Session notes: Intermediary/conflicting stakeholders

12 Dec

UX designers and product managers from amongst others a personal trainer application, an eCoaches training platform, and an academic research job platform were present at this session.

 

The session discussed having multiple stakeholders in your company/product, with conflicting priorities. These could be for instance your end-users, sales, or the founders of the company. Who ‘wins’? Who determines the priorities? Is it the people who pay the most who get to determine what to build?

 

In the case of the academic research job platform the intermediaries who pay the annual fee have a large say in what gets built, though they don’t dictate it. There’s actually a 7 member team making product decisions, but they also struggle weighing the conflicting priorities. The eCoaches training platform and personal trainer application, however, mostly determine priorities based on their vision of where their product should be to server their end-users’ needs. After all, it’s a new, unexplored market with a new problem to solve – does the paying customer then really know what he wants?


The session concluded that it depends on the stage you’re at; in a more established business the customer who pays has a large say in the priorities; as a starting company in a new market the vision should determine your path more.

Session notes: Technical due diligence – Dimitra Retsina

12 Dec

Notes had minimal editing, please excuse brevity and typos.

Dimitra Retsina held a session about what it means to do technical due diligence.

Technical due diligence is done for different reasons and stakeholders. Can be initiated internally or externally.
Can be used to judge: is company valuation correct or not?
Also for paying party to figure out, what will I perhaps need to fix after acquisition?

Process:
I need to know everything about your organizaton.
Typically I start with a long questionnaire.
Also, an interview cycle which can be very intense.

I also ask to actually see stuff. You cannot BS your way through.
I ask the company to dust off their wiki.
Nobody has all the documentation, I don’t expect it.
What does exist is great, it saves time.

Questions we want to answer:
What is the longevity of the product? What is the quality of the team?
What are the risks? Alignment: is product aligned with management?

Reporting:
As auditors, we report the facts. This is the situation in the company, this is where they’re going.
On top of that, you do put some notes, based on experience: “red, orange, green” flags.

I want the effort to be meaningful for the company being audited. I suggest remedies, actionable points of advice
I help them communicate. I can help with those efforts.
I find it rewarding, have fun, taling with smart people. Great to challenge them.

Areas I look into:

  • Technical modules, architecture, technology. Why? Why did you make that decision?
  • Processes
    • CTO, development manager, developer
    • Different systems they use
  • The team itself
    • Skills, seniority, aligned?
  • UX
  • Is there an API? how does it work?
  • How is product built? Modular? Layers? Api? Longevity. To assess if it’s nicely done
  • Is it on premise, or Saas? Saas: infrastructure. Monitoring?
  • What technology libraries? What versions?
  • Roadmap: alignment business + tech
    • Are they forward thinking, from end-user perspective
    • See some wireframes
    • It’s ok if it’s transparently reported
    • A roadmap often isn’t really a roadmap. Just a company goal for example.
  • Architecture: tech stack. Figure out in their head, if the evolving tech is also a concern
    • Often building themselves, and not replacing as things mature.
    • E.g. they built everything themselves that a php framework would give them. Or: their software is full of holes
  • Operations
    • How do they execute
    • Experience of customer (i don’t usually have time to talk to them)
    • About support
    • Processes
    • Source control, backup, restore
    • Can be overwhelming once you start listing them

 

Questions from participants:

How to improve transparency, knowledge, documentation?
HIre people with product experience
Don’t be afraid to have due diligence done, initiate yourself.
Talk with people.

What does report do? What do the red flags do?
Report helps an investor assess risks etc.
Often you can fix it, so not a problem, but now you know what to fix.

Session notes: A/B Testing – Lev Tatarov

12 Dec

Notes had minimal editing, please excuse brevity and typos.

