Meet Lina Pasławska, Product Manager at Netguru. In this episode of Disruption Insights she shares thoughts about delivering exquisite digital products and experiences, but her knowledge goes way beyond these topics.
Lina specializes in working with innovative, industry-tailored, business models. Her product portfolio includes both B2C and B2B solutions for industries like gaming, fandom, ecommerce, fintech, metaverse, martech, and many more. Lina’s a futurologist especially interested in what’s ahead of us. See what you can learn from her.
Being an outstanding Product Manager requires combining a methodological approach, creative thinking, and people skills. How does it work in practice? We answer this question in the Disruption Insights series by presenting proven frameworks and battle-tested tips from top experts who contribute to creating valuable and effective products.
The most important elements of good product stories
A good product story comprises a well-balanced mix of specially selected WHYs and HOWs with a pinch of emotions.
Think of it as an exquisite dish from a Michelin star restaurant: Based on a product story, you know exactly WHY you are developing your product and where this journey will take you in the long-term. This way, you can choose the best ingredients on the market to fit your recipe.
On the other hand, knowing WHY won’t work if you don’t know HOW to deliver it.
You need to know what and whose needs you are serving.
Do not put lock, stock and barrel there! Carefully select it for your customers and sprinkle a well-balanced product vision and strategy with some personal experience to emotionally connect with them and be remembered. If you manage to do so, that was a good product story.
Tips for communicating a product vision and strategy to get others engaged
My top three tips would include:
- Be an ambassador of your product, take ownership, and let people feel your engagement.
- Customize the message to suit the receiver, be real and transparent.
- Make sure you send clear, useful (!) follow-up messages and all stakeholders are on the same page.
Decision-making process when defining strategic bets
There are only four steps to follow while making a strategic decision:
- Challenge: Identify and analyze the challenge you are facing. Find your non-negotiable objectives.
- Solution: Think about all possible solutions (no wrong answers here!), then analyze their strengths and weaknesses, identify the risks.
- Make the decision: Choose a solution, accept the risk, and implement it!
- Grand finale: Evaluate the decision’s effectiveness, if necessary start over and… pivot.
Three favorite product frameworks
My three fav product frameworks are:
- Empathy Map or Value Proposition Canvas (to understand your customers)
- Business Model Canvas (to understand your products and business)
- The Portfolio Map (to understand your product portfolio and its future)
📋 Work and talent
Key traits or skills of a great Product Manager
A successful Product Manager should:
- Be a continuous learner and demonstrate the ability to admit that they don't know something... yet
- Have multi-level communication skills
- Be focused on the big picture and details at the same time
Three favorite interview questions when hiring a Product Manager
When hiring a Product Manager, I’d ask them:
- Who is a Product Manager for you?
- What is the best/hardest thing about being a Product Manager?
- What is your favorite way of contacting the customer and why?
Top PdM habits you follow every day/week
It is all about your energy management. Each day is only 24 hours long, and a week only 7 days long. You need to learn how to choose the right moves.
Always prioritize according to value:
- In your product: value for the customer
- In your company’s internal initiatives: value for the company/team/stakeholders
- In your private life: value for you/ your loved ones
How? Just start. After finishing the plan – start over! Make mistakes, learn from them, and do it again, and again, and again.
🎤 Customer centricity
Top habits, rituals, and frameworks for gathering insights
Understand your business:
- What are your goals?
- What data do you need to analyze to support these goals?
Think about relationships between them. Think how your daily actions influence them.
I recommend creating KPIs Tree for a better graphic understanding of your product.
But remember it’s just a starting point. You need to choose the best ones to follow on a daily basis. Understanding them will, in the end, support your goals.
Winning strategies to collect customer feedback
Understand what you want to learn about your customers and answer the questions below:
- Are you familiar with their taxonomy? For example: Are you interested in new users or returning ones? Customers or visitors?
- Are you familiar with their journeys and user touchpoints of your product?
If not, first of all, find out your funnel. Then, set proper basics – further insights through NPS score and exit-intent surveys. Finally, add product feedback widgets/in-apps, start analyzing it, and experiment with it!
Besides automations, you can always choose a more personal approach and use customer interviews. Staying in touch with customers will help you get deeper insights and new ideas or hypotheses to check.
💡 Inspiration corner
Books that every Product Manager should read
- “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown
Essential reads to stay on top of the Product Management trends
There are no good answers – the key is to find your niche. When you do it, make sure you follow the top creators and entrepreneurs. This is a perfect way to stay up to date with industry news and follow the latest trends.
Want to be a part of the Disruption Insights series? Shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn from other product experts:
"Understand What’s Vital For Customers" with Davide Vitiello from Delivery Hero
"Ask the Right Questions" with Pedro Sousa from Netguru