Episodes
Published 05/18/22
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about product management in software vs hardware, SaaS vs e-commerce, and within the governmental sector. She covers the differences in product strategy, things all of these product jobs will have in common, how to figure out which tools apply to your industry and product type, and how to measure impact over time for products where results could take years to come by.  Q: Do you see a difference in the strategic and...
Published 05/18/22
Melissa Perri welcomes Paul Adams, Chief Product Officer at Intercom, to this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast. At Intercom since the days when they only had only 13 employees, Paul has helped shape the Product department from the ground up. Paul joins Melissa to talk through his approach to product leadership, what his day to day is like as CPO and why he hasn’t been in a product review in years, how to build trust within your organization, and embracing the “messy middle” when it...
Published 05/11/22
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about when research is stale and needs to be revalidated, when and why to schedule frequent customer interviews, and understanding product success when conducting product trials. Q: Do you have any tips for identifying when previous validation of knowledge could be stale and might need to be revalidated before continuing work? [2:22] Q: What’s your advice for booking customer interviews? [9:17] Q: Do you have any tips...
Published 05/04/22
Melissa Perri welcomes Jeff Gothelf to this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast. An experienced consultant in the Agile and Lean UX space, Jeff just released the third edition of his popular book, Lean UX. Jeff talks with Melissa about how he’s shifted focus to teaching about OKRs, and why he encourages the companies he consults with to adopt this goal-setting framework to measure success. He breaks down what OKRs are, why they can’t be the only product-led change a company adopts, how...
Published 04/27/22
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about working with engineering leadership as a director of product, the idea of moving from a leadership position back to an individual contributor to gain a wider skillset, and whether or not SAFe is the answer for a small product org.  Q: What should my one-on-one’s with my engineering team look like as director of product? How do I find a partner and not an order-taker? [2:30] Q: Should we adopt SAFe? Any tips on what I...
Published 04/20/22
Melissa Perri welcomes Adrian Howard to this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast. Adrian is an Agile Consultant and product coach with more than 25 years of experience, and specializes in coaching leaders around “those messy spaces where product delivery and user research overlap.” Adrian joins Melissa to talk about involving engineers in strategy building, the importance of meaningful strategy, aligning teams across large organizations with varying initiatives and goals, and why team vs...
Published 04/13/22
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about what it looks like when teams are successfully running delivery and discovery in parallel, and the two reasons teams typically struggle with delivery, throwing yourself back in the ring after a disheartening work experience has left you feeling discouraged and frustrated (and asking yourself some hard questions), and where to focus your efforts when starting a new CPO role. Q: How do we do discovery and delivery...
Published 04/06/22
Melissa Perri welcomes Nir Eyal to this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast. He is an author, lecturer, and investor best known for his book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. Nir joins Melissa to talk about the Hook model, product ethics, serving “chocolate-covered broccoli'' to your users, Wordle, internal vs. external triggers, and what inspired his newest book, Indistractable.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Nir talk about: Nir talks about his...
Published 03/30/22
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about differentiating between types of product management depending on the growth stage of a company, how to successfully craft strategy documents that communicate your vision, and how P&L responsibilities should be distributed across teams.  Q: Are there three types of product management? [2:11] Q: Any tips for writing a strategy document? [9:13] Q: How does product owning the P&L impact relationships with more...
Published 03/23/22
Melissa Perri welcomes Sam McAfee to this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast. Sam is the founder of Startup Patterns, where he coaches teams and leadership how to attain the human skills necessary in successful product transformations. Melissa and Sam discuss how to strengthen emotional intelligence, how to hone your leadership skills as an IC, and what a truly courageous leader looks like.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Sam talk about: Sam talks about his induction...
Published 03/16/22
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about how to successfully lead the discovery process at a new company with a strong product culture, how to align product strategies across large corporations, and what questions to ask when your organization doesn’t have a clear vision statement to work from. Q: Do you have any strategies or steps that can help me with feeling more empowered? [0:45] Q: What do you recommend large product organizations do so that...
Published 03/09/22
Melissa Perri welcomes Jocelyn Miller on this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast. Jocelyn, Founder and CEO of JM Coaching & Training, is a product leader turned career coach whose passion is helping product managers get “into the right roles, so their zone of genius can be unlocked and unleashed.” She shares her insights on common career roadblocks, what it looks like to define and step into your ideal product role, how to tackle burnout and imposter syndrome, and why asking...
