Products Don’t Last Forever

As product managers, we spend a lot of time on understanding customer problems, assessing ideas and opportunities and focusing on getting that new product delivery process just right. We follow up with launch parties, launch emails and celebrations. New things are always exciting, right? Look at us delivering great stuff to our customers!

But sometimes, delivering great value to customers or business, actually means sunsetting a product or a feature. So:

  • how do you approach such a task?
  • how should you even make that decision?
  • once the decision is made, what needs to happen?

There are different reasons to sunset a product & Ana’s talk, will have something for everyone. Ana will take us through her experiences of sunsetting different products, as well as look at some industry examples, and share her learnings.

RSVP for Thursday, June 23rd in person in South Melbourne or online via zoom (link coming)

Our Speaker

Ana Rowe is a Lead Consultant in Product Management at Thoughtworks, in their Customer Experience Service Line.

She has a great passion for customers. So much that she had a short career in market research and has a Masters degree in Marketing – and then realised that research alone is not enough to deliver great customer experiences.

Ana was one of the first Product Managers at SEEK, and has been working in product for over 15 years across Australia’s leading digital organisations of all shapes and sizes, such as SEEK, REA, A Cloud Guru and more. You can follow her at @anarowe

Our Host:

Kogan.com is a pioneer of Australian eCommerce. We are a dynamic and rapidly growing business. Our team believes in using & building technology to improve the online shopping experience for our customers. We are pragmatic, intelligent, fast paced and driven by seeing our software shipped to production daily. The software we build – including www.kogan.com – is used by millions of customers. Check out our pride and joy https://devblog.kogan.com/ to learn more about us and how we deliver amazing products and software!”

What’s all this hiring hullabaloo? And interviewing stress? A panel AMA event

If you are looking to change jobs or looking to hire, right now is an interesting time! We’ve been hearing ‘product is in demand’, there’s an impact on salaries and OMG! It’s the ‘great resignation’.

But what is really happening out there? We have a panel of folks in the thick of it to help understand what’s really happening.

Join us to hear what’s really affecting how they hire, what’s the same and what is changing and ask your questions! This is an Ask Me Anything (AMA) format. This is for both folks looking to hire and those looking for work or ‘open to opportunities’. We’ll be using slido for questions (#hiring) and it will be a hybrid session – so folk are welcome at our host location and online. RSVP now.

Our Speakers

Megan McDonald, Head of Product & Experience Design at World Vision Australia.

Megan has been working in Product roles for over 15 years, and over this time has experienced first-hand the exciting transformation of the role of product in organisations. She’s very ashamed to admit that in her early days as a fin services Product Manager she built products that were designed to extract revenue by limiting customer value .. yep, on purpose! But, in the years that followed, she’s also super proud to have been involved in the evolution of product into the truly human-centred practice it is now. 

Megan is a passionate believer in the value that good Product Management can deliver to organisations and their customers, and is busy putting “my money where my mouth is” as a council member of the Association of Product Professionals, working hard to advance the product profession. 

Day to day, Megan leads the Product & Experience Design function at World Vision Australia, and an amazing team focused on delivering Australia’s favourite charity experience. “I feel so lucky in this role because I get to solve real customer problems by building sh*t that works, all in the service of eliminating global poverty. And at the same time, I’m helping to create the next generation of product and design thinkers and practitioners.”

Georgia Hart, General Manager, Middleton Executive

Georgia moved to Melbourne roughly 5 years ago with just $200 in her pocket after spending her travelling budget way too soon (oops!). She found myself back in recruitment, learning the Australian landscape and quickly found that there are a lot of very cool start-ups and companies creating a big impact in the world. Georgia had traditionally always recruited Engineers with a little bit of Delivery & Product on the side but wanted more of it so joined Middleton Executive. Middleton Executive is a talent partner of choice for some of Australia’s most eminent tech and product companies and was founded to connect people in the product space. She’s had the pleasure of working with some awesome brands such as SEEK, Whispir, Papercut and is learning from some of the best product leaders in Australia. Big shout out to them for teaching her so much! 

In her own words “There’s no denying that the last 2 years have been a rollercoaster. In March, all my clients stopped hiring, people were losing their jobs, it was sheer panic. I found myself out of a sales role and in more of a position to support people navigate through the unknown. 2 years on and here we are, in the busiest market I’ve ever found myself in and having to learn new skills to attract the most in demand talent.”

