Developing Strong Product Owners

Developing Strong Product Owners

开发强有力的产品负责人

In my last article I discussed the role of the leader of the product organization. I heard back from more than a few product leaders that it served to remind them that they weren’t doing as much as they knew they should be doing to build the strength of their product team, and I was asked if I could share some of the tools I use to help with this.

在我的上一篇文章中,我讨论了产品组织中领导者的角色。我听到一些产品领导者的反馈,这篇文章的作用在于提醒了他们并没有这样做,正如他们知道他们应该构建一个强有力的产品团队,因此,我被要求是否能够共享一些我用来帮助实现这个目标的工具。

I want every product leader to feel considerable urgency and importance around this need.  Your company needs the strongest product team possible, and if you don’t develop your team and provide growth opportunities, there are other companies that will. I have always been a big believer in the old adage that “people join a company but leave a manager”.

我想每一个产品领导者都会围绕这个需要感受到相当大的紧迫性和重要性。你的公司可能需要最强有力的产品团队,如果你不去开发你的团队并提供成长的机会,那么其他的公司就会。我一直相信一句比较老的格言:“人们加入公司但留下了一个经理”。

This note discusses the technique that I use and advocate for providing a framework for ongoing skills assessment and development. I have always called this a development plan, but for some companies that term is used for when you have a problem employee that must improve.   While this tool is also useful for that case, I mean for this tool to be used in the very positive sense of helping to develop strong product owners on an ongoing basis, with every employee.

这句话指出了我使用和提倡提供持续技能评估和开发的框架的技巧。我一直把它称为是一种开发计划,但是对一些公司而言,这个条款只是用在当你有一个必须提高的问题雇员的时候。当然,这个工具也可以用在这种情况下,但是我的意思是这个工具应该被用在每一个积极的方面,以一种持续的基础去帮助开发强有力的产品经理以及每一个雇员。

This skills assessment and development plan is structured in the form of a gap analysis. The purpose is to identify areas of development and to make clear the degree to which performance may need improvement along a specific dimension. As such, there are a set of criteria, each with two ratings. The first rating is an assessment of where the employee should be in this skill (i.e. how important it is), and the second rating is an assessment of where the employee currently performs on this scale (i.e. his ability).

这个技能评估和开发的计划是以一种差距分析的形式为构架的。目的在于沿着某一个特定的维度识别开发的区域和明确在何种程度上的表现需要提高。就其本身而言,有一套标准,每个都有两个评级。第一个评级是评估雇员在这个技能上应该是什么样子的(也就是它是多重要的),第二个评级是评估雇员在当前的尺度下表现如何(也就是他的能力)。

Not all skills are equally important, and not all gaps are equally significant, and this mechanism is intended to help focus the attention where it is needed.

不是所有的技能都是同等重要的,也不是所有的差距都是同样有意义的,这种机制在于尝试帮助需要关注的焦点。

Skills Assessment

技能评估

I have categorized the dimensions into “knowledge,” “process skills,” and “individual skills.” I include a short description of each dimension below but if any of the areas are unclear there are typically articles in the SVPG article archive covering each.

我有一个针对“知识”、“流程技能”和“特定技能”规格的分类。在下面会包括一个简短的关于每个规格的描述,但是如果某个部分是不清晰的,就会在SVPG的文章库里有典型的文章讲到。

I have also included my personal view on importance rating for a typical mid-level product owner.  However, I encourage each manager to adjust the importance ratings depending on your particular culture, industry, team and product, and also on the level of position (e.g. Senior-level Product Owner has a much higher bar than an Associate-level Product Owner).

我也会在重要的针对典型的中等水平产品经理的评级上有我个人的观点。然而,我鼓励每个经理去调整这种依赖特殊的文化、行业、团队和产品,还包括等级地位(例如:高级产品经理就要比副产品经理拥有更高的要求)而进行的重要评级。

On the rating scale, 0 indicates not important (or not strong) and 10 indicates extremely important (or very strong).

