in time, that you never get back 🙂

There will be audience participation!!!

We’ll be running an interactive component to connect our more experienced PMs with the newbies in the room and facilitate some speed mentoring rounds between those starting out in their career and those with sage learnings to share.

Our panellists:

Hugh Osborne, Jane Card & Heike Radlanski

Jane Card is a career shifter into product after fifteen years helping organisations define problems, generate solutions, adopt new business models and ways of working.  Naturally curious and a people geek, Jane is passionate about leveraging different perspectives to make the world a better place.

Heike Radlanski started her career in digital marketing before moving into a product owner role and subsequently into product management. Passionate about understanding people’s needs and pain points, Heike enjoys the process of working in cross-functional teams to create and improve products that add value for those using them.

Hugh Osbourne moved to Product Management after working in design, product design, copywriting and small business jack-of-some-trades. He’s been in successful and failing startups (sometimes in the same week), assembling a impressive toolbox of hacks, workarounds and bad habits. Working now in a growing organisation, he’s interested in the secret sauce of small teams, why data products are the best products, and how to domesticate ‘wild’ PMs

Our hosts:

A big thank you to MYOB!

MYOB has been part of the fabric of doing business in Australia and New Zealand for more than 30 years, having grown from its status as the original Australian unicorn to now employing people across Australia and New Zealand, based out of nine locations in the region. Having started life as accounting software, MYOB has undertaken significant steps toward becoming a cloud-based business management platform that brings together key workflows to fit a business’s needs.

To see what it is like to be an MYOBelievers, check out our careers site.

Teaching Product Teams to Fish for Themselves – March 2023 Wrap

For our March session of Product Anonymous, we were fortunate to be joined by Amir Ansari, Global Head of Product Design at Iress, to share some of his experiences with raising design maturity and capability in his organisations, and it may not be how you would initially think.

Appreciation of Product Design

Over recent years, many more companies have started to appreciate the value of product and design. And as an industry, we’ve seen a bit of an explosion in growth. Many companies have bolstered their design teams, and transformed the way they work. 

  • Atlassian grew 1600% or 16x in 4 years (6 to 106 designers)
  • Coles grew 550% or 5.5x in 1 year (10 to 65 designers)

But how many designers are enough?

Is it even about the number of designers? Or more about the ratio of designers to developers?

So what’s the best path for designing and building better products? Is it to hire a bunch more designers, and get the ratio down? Some implications of this approach may be your increase in overhead, and the need to change your operating model, which is not necessarily a terrible thing. However, surely there’s a more scalable way to grow.

In fact, according to a Nielsen Norman Group article, the typical ratio alone does not ensure greater organisational impact, better designs, or more usable products.

The Challenge – How might we Improve Design Maturity…

When we talk about Design Maturity, we’re talking about:

  • Product Design
  • Innovation
  • Human Centred Design
  • User Experience
  • UI design
  • Visual Design
  • Service Design

Back to that designer to developer ratio. For Iress, the ratio is 1:35. Or 1 designer working across 5 squads. That’s 14 design practitioners, grown over 20 years, covering 120 products. When it comes to design, Iress still falls short of a minimum acceptable amount of practitioners.  

An assessment against NNgroup’s stages of UX maturity would be between 1 and 2, with obvious aspiration to move towards a 6.

So therein lies the challenge – how might we improve the design maturity, without unrealistically increasing UX headcount.

Guiding Principles

As the old adage goes, If you give somebody a fish, you feed them for a day. But if you teach somebody to fish, you feed them for a lifetime. 

The same goes for design – to increase design maturity, don’t just rush to increase design headcount.

Over the past 15 years, one of Amir’s fundamental principles has been to democratise the craft of design – to teach and empower everybody within the organisation to practise design, from customer research, to experimentation, validation and much more.

Ensure everybody has the confidence and is empowered to talk about design. Talk about the product. Talk about the customer. Talk about the end user.

Designers are facilitators of the design process. Not owners of the design. 

Everybody else in the room, from Business Analysts, Quality Assurance, Engineers, Product Owner and Product Managers all have a perspective and opinions too. Use the right toolkits to validate those opinions.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”

Maya Angelou – American Philosopher

Nobody can be an expert straight away. Mastery comes with practice. So continue to practise and build that muscle.

