Technical Product Manager - Pyramid Game

How To Not Suck As A Technical Product Manager

Your Product Manager Weekly Update Vol.32

Are you ready to navigate the exciting world of product, gather valuable insights, and level up your skills? Look no further! We are here to empower you with the tools, tips, and resources you need to excel in your role. 🚀💡Let’s tackle a common challenge faced by many product managers. This weeks catchy title: How To Not Suck As A Technical Product Manager

This Week’s Question:

I am an expert product person but in my new role I am managing a product geared toward developers and data scientists. I really struggle to come up to speed. All doc are in github and rarely written from a customer mindset. I knew this was a weakness of the company and they hired me to make it better – clearer strategy/customer alignment. Where shall I start? How to get going? Thanks” – Submitted to Product Manager Hub


This Week’s Quote

To prototype your solution, you’ll need a temporary change of philosophy: from perfect to just enough, from long-term quality to temporary simulation.”
― Jake Knapp

Technical Product Manager - Pyramid Game
Technical Product Manager – Pyramid Game

How To Not Suck As A Technical Product Manager

Greetings fellow Product Managers and aspiring professionals! Welcome to another edition of “Ship It To Production,” your go-to source for enriching insights into the world of product management.

In this installment we answer your #question.

What you will learn today:

  • Effective Team Collaboration: Understanding Your Tech Team by playing the pyramid game
    • Each level of the Pyramid and what it should be comprised of
    • Building your Elevator Pitch based on the Pyramid

Why this is important:

Mastering key aspects as a Technical Product Manager is like having a secret toolkit for success. First up, understanding and collaborating with your tech team is crucial; it’s the powerhouse where innovative ideas come to life. Then, connecting deeply with your customers ensures your product meets their needs, keeping them happy and loyal. Aligning your product with the company’s big goals makes your impact more significant and relevant. This secret toolkit, covering everything from tech magic to customer connections, is what sets a Technical Product Manager up for success. Being said, lets dive in.

Understanding Your Tech Team

The issue is trying to bridge the gap between complex technical documentation in-order to build a clear customer-oriented strategy. Well, this requires a creative touch.

Play the Pyramid Game

Imagine this scenario: your team huddled together, brainstorming a solution that transforms intricate technical details into a compelling narrative. Here’s where the concept of a Pyramid Document and Elevator Pitch Challenge comes into play.

  • The Pyramid Document: Envision a pyramid structure, where the solid foundation is comprised of detailed technical documents. These documents serve as the bedrock, housing in-depth information about the product’s technical intricacies. As you ascend the pyramid, the goal is to distill this wealth of information into a streamlined and easily understandable format. Sections of the Pyramid should be comprised of the following:
    • Stage 1: Base of the Pyramid (Detailed Technical Specifications)
    • Stage 2: Middle of the Pyramid (Code Snippets and Architecture Diagrams)
    • Stage 3: Top of the Pyramid (Summarized Technical Overview)

  • The Elevator Pitch Challenge: Now, let’s inject a dose of excitement into the process. Picture teams within your tech department competing against each other in a friendly contest – the Elevator Pitch Challenge. Each team’s task is to craft the most compelling 5-minute elevator pitch for your product. The catch? They must draw inspiration from the technical details outlined in the Pyramid Document.
Technical Product Manager - Pyramid Game

Why This Approach

This creative exercise serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it transforms the often dry and complex technical documentation into a more digestible form. The pyramid structure encourages a thoughtful hierarchy, ensuring that the core technical aspects provide a sturdy foundation for the overarching narrative.

The Elevator Pitch Challenge brings an element of fun and competition, fostering a collaborative spirit within the tech team. It’s not just about distilling technical details but also about finding the most engaging and customer-centric way to present them. This exercise encourages your team to think beyond the code and immerse themselves in the broader context of how their work contributes to the product’s value proposition.

“Understanding and collaborating with your tech team is crucial; it’s the powerhouse where innovative ideas come to life. Aligning your product with the company’s big goals sets a Product Manager up for success.” – Tony Ludwig Product Manager Hub

The Outcome: At the end of this challenge, you’ll not only have compelling elevator pitches ready for various audiences but also a team that is more attuned to the customer’s perspective. The winning pitch might even become a go-to introduction when explaining the product to stakeholders.

In essence, this creative approach transforms the often daunting task of deciphering technical details into an engaging team-building exercise. It’s a journey that takes your tech team from the depths of code to the heights of clear and concise communication, laying the groundwork for a more customer-centric product strategy.

Conclusion

In essence, the Pyramid Approach serves as a powerful tool for new technical product managers by demystifying the complexities of technical details and providing a clear pathway to integrate these details into a product effectively.

What to do next:

  1. What our Pyramid Demo – We provide a walkthrough of the following:
    • How to set it up
    • How to familiarize yourself with each stage
    • The type of content to collect at each stage
  2. Read – Customer-Centric Product Management: Connecting with Your Customer
    • Bridge the Gap Between Tech and Customer: Chart customer roles, understand perspectives, and align your product with customer needs.
    • Speak the Language of Your Customers: It’s not just about the product; it’s about understanding and communicating in the language of your customers.
  3. Read – Strategic Alignment: Tying into the Company’s Strategy
    • Align with the Company’s Mission: Connect your product to the overarching company strategy.
    • Strategic Positioning: Contribute meaningfully to company goals by understanding management, customers, and strategic product positioning.

Stay tuned for more insights in the upcoming editions of “Ship It To Production.” Happy building innovative products my friends!

Anthony Ludwig

Editor, Ship It To Production!


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Technical Product Manager - Pyramid Game Audio
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How To Not Suck As A Technical Product Manager