Lev Tatarov of Marktplaats gave a talk about how they do A/B testing at Marktplaats.
We know A/B testing is great but its not easy.
The point is to get learnings from A/B testing.  Don’t just test without knowing why.
Not so easy:
  • Knowing up front what to measure
  • Results can be confusing
  • Test might negatively affect other important metrics
  • You might be afraid to break stuff
2 parts: tools and process
Tools
  • Optimizely
  • Google BigQuery
  • Sandbox environment
    • separate cluster
    • you can break it without causing panic
  • NPS webtool
    • Don’t compare to other company. get a baseline and try to improve it
    • Marktplaats have their own tool, built by Robin Schuil
    • It takes a lot to move NPS score, you need a big dataset.
Process
Don’t make up random experiments, use your exisitng data to decide what to test.
With GA, you can still find other patterns, after the fact. Even if you didn’t consider it for your experiment. Since you are tracking a lot of stuff, you can find unexpected patterns.
Learn.
Don’t conclude anything before you are done with the experiment.
In the meantime it could be showing the “wrong” answer.
But how do you know when to stop? You decide beforehand. Consider:
  • Confidence level, how many people do you need to have in your experiment.: sample size.
  • Sometimes you need to let users come back etc, more time.
  • How much % can you use for experiments etc.
  • You may need to settle, depend on how many visitors you get.

Schedule for ProductCamp Amsterdam 2014

6 Nov

There’s a full day of inspiration ahead of us, starting with breakfast, introductions and the keynotes in the morning, and a full schedule of parallel sessions in the afternoon. Doors open at 9:30am, and yes we have breakfast! So come early and have a coffee and a croissant with the other participants.

Schedule for ProductCamp Amsterdam 2014

09:30 Registration & Breakfast
10:00 Introductions
10:30 Keynote
12:00 Session Planning
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Parallel breakout sessions 1
14:30 Short Break
14:45 Parallel breakout sessions 2
15:45 Short Break
16:00 Parallel breakout sessions 3
17:00 Networking with drinks

We need you!

31 Oct

ProductCamp is an unconference, which means you as participants create the afternoon program. You all determine the content of the sessions, which is a great way to address topics that are relevant to you, and share knowledge with one another. We know that good sessions are the main reason people attend ProductCamp, that’s why we need you!

What’s a session?

  • You give a presentation about a a topic you’d like to share your knowledge on (and discuss)
  • You have a topic you’d like to know more about, then you can host a group discussion

Don’t be shy, you’d be suprised how relevant your work experience and knowledge can be for others. Some examples from previous editions:

  • Scrum & Specifications
  • Product Lifecycle management
  • Learning from customers
  • Lean startup usability
  • Implementing Minimal Viable Product.

Pitching your idea

Before lunch, everyone will have the opportunity to pitch their sessions, and then we will put together the session schedule for the afternoon. There will be three parallel tracks, so there is plenty of opportunity to host a session.

We ‘re eager to find out what you would like to learn more about, so head over to our UserVoice forum now and start adding, or go to our website to read more about the schedule for the day.

Announcing our keynote speakers

7 Oct

Two great speakers have confirmed to be our keynote speakers at ProductCamp Amsterdam 2014. Both are from Dutch origin and at this moment product managers at Eventbrite and Google. All the way from San Francisco, please welcome Edial Dekker and Robert Gaal!

 robertgaal
Robert Gaal (linkedin)
Co-founded Wakoopa in Amsterdam (a social network for software), Karma in New York (share your access to the internet) and now working as a product manager at Google in San Fransisco.
edialdekker
Edial Dekker (linkedin)
Started Your Neighbours (a design studio), then a startup called Gidsy in Berlin, and now working as a product manager at Eventbrite in San Francisco.

Announcing ProductCamp Amsterdam 2014

8 Aug

We’re very happy to announce that the organization of ProductCamp Amsterdam 2014 has started!

We’re currently looking for a location to hold the event, and for sponsors who would like to help us make it all possible.

Please contact us at productcampamsterdam@gmail.com if you have any tips. We’re open to any feedback and suggestions.

What’s next?

Watch this space! More information will become available in the coming weeks and we’ll keep you posted through the website, our newsletter and Twitter. We will update this site over the coming weeks with information about participants, sessions, sponsors and more. The registration page will also go live soon. So please check back regularly, and spread the word!

Why go to ProductCamp?

The most important reason: there’s nothing quite like it! ProductCamp is the first and only event about product management in the Netherlands.

For most of the people the most important reason is to meet other product managers, share knowledge & experiences and learn new ways to manage products. Not only because it’s fun to meet new product people; some are the only product manager at their company and ProductCamp is a way for them to benchmark ideas and brainstorm about how to deal with challenges.

The Team

Five people have volunteered to help with the organisation this year:

  • Jasper Wognum
  • Ivar Pruijn
  • Iris van de Kieft
  • Thijs Weenk
  • Daniel Crompton