Don’t start by putting slide decks together to pitch for why design should be more valued, or why you hire more designers. Rather, get out there with the clients, and start doing design work, and showing value. Use that newly created value as the enticement to invest more in design.


Educate, coach, train anyone who shows interest, and promote DIY. 

When Amir first started at Iress, there were only 6 designers to support 700 engineers. Way too many to try to teach every single engineer about design practices. So one of the first things they did was to document their playbook, starting with some of their most common human-centred design activities that were relevant to Iress. And without jargon, so that non-designers could understand and follow too.

A typical Playbook Topic skeleton could include:

  • What is it?
  • Why should you do it?
  • When should you do it?
  • How to do it?
  • Resources and templates
  • Skill level required
  • Typical duration

This way Business Analysts, Product Managers and others could read the content, reach out for guidance, and give the activity a go.

Following the activity, the design team would debrief them – how did it go? What worked, what didn’t? Try this next time. Essentially, helping team members add another tool to their toolkit.

The design team also tracks the playbook engagement. Who is visiting, and from which disciplines? Which topics are being used? Are some topics being neglected? Do they need to run campaigns or refreshers to get people to re-engage?

Create champions

It’s important to reduce the friction for non-designers to get involved, learn and talk about the design craft. At Iress, they introduced communities, and have created over 25 design-specific slack channels, some around design-related themes (eg, the Iress Design System), others based on region (eg, for Melbourne Product Design Team, or the UX Research Enthusiasts UK channels).

Also, after running design activities, Amir’s team gathers feedback and measures the sentiment of non-designer participants about the process. Was it valuable? Could something be done better? Would you come again? Build interest and iterate the process so that people want to return.

Bake into existing processes

When you’re trying to change the way people work, there is always going to be resistance. Everybody is already overworked. Reduce the barriers. Break up the processes and the craft, and insert smaller portions into existing processes.

Product design principles – agreed and followed

The Design Team (or one of their principals) created a design charter, or a set of principles, that the team could easily and quickly refer to, so regardless of where they were in the design or build cycle, they could check that they were on track. Have they removed their biases? Did they understand what success would look like? And can it be measured? 

Make it a team sport

Design is a team sport. We all work for product companies. We are all responsible for delivering value to the customer through the products we build.

Create demand in product design and UX. 

Show value from the UX craft, so that more people want to join in and share the same

Beware, some of the Traps

The Dunning Kruger Effect

After you’ve coached somebody, and they’ve read a bit of material from your playbook, and even run an activity, there’s a danger that they overestimate their ability. There is a chance that they start to erode the craft of design. 

Constant education and reinforcement is required. 

  • Did you know you only need 5 users for meaningful research? But did you also know you should have asked the user this, and you should do that. 
  • Did you know if you run a design sprint, you need to prepare x, y and z?

If you build it they will come

You cannot assume that just because you’ve taught a group of people once, that they will continue. Everybody has their own work to do, and their own agendas. Again, constant education and reinforcement.

Thank you

Thank you so much to Amir for sharing his insights; our volunteers – Gwen, Nosh, Sakthee and Steve; and our event host – SEEK.

Further reading and resources

Some resources mentioned during the session include:

Product-led in Practice – April 2023 Wrap

In today’s competitive world, companies are always looking for a way to stand out against their competitors. In the past they may have achieved this through features or advertising. More recently organisations have started to differentiate themselves by rethinking the whole customer journey and delivering an amazing experience around all aspects of the product.

We call this “Product-led.” This doesn’t mean that it is “product manager led,” it means that the whole organisation and product is oriented around customer and business success.

Amy Johnson from Propel Ventures led us through 5 steps to bring Product-led thinking into your organisation

What is Product-led?

Product-Led is “a relentless focus on customer value to create products that sustainably drive growth”

When we dig into this a bit more, Product-led is about focus on the value the product creates for your customers and your business. For example this could be in the product pricing, Go To Market activities, or design. This involves having a clear vision and an empowered team to deliver against the vision

Why does Product-led matter?

