How to Structure and Manage the Best Product Reviews
A talk by Twitter’s Former Head of Product, Kayvon Beykpour. Highest achievement: technical challenge of bringing down the latency.
Is product about art or science?
Both. As PMs -are people who should be defining the vision, mission and the strategy of a product and why it matters to the customer & why and how it can be impactful for the business.
Also, making sure everyone in the team understands: what are we building, why and how we measure the success.
Qualities of a PM (in early stage startup)
- Ruthless about spending time with the customers. Hoovering up as much data points: quantitative and qualitative what’s working and what’s not working
- Incredibly comfortable with the ambiguity. Comfortable wearing multiple hats
- Keeping an eye towards making things durable over time
p.s. Risks & issues
- Waiting too long before company hire PM
- Figuring out too late that the person is not a good fit for the team
Product reviews on a leadership level
Hosting on weekly basis (3 slots a week x 45 min + debrief 15 min). Three archetypes of the reviews:
1. Future feature. Input: hypothesis, strategy hypothesis collected from the team with the explanation of why and why not smth else
2. Experiential product review with a demo (product is actively being built or pre-launched). Input: here is how we think we will GTM
3. Post-launch review. Objective is to understand how it is working.
Debrief — 15 min
- Write down 4–5 most useful feedback collected into artefacts
i.e. distilling the entire discussion into few bullets
2. Pass those artefacts to the team to assess / add to product backlog
ProTip: Not listen for solutions but for problems. Balance intuition with data to address the problem.
There are 2 customers for a product review: team + leadership
- team. Opportunity to share a strategy, conviction, the roadmap and get feedback from a smart group of leaders x-functionally [ -head of engineering; -head of research; -data science]. They will look at the fresh perspective and challenge the ideas, push on threads that PM may have not done, and provide an insight.
- leadership. Opportunity for leaders to get a sense of how the team is working, evolving, what are the team is contemplating on, are there the right dynamics, velocity, need any calibration. X-checking if the team is having the right success criteria, aiming the right direction, ambition.
Signs of failure for a leadership
- Slow velocity
- Share the plan to be blessed by the leadership (leadership smell-test)
Credit: 20 Product, Twitter’s Former Head of Product, Kayvon Beykpour