在评级尺度上,0代表不重要(或者不强有力),10代表非常重要(或非常强有力)。

Knowledge:

知识:

User/Customer Knowledge (10) – Is the product owner the company acknowledge expert on his target users/customer?

用户/客户知识(10)-产品经理在他的目标用户/客户上是否是企业承认的专家?

Industry/Domain Knowledge (10) – What is the product owner’s knowledge of the industry and domain?

行业/领域知识(10)-产品经理关于行业和领域的知识是什么?

Product Knowledge (10) – What is the level of knowledge of the product owner’s product?

产品知识(10)-产品经理的产品知识水平是什么?

Technology Knowledge (8) – What is the level of knowledge of the underlying technology? How current is his technology knowledge?

技术知识(8)-基础知识水平是什么?他当前的技术知识如何?

User Experience Design Knowledge (7) – How knowledgeable is the product owner on the topics of user experience design? Does he understand the various competencies within UX and does he appreciate and fully utilize this team?

UED知识(7)-产品经理在UED上的知识如何?他知道UX各方面的能力以及欣赏和完全利用这个团队吗?

Business and Financial Knowledge (7) – Does the product owner understand the economics and financial dynamics of his product?

商业和财务知识(7)-产品经理知道他的产品的经济和财务动力学吗?

Process Skills:

流程技能:

Customer Discovery Process (7) – Customer discovery includes customer interviewing skills, opportunity assessments and understanding of customer development programs.

客户发现流程(7)-客户发现包括客户面谈技能,机会评估和明白客户开发计划。

Product Discovery Process (9) – This is all about getting to minimum viable product. This includes both qualitative techniques including user prototypes and user testing, as well as quantitative techniques including live-data prototypes and split testing.

产品发现流程(9)-这也包括尽可能小的产品。这既包括定性技巧(如用户原型和用户测试),也包括定量技巧(如实时数据原型和分离测试)。

Product Optimization Process (9) – These are the skills to rapidly improve and refine existing products especially with optimization techniques and A/B testing.

产品优化流程(9)-这是快速提高和改善现有产品,尤其是优化技术和A/B测试的技能。

Product Development Process (7) – Does the product owner have a deep understanding of the product development process (e.g. Scrum) and understand his critical role in creating and managing the backlog of work?

产品开发流程(7)-产品经理是否对产品开发流程(例如:SCRUM,敏捷软件开发)有深刻的认识,并了解在创建和管理大量工作时关键的角色呢?

Individual Skills:

特定技能:

Team Collaboration Skills (10) – How effectively does the product owner work with the lead developer and the lead designer? Is it a collaborative relationship? Is there mutual respect? Is the product owner involving the lead developer and designer early enough and providing them direct access to customers?

团队合作技能(10)-产品经理如何有效得和首要开发人员和设计人员工作?它是一种合作关系吗?相互影响吗?产品经理是否足够早的和首要开发人员和设计师接触并提供他们直接面对客户吗?

Product Evangelism Skills (9) – How effectively is the product owner sharing the vision for the product and motivating the full product team as well as the various stakeholders and others in the company that must contribute to the product in one way or another?

产品传播技能(9)-产品经理如何有效地分享产品愿景并激励整个产品团队和公司内的利益相关者以及有助于产品方向的其他人呢?

Time Management Skills (8) – How well does the product owner manage his time? Is he able to ensure he has sufficient time to work on the critically important topics, or is he using most of his time on daily fire fighting? Is he fully utilizing his project manager/ScrumMaster?

时间管理技能(8)-产品经理如何管理他的时间?他能确保他有足够的时间做关键性、重要的工作,还是他用了大多数的时间日常救火上?他充分利用了他的项目经理/敏捷管理者吗?

Stakeholder Management (7) – How good is the product owner at managing his stakeholders across the company? Do they feel like they have a true partner in product that is genuinely committed to their business success?

相关利益者管理(7)-产品经理在管理整个公司的利益相关者上做得有多好?他们觉得在产品上,他们有一个真正的致力于商业成功的合作伙伴吗?