Shiyu Zhu, Group Product Manager, Zendesk

Shiyu is an experienced Product Manager with 5+ years of experience in building product roadmaps and shipping features in an agile environment. She is problem-driven and likes to take a customer centric approach in every product feature to make sure it has an impact and solves for a real customer problem. Currently hiring at Zendesk, Shiyu has some key learnings about how the organisation has had to make adjustments in their approach in the current climate.

Our Host
Intelligence Bank

IntelligenceBank is the leading innovator in digital assets management and marketing operations.  The company helps marketing teams seamlessly manage digital assets, creative content approvals, marketing compliance, and creative project management to ensure brands get to market quickly, stay on brand and ensure regulatory compliance. IntelligenceBank’s beautifully designed platform is used by over 400 brands with 500,000+ users in 55 countries. IntelligenceBank has offices in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Follow them on LinkedIn

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After Research: Creating Useful & Well-Executed Research Outcomes

So you’ve completed your customer interviews – but now what?

How do you make sure that you’re creating the right insights based on all of your data? How do you advocate for your findings across product development, especially when they conflict with business objectives?

In this presentation, Jess will share how to set yourself up for success in the most important part of the user research journey – After Research. Learn how to effectively synthesise your qualitative data, create reusable and actionable insights & advocate your research across your team.

RSVP Thursday February 24, 2022

Our Speaker:

Jess Nichols

Jess Nichols – Principal, Research & Insights, Pluralsight
Jess is a research leader at Pluralsight (formerly A Cloud Guru), where she helps teach the world to cloud. She has spent the past decade focusing on discovering actionable insights through qualitative research approaches to ensure customer centricity across the product journey. Throughout her career she has worked globally, including several years based in San Francisco, working for companies such as Twitter, Uber and Deloitte.

Our Host:

TBD – we’re working out if this will be via zoom, in person or hybrid

End of Year product mega meetup!

Come and join the Australian Product Management community for a massive social and informative event as we discuss some ideas about what it means to be “Product-Led”.

This years Product Party unites the communities of Product Talks, Product Women, Product Mavens, Product Book Club and Product Anonymous – this is the one meetup to join them all!

Details and RSVP info here. Thursday December 2nd

What is the theme?
The topic for our special guest speakers to address will be:
“Can you have Product Led Growth without a Product Led Culture?”

In addition to the hosted speakers and Q&A opportunities there will be fun networking events and giveaways.

Where is the Event?
The Product Party will be an online event via Zoom so we can bring together several cities.
You must pre-register with the zoom link provided once you RSVP to access the event.

Event Sponsor – Amplitude.com
This year’s Product Party is proudly sponsored by Amplitude. Amplitude is a product analytics platform that helps businesses to track visitors with the help of collaborative analytics. The platform uses behavioural reports to understand users’ interactions with products and provides insights to accelerate work on a real-time basis.
Website: https://amplitude.com/

November Short Talks

November is the ProdAnon birthday! RSVP for November 18th!

Over the years, we’ve mixed it up with purely social birthday drinks to give you more time to get to know each other (& Liz and I are not averse to a lovely cocktail or wine) or the usual speaker topic session – but last year we tried something different and it worked well so here we go…

One of the big reasons Product Anonymous exists is to share knowledge. Another reason we exist is to grow the local talent which includes giving people the opportunity to gain experience in front of a crowd & crafting a talk. We’re super proud that several ProdAnon speakers have gone on talk at large conferences like Leading the Product & Web Directions.

So what is this November thing?
It’s time to dip your toe in the water. Yes, you!

We want you to present – for 5 minutes. It’s not a long talk, you won’t have to answer 15 questions after, nor do you need to create earth-shattering beautiful slides.

What you need to do is know what you want to express, to teach, to explain, to get ProdAnon folks excited about.

You need to be able to communicate that in FIVE minutes (warning: Liz will have her whistle). And you need to be available to do this on Thursday evening November 18th.

This is not a ‘lightning talk’. You do not have to change slides every 15 seconds and have only 20 slides. It’s your 5 minutes. It can be fun. It can be serious. It could be an insight you want to share.

What to do next?