Published 03/02/22
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about data, AI, and platform products, transitioning from project management to product operations, and how to navigate a lead engineering role that is intertwined with both product and people management responsibilities.  Q: How do you do discovery and write requirements for data, AI, and platform products? [1:09] Q: What are some tips and tricks you would recommend for a first-time product operations manager coming from...
Published 02/23/22
Melissa Perri welcomes Douglas Ferguson on this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast. Douglas is the President and Founder of Voltage Control, a change agency focused on helping teams implement new approaches to old systems. He joins Melissa to talk about the realities and challenges of influencing corporate culture, and shares his wisdom on how and where to start your own process of change at your organization.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Douglas talk about: Before...
Published 02/16/22
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about learning how to do market research to move up in your career as a product manager, creating products in highly commoditized B2B enterprise markets, and what you should look for in a company when moving from an early-stage startup to an established organization. Q: Do you have any advice on how to improve market research skills? [2:05] Q: How do you escape the trap of a reactive product mindset in a highly...
Published 02/09/22
Melissa Perri welcomes back Eric Willeke for part two of this SAFe conversation on the Product Thinking Podcast. Eric and Melissa pick up where they left off and dive into the product management and portfolio management parts of SAFe, discussing how product management fits into the SAFe architecture and how it works at scale.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Eric talk about: Product management needs to create an organization that is capable of making strategy real....
Published 02/02/22
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about how roadmaps fit into an early stage company, the difference between gaining buy-in as a leader and reaching team consensus, delineating ownership as a leadership team, and how to restructure teams when your organization starts operating at scale. Q: Do you have any suggestions for creating the product roadmap per quarter in a startup company? [1:10] Q: As a product leader, how do you decide where to draw the line...
Published 01/26/22
Lisa Schneider is the Chief Product Officer at Framework Homeownership. Previously, she was the Chief Digital Officer at Merriam-Webster, where she led digital strategy and execution and redefined the dictionary for the digital age. Lisa joins Melissa Perri on this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast to share her expertise on crafting great vision and mission statements, the role of the product leader, bridging the gap between sales and product, and why being an integrator is...
Published 01/19/22
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about building product operations teams, staying in a position you love vs. diversifying your experiences, and how much a CPO actually needs to know about the inner workings of their product.  Q: How can an organization make the pivot from being reactionary in their product initiatives to being driven by market research and data? What kind of talent should a product leader be on the lookout for when building this type of...
Published 01/12/22
Maura Kelly is VP of Engineering at Mailchimp. With over 17 years of experience in the tech industry, Maura is an expert in software development and programming. She joins Melissa Perri on this week’s Product Thinking Podcast to provide engineering’s point of view, and to share helpful tips that will improve the way you as a product manager are collaborating with developers.   Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Maura talk about in this episode: Maura’s traditional path to...
Published 01/05/22
On this episode of The Product Thinking Podcast, Melissa Perri is looking back on 2021. She is reflecting on the learnings and conversations she had about product strategy and product management. Melissa shares her tips for product leaders, and what they need to be focusing on within their organizations as they enter the new year.   Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa talk about:  The conversation is shifting towards product thinking - not just in the sense of adopting and...
Published 12/29/21
As the year comes to a close, leaders are looking to the future and figuring out how to build out their roadmaps for 2022. On this week’s Product Thinking Podcast, Melissa Perri shares clips of some of the best insights on roadmap creation and strategic planning at different levels of an organization so that leaders can start off the new year right.  Here are some of the key points that were talked about: When building a roadmap, don't assume you can predict the future. Focus on the...
Published 12/22/21
Eric Willeke, SAFe Principal Contributor, trainer, and Fellow, is a co-founder of Elevate Consulting where he teaches executives how to lead agile transformations. Eric joins Melissa Perri on this week’s Product Thinking Podcast to talk all about the pros and cons of SAFe, and to share their personal experiences with this often polarizing agile framework.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Eric talk about in this episode: How Eric first started in the field of SAFe....
Published 12/15/21
In this Dear Melissa segment, Melissa answers subscribers’ questions about topics across the board- she covers the responsibilities of a Director and VP of Product Management, how to get in your product reps outside of work, her thoughts on sharing your roadmaps with your customer, and product managers vs project managers.  Q: Do Directors of Product Management pull out of the day-to-day and just manage the departments? [1:34] Q: How might a non-technical PM find or develop products outside...
Published 12/08/21