Product-led is more beneficial to a business as it has a long term growth in mind, as well as minimising waste. Conversely, Sales-led often means only focussing on the next sale, so is not sustainable in the long term. Technology-led means building cool products based on the enabling technology, but risks creating products that don’t solve any problems.

This article will drill into the the 5 core tasks necessary to move to Product-led

  1. Product Vision
  2. Product Strategy
  3. Shared Success Measures
  4. Organise around value
  5. Outcome based roadmaps

Let’s dive into each one

Product Vision

A good vision provides clarity on the future, so you know where you are going. This clarity is important because going fast in the wrong direction won’t get you to success.

But you won’t be able to create one by yourself. Vision creation should take in diverse perspectives and different voices to make sure it is clear. Use these voices to focus on the change you want the product to make in the world. You need to find a vision that will inspire the team.

You’ll know when you have a good vision when it is easily internalised by the whole team.

Product Strategy

Product strategy is about mapping out the path to get the product vision. This requires understanding the strategic intent, the challenges and the business goals. Use this knowledge to then clearly articulate the goals, which are prioritised based on strategic intent.

There is a risk in skipping this thinking if you join an organisation. You may inherit everything that is already going on. While it is possible to artificially create a bottom-up strategy by reviewing the backlog and package it into themes, there is a risk that it does not achieve business goals. It is important to make sure your strategy is aligned with the product vision above.

Focus is a key part of delivering against the strategy and vision, so clearly articulate the goals and ensure all activities are targeted towards business goals

Shared Success Measures

Having clear success metrics that are shared helps the organisation achieve alignment, by describing what “good looks like.” It is important that these are legitimate measures of success based on customer value, rather than metrics that might be easy to measure but won’t help you know more if you are on track – known as “vanity metrics.”

Ideally these success measure should be outcomes, not outputs. Outcomes are what the business needs to achieve, whereas an output is a delivery that contribute towards achieving that outcome. For example, the customer cares about how you have saved their time and money, rather than whether you released a feature or not.

To create these success measures, you’ll need to know what is valuable to the customer, as well as a way to measure it. Finding a way to know what good looks like in the product can ensure you are tracking towards a common idea of success.

Organise around value

There is a risk in organisational design that you create teams around what the company values rather than what the customer values. This is known as Conway’s Law – where complicated products end up looking like the organisational structure.

To ensure the customer gets the most value out of the product, the company should be organised around the customer’s perception of value with the product. Create a journey map to understand the customer experience, pain points, opportunities and make sure the end-to-end experience works. From there you can define the problem to solve and the metrics of success. Once you have these you can experiment and iterate.

Outcome based roadmaps

Once you know where you are going, how you are going to get there, metrics to measure customer outcomes, and what the customer values, then you need to ensure that delivery stays on target.

An ‘outcome-based roadmap’ takes what is known about how the customer or business measures success, and gives context to every item on the roadmap. It articulate goals and what you are trying to achieve. It also reiterates the product strategy and makes sure that unnecessary items don’t appear on the roadmap.

This makes the roadmap a communication tool, not a project plan. One way to enforce this thinking is to use the now : next : later format. This is a more realistic view given that development is not always predictable, and it allows flexibility to change based on customer feedback


Product-led is the way to focus the organisation on success; through identifying customer value and sustainable business growth.

There are 5 key areas that need to be consider to successfully make the transition:

  • Product Vision – A phrase that describes the future to align and inspire the organisation
  • Product Strategy – This maps out the focused path towards the vision
  • Shared Success Measures – Aligns the organisation and tell you if the strategy is working
  • Organise around Value – Ensure that you are aligned to clear customer value
  • Outcome Based Roadmap – Ensure that delivery stays on target

About our speaker

Amy is a product leader, passionate about empowering teams and fostering inclusion. Multi industry experience, now leading the product team at Propel, who partner with you to accelerate your product development and achieve product market fit faster.

Thank you

Thanks to our wonderful friends at Everest Engineering who hosted the event.

And here’s a bit of behind the scenes setup action via Bryce’s tweet

Slides and Additional Resources

Thank you