– Mull over your idea and submit it by EOD Saturday, October 23rd
– Those chosen will be contacted on Friday, October 29th (yes, this is encouraging you to spend Melbourne Cup wknd working on your preso!)

Submit your talk idea!

How will talks be selected?
– Appeal of the topic to ProdAnon people
– Your sworn ability to be able to use google slides and deliver the slides the week before the event

Not interested in giving a talk?

Then come along to support your product peeps and hear some interesting talks!!!

RSVP for November 18th 6:20pm

What to do when someone mentions PLG (product led growth)

Product Led Growth (PLG) has become a bit of a buzz word in recent times but what does it really mean? How does it impact companies using the methodology and the product people who work within that methodology? RSVP

PLG means the actual product drives user acquisition, expansion, conversion and retention. That means company-wide alignment across teams – from engineering to sales and marketing – around the product as the largest source of sustainable, scalable business growth

Dave McManus will share his lived experience of working with this space. He’ll share experiments he’s run, success and failures and tips for how you can influence others in your company to move towards PLG.

When:

Thursday, October 21st on Zoom – 6:20pm ‘doors open’ to say hello! 6:30pm we start. Bring along dinner, bubs, beverages

RSVP

Our Speaker:

Dave McManus is an experienced product professional with over 12 years experience. He loves working with multidisciplinary teams to solve problems through thoughtful design and engineering solutions.

He has had the pleasure of working with many great companies from large fortune 500’s like: Microsoft, The North Face and Proctor and Gamble to name a few. Originally from Melbourne, Dave also lived in San Francisco for 5 years and founded a digital healthcare company and worked with many different startups including NextVR (acquired by Apple), Innit, Cool Effect (kickstarter for climate change) and many more.

He’s passionate about product led growth and looking forward to sharing stories with you all.

www.djmgrowth.com
https://twitter.com/D_Mack7

Our Sponsor:

Cogent – cogent.co – If you need great people to help build your product, we do that and a whole lot more. Over the years, we’ve worked on more 100 digital products loved by millions of users, from small startups through to tech giants like Square, Xero and REA.

So whether you’re leading a small product team or the CPO of a growing tech company, our focus is on supporting you to design and develop products that your users love.

Why you should never rescue your team from a villain

Does your team look up to you as some sort of super hero? Who they can rely on to swoop in and protect them from the maleficent deeds of some evil villain? Do you sometimes feel like a victim, a target for others to blame when things don’t play our as we forecast? RSVP

Ah! Welcome to the dynamics of drama! Our efforts to protect others may actually perpetuate a cycle of conflict and anxiety.

Would you like to better understand the common causes of drama & conflict in the workplace – and how you can interrupt that cycle with one of our favourite tools – a POST-IT NOTE!

RSVP to learn how to kill off that drama and setup a winning dynamic of success.

Thursday, September 30th 6:20pm via Zoom

Our Speaker:

Kate Edwards-Davis is a product manager at Karista.com.au

Kate circled around the profession of Product Management for many, many years – starting in the 1980s as an IT Project Manager, switching to Business Analyst, to Product Owner and then finally to Product Manager.

With all of those titles, Kate says she essentially played the same role – listening to the customer, getting to know their most important problems, then working with teams of super clever people to deliver a solution.

Random Kate facts!

  • Kate once pursued a career as a classical musician. She performed solo in a national live broadcast on ABC classic FM. On recorder – yes, that instrument you all played in primary school.
  • She danced with Prince in a small London nightclub.
  • She has a collection of vintage calculators. They fit right into Kate’s very retro 1970’s house. (Wait til you see the fake wood paneling!)
  • She has never ever managed to do a cartwheel.
  • Her kids really don’t understand what she does for work, and frankly don’t care, as their Dad’s work is way cooler. He works in the design team for Moose Toys.
  • She’s still not sure what what she wants to do with her career  :blush:

Our Sponsor:

Cogent

If you need great people to help build your product, we do that and a whole lot more. Over the years, we’ve worked on more 100 digital products loved by millions of users, from small startups through to tech giants like Square, Xero and REA.

So whether you’re leading a small product team or the CPO of a growing tech company, our focus is on supporting you to design and develop products that your users love.

The Shape Shifting Product Manager

In mythology and folklore, having the ability to change form has alternately been seen as a gift from the gods or as the foulest of curses. And, yep, it’s kind of the same with product managers.

