🥪 Sandwich method, miro’s alignement meetings & product strategy “stack” / PM Snacks #32

Olivier Courtois
May 7 · 4 min read

1️⃣ The Product Strategy Stack
Mar 2021 • 14 min read • #strategy #mustread
Continuing our series on product strategy, here comes an important concept: the product strategy is the connecting tissue between the company objectives (defined by its mission & strategy) and the product delivery artefacts (defined by the roadmap & its goals). Meaning:
1/ It’s impossible to create a relevant product strategy if the company’s leadership is not aligned and didn’t provide a clear company strategy
2/ Actually, a poor stack makes prioritizing difficult, create tensions between teams, UX leans towards “messiness”, teams over-optimize some parts, and more..
3/ On the other hand, a great stack have a clearly defined set of components (company mission → company strategy → product strategy → product roadmap → product goals) and align with other teams’ stacks (marketing, sales, etc.)

2️⃣ Miro’s Product Alignment Approach
Jan 2020 • 6 min read • #org #execution
The content of this format is not really new, but in a growing environment (+300 persons) I can’t stress enough how useful it is to have a regular meeting to align stakeholders, peers & leadership around problems/opportunities, or even solutions of each squad. I never implemented it at comet, but we used to have a similar thing at ManoMano (called product challenges). The more top down the company is, the more you should involve the leadership team. Whatever product maturity the company has, make sure to have the CEO attending these meetings.

3️⃣ Remote work: try the synchronous sandwich method!
Mar 2021 • 5 min read • #manageyourself #execution
Call it whatever you want, but I highly encourage you to use this method to co-create. At comet, every “bet” (= initiative) would start this way in a miro board & pre-reads would live in a document.
1/ Send an async pre-read before hand. Ask people to prepare questions & list problems
2/ Have a time boxed synchronous meeting. Get rid of the presentation part & work together
3/ Send an async follow-up with next steps & action items

4️⃣ Cancellation Emails: Examples and Best Practices
Mar 2021 • 13 min read • #copy #growth
First thing first: don’t add messy dark patterns in your app or cancellation emails. Let people go, be respectful. That being said, you should consider this communication as an opportunity:
1/ To learn why people churn: don’t hesitate to give coupon or any other powerful incentive to get answers. It’s vital for your business model
2/ If you have a clear understanding of why they leave: offer help or relevant information to retain them. Ideally proactively in the app & occasionally through these emails. Eventually consider making offers but keep in mind that customers who stay only for discounts tend to churn at a later point

5️⃣ Deleting Your Clubhouse Account Is A Nightmare
Mar 2021 • 7 min read • #ethics
I chose to share this article to illustrate the kind of impact simple product decisions and the agility mindset can have on people lives (yes, MVP, I’m talking about you). I feel safe to say that this company is not inherently bad but just making the same tradeoffs we would… So what can we do? I don’t have many answers yet but I guess we should aim like developers to build fault tolerant system… or aim to be more like doctors (shared in edition #26). A few decisions that led to the situation in the article:
1/ Promoting the startup growth by asking all users to share their phone contacts (disregarding privacy concerns). Nothing so unusual, all social networks grew this way in their first days
2/ Building a MVP without basic features like deleting an account or changing your username
3/ Gaining momentum with niche users (VC & tech people in San Francisco) then extending to many new users categories without proof-testing the product

❇️ Mock interview video: how I recruited PM at come (fr)
Mar 2021 • 55 min watch • #interviewprep #hiring
Being interviewed for a job is difficult, especially if you are not used to it. There is plenty of articles to read (I shared a few in editions 9 to 12) but mock interviews are usually closer to reality. I was lucky enough to record my first for a French PM school. Basically one of their student did a fake interview w/ me and we recorded everything. If you are interested in JoinMaestro’s content use the link in the title, otherwise here is the direct access to the video.
1/ Usually before this case I would interview personally the candidate to assess the product culture
2/ Then they would do a use case with 2 simple exercices in a very limited time. One product sense exercice (from discovery to problem & solution framing) & one product strategy exercice (in its simplest form I ask the candidate to prioritise initiatives)

I’m Olivier Courtois, a product maker for 10y+, currently freelance, coach & Startup advisor, former VP Product comet & Product Director ManoMano.

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Olivier Courtois

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10y+ in Product, now freelance / coach / advisor • Newsletter at productver.se • ex- VP-Product comet & Product Director ManoMano

Productverse

A sharp, human & opinionated product management curation made to cut through the noise. Once a week, on https://productver.se. 2 weeks later on medium.

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