Leadership Skills (6) – The product owner does not actually manage anyone, but they do need to lead, influence and motivate people, so leadership skills are important.

领导技能(6)-产品经理事实上并不管理任何,但是他们需要去领导、影响和激励人们,因此领导技能是重要的。

Community Management (5) – What is the product owner’s skill in community management and gentle deployment techniques?

沟通管理(5)-产品经理在沟通管理上的技能以及温和的展开技巧是什么?

Holistic View of Product (5) – Does the product owner strive to maintain a holistic view of product and ensure that the end-to-end experience is strong?

产品的整体愿景(5)-产品经理是否在努力维护产品的整体愿景并确信自始至终的经验是强有力的呢?

Once you have defined the importance rating for each of these dimensions, you can now access each product owner as to where they are in terms of each of these dimensions, and therefore identify any gaps.

一旦你为每一个维度定义了重要性评级,那么你现在就能访问每个产品经理针对他们在每个维度中所处的位置,并因此而定义任何差距。

Development Plan

开发计划

The skills assessment is just the first part. The second part is to take the areas of the biggest gaps, and then for the manager to identify a set of actions for the product owner to develop his skills in that area. If a skill, such as “Product Discovery Process” is a 9 in importance, yet the person’s current skill level is a 5, then there is a fairly significant gap for a very highly ranked item. As the manager, you can now provide this product owner with training, reading or exercises intended to develop their skills in product discovery.

技能评估只是第一部分。第二部分是知道最大差距的领域,并为这个经理定义一套针对产品经理在这个领域技能开发的行动。如果一个技能,例如“产品发现流程”在重要性上是9,然而这个人当前大的技能是5,那么对于非常高的排名项目上这就是一个相当重要的差距。作为一个经理,你现在能够提供给这个产品经理以培训、阅读或者经验以便试图在产品发现上提高他们的技能。

For the development plan section, try to focus on the top 3 areas. After progressing on these, the employee can move on to the next most important areas.

对于这个开发计划部分,努力去关注前三个领域。在有所进步后,雇员就能够进入到下一个最重要的领域里。

Also, once an employee has successfully closed the gaps, it is an ideal time to show them how the dimensions and the importance ratings move for the next position (or for other types of positions), and they can set about developing and demonstrating the skills necessary for a promotion.

同样,一旦一个雇员成功的消除了这个差距,那么这就是一个理想的时间,对于示意他们这个维度和重要性评级如何进入到下一个位置(或者另一类型的位置),并且他们能够示范和推广这些必需的技能。

Be sure to sit down with each product owner no less than once a month to discuss progress on the development plan components and to adjust the skill level. Especially strong people managers discuss this topic weekly.

确信和每个产品经理坐下来,保证不少于一个月一次去讨论在开发计划组成中的进步,并调整技能水平。尤其是要和强有力的经理每周都要讨论。

Finally, you might be wondering how this sort of skills assessment and development plan relates to annual performance reviews. In general, I find the way most companies implement performance reviews to be of little use in terms of developing a strong team. Sadly they are more about compliance and pay administration.

最后,你或许想知道这类技能评估和开发计划如何关联年度业绩评价。通常,我发现大多数的公司在开发强有力团队的业绩评估上其实是没有多大用的。糟糕的是,他们更多的是服从和pay administration。

You may have to comply with your HR department’s requirements in terms of annual reviews, but just realize that these are in no way an adequate substitute for active, ongoing, engaged development of each team member’s skills. The good news is that if you are actively managing the skills assessment and the development plan as I’m describing here, then the annual review fire-drill is typically easy.

你可能必须遵从HR部门在年度评价上的要求,但是要意识到在积极、持续、保证每个团队成员技能的开发上绝没有一种合适的替代品。好消息是如果你正积极管理这种技能评估和开发计划,正如我在这儿描述的,那么这种年度评价fire-drill就是非常容易了。

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