Our roles are, by their very nature, not clearly defined compared to those of our co-workers. Freedom to focus on the things that matter from day to day is part of the job description. It’s absolutely glorious but it can also get us into some serious trouble if we’re not careful.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does a product manager. Our jobs naturally bump up against others in the organisation and it can be hard to tell where product management stops and functions like marketing, corporate strategy, design, research and execution start. And, as shapeshifters, we have a natural tendency to quietly fill the gaps when we see them.

This talk will cover which areas we sometimes need to extend our roles into, where we should step back, what we need to communicate about our jobs to our stakeholders and what we neglect at our peril.

Details:

RSVP for August 26 (zoom) login about 6:20pm for a 6:30pm kickoff

If we can do in-person, we’ll update on Meetup.

Our presenter:
Daniel Kinal has been in product management for over 18 years, chiefly working in IT, focusing on B2B products & services.

He began his marketing, communications, and consulting career but soon learned that the aspect of marketing he loved most was working out what to build, for whom, and why.

He gets excited about helping businesses become more effective in decision-making, more efficient in their processes and more engaged with their customers. Daniel is at his happiest when waving his arms about in front of a whiteboard with a bunch of smart people, exploring problems and weighing up solutions.

Our sponsor:
Cogent – If you need great people to help build your product, we do that and a whole lot more. Over the years, we’ve worked on more 100 digital products loved by millions of users, from small startups through to tech giants like Square, Xero and REA.

So whether you’re leading a small product team or the CPO of a growing tech company, our focus is on supporting you to design and develop products that your users love.

Right now we’re doing research on how product teams in Aus & NZ work best together. Participate in the survey to tell us all about it.

A Practical Guide to Customer Feedback

We love getting customer feedback – and there are some times we don’t love getting customer feedback! RSVP for Thursday July 22

Our speaker, Dipa Rao, will share her experiences of dealing with both
solicited AND unsolicited customer feedback. Dipa will discuss:

  • setting the right expectations for getting feedback
  • how to manage responses
  • how to prepare for managing everything that comes your way including hippos & distressed customers!

RSVP for Thursday July 22nd

Closer to the date we’ll know if we can do this session as both in-person and online streaming.

Our Speaker

Dipa Rao is a Product Experience at Australia Post. She has worked as an Agile Coach and consultant at Elabor8 with clients such as Coles, UniSuper, Seek & the Alcohol & Drug Foundation. Twitter:@dipanjali 

Our Sponsor

Yellowfin is a global analytics and business intelligence (ABI) software vendor with a suite of world-class products powered by automation. Yellowfin is recognized as an innovator by the world’s leading analyst firms. More than 29,000 organizations and over 3 million end-users across 75 countries use Yellowfin every day. https://www.yellowfinbi.com/

Continuous Discovery in Real Life

Thursday, June 17th RSVP

Continuous discovery is often referenced as a way to build an organisational view of customer needs; ultimately bringing focus to solving the problems that add value for customers and by extension the business.

However, the road to building this ideal is neither straight nor clear. There are multiple obstacles, anchors and false starts, especially if you’re starting from a position where your organisation is neither wired nor ready for such a journey.

Over the last four years, FatSecret has inched toward a continuous discovery model that is by no means complete, but they’re getting closer to the end goal, and learned a lot along the way. This session will cover a few of their lessons, missteps and wins along the way.

Our presenter

Head of Product at FatSecret, Ben Ryan

Ben started in product when he applied for a Producer role at REA at the end of 2012. By the time he actually got hired, that role had become a Consumer Product Manager. Soon after, he got to be the guinea pig in an experiment to merge REAs Consumer and Customer Product Manager roles and didn’t dislike the change.

Later, after a year (possibly less) working in the Death Star (aka NAB’s 700 Bourke Street), he decided to take a punt on a company he’d never heard of and became the first Product Manager at FatSecret. They’d also never heard of a Product Manager, so there were lessons to be had by all. Since then, he’s helped the company launch a consumer offering and grow revenues by 60% YoY.

Try as he might, he can’t help but look down on people who use “learnings” in sentences…or in any form, for that matter.

Session Details

We are not sure if this will be a f2f/zoom or some combination of the two. When you RSVP, let us know your likelihood of joining Zoom or in-person.