2019 Tracks and Sessions

These are the tracks and sessions that occurred on October 19, 2019. We’re in the process of collecting slides and notes to post along with each session.

Tracks

  1. Product Management 101: The basics about product management and product marketing.
  2. Growing the Product Team: Effective recruiting, managing the talent bench, developing the team, scaling for organization growth
  3. Build Your Career: Team Management, Interviews, Role Definitions, Stakeholder Engagement, Small vs. Big Company, Product Management/Marketing Tools, etc.
  4. Product Discovery: Opportunity Analysis, Market Research, Market Segmentation, Competitive Analysis, Industry Analysis, Business Case, Market Problems, etc.
  5. Product Development & Design: Agile Processes, Market Testing, Beta/Pilot Testing, Testing/QA, Analytics Tools and Instrumentation, Offshore/Nearshore Development, Requirements Definitions, User Experience (UX), Working with technical teams, technical architecture, Highly Integrated firm, etc.
  6. Go-to-Market & Product Marketing: Product Launch, Market Strategy, Marketing Plan, Pricing, Positioning, Messaging, Channel Strategy, Sales Enablement, Marketing Execution, Sales Pipeline, Marketing Metrics, Product Marketing, etc.
  7. Product Strategy and Lifecycle Management: Business Planning, Business Model, Roadmaps, Portfolio Planning, Partnerships, Technology Assessment, Brand Management, End-of-Life, Customer Retention, Repositioning, etc.

Sessions

The Minimum Valuable Product Manager: with Nour Alkhatib

The product manager role requires a large set of broad skills. Prioritize learning and skill set growing is one of the challenging things a PM has to do especially early in their careers as there isn’t enough time to acquire all skills.

Minimum Viable Product Manager (MVPM) is the minimum set of skillset product managers should have to drive value within their organizations.

Bio
: Nour Alkhatib, a Product Manager at Flipp. I have experience in managing B2B & B2C products. I’ve always been passionate about the product craft and landed my first product role a few years ago and since then, I had an aspiration to guide others in their journey to product management.

The Customer Development Framework: with Brack Sivadasan

The customer development framework enables product managers to mitigate risks and recognize an opportunity. The customer development framework consists of (Discovery, Validation, Creation, and Building).

Bio: My product journey started in a startup that went public where I learned a lot. Over the last 5 years, I have been a consultant in various industries. I am currently working as a product owner at Parsons Corporation.

Lessons Learned from 20 years in Product Management: with Saeed Khan

Product Management is a difficult, complex and demanding role. A lot of learning comes from actually doing the job. Come to this talk and I will share some lessons I learned over my 20+ years in Product Management. This is an interactive session with some quick “case studies” and discussion with the attendees. This session will be valuable to both new practitioners as well as those who who’ve been in product for some time.

A Recruiter’s Take On… Product Management vs. Product Owner vs. Business Analyst: with Michelle Diaz & Mitchell Fong

In this interactive session featuring a ton of sticky notes and sharpie markers, the facilitator will open up conversations that are often taken for granted to once and for all clarify the Product Market today and the industry for the future! Provide tangible next steps for building out your career!

  1. Define Roles
  2. Refine Roles based on Industry
  3. The Market and Trends
  4. Next Steps/ Actions
BioMichelle Diaz recruits for Fortune 500 companies and Start Ups! Living & breathing all things tech! On the lookout for the best-of-the-best!

How to Break into Product: with Moustapha Seck

15mn talk + QA on techniques to increase the odds of landing your first PM job. I would like to go over four points:

  1. Helping the PMs you admire:Tips on how Aspiring PMs can engage with the Product community and learn by being involved with accomplished PMs
  2. Build your own products:Tips on how Aspiring PMs can practice Product Thinking in their daily lives and gain experience by building their own products
  3. Develop a brand:Tips on getting noticed in the Product community and building the reputation of being a “Product Person”
  4. Finding the right fit: A reminder that Aspiring PMs should above all try to find the company that fits them the most and not be desperate when searching for a Product role

Bio:Moustapha Seck ( https://www.moustapha.io ). I had aspirations of becoming a PM during my final year of engineering school and landed my first job 2 months after graduation. Now, I do Product Analytics research, write Product Articles and bring the Toronto Product community together.

Product Skills Self Assessment Workshop: with Saeed Khan

This is a 1 hour interactive workshop. The goal is to perform a detailed and structured self-assessment of the skills needed for Product roles. With this information, you can create a self-improvement program or talk to your manager at work to discuss how to address the gaps and how to leverage your strengths.

The workshop is based on a skills assessment model that I’ve developed and have used with some of my clients. The workshop will start with an explanation of the model, then time to perform the self assessment (takes about 15 -20 minutes) and then discussion and feedback about the process and what you learned.

All materials for the workshop will be provided. Feedback from previous participants on this self-assessment have been VERY positive. 

Product Validation Streams: Bringing multi-disciplinary product discovery into your practice with Mikkel Lunding

In this session we will go over how we think about innovation at Connected and go over a case study around product validation that we did with a consumer electronics client.

The session will be highly interactive with specific examples of work we did in the product discovery realm. The session will cover real-world examples of how a focus on hypothesis-driven validation and product experimentation will lead to increased strategic confidence and ultimately help you decide whether you should invest in building a full-scale, mature product.

The session will touch upon topics like: hypothesis-driven validation, the 4 product risks, wizard-of-oz prototyping, research planning & execution, cross-disciplinary practice and much more

Bio:Mikkel Lunding. Senior Product Strategist, Connected.
Former: Google, Scotiabank
With more than a dozen large UX research projects in the portfolio, Mikkel’s work is powered by a strong desire to reach simple and delightful user experiences in digital products.

Notes for this session are here

Measuring Product-Market Fit: with Lee Garrison

The primary goal for a startup is the race to Product-Market Fit but established companies also need to understand it when innovating. This session will look at one of the biggest challenges with Product-Market Fit; how to tell when you are improving it … or loosing it!

Session Lead: Lee Garrison – Facilitator and Advisor in Product Management at MaRS

Interview like a Pro for Market Discovery, Win-Loss, and More: with Charles Topping

Learn what it takes to interview like a pro, on the phone or in-person. We’ll walk through the key steps of preparing for interview-based research, then we’ll practice interviewing to get you over the jitters of performing your first interview.

Bio: Charles Topping is a B2B market researcher, product process geek, workshop facilitator and more. You can find Charles doing market interviews with The Win-Loss Agency, hosting workshops with Market-Driven Business, and redefining product process with The Quartz Open Framework. Or, you know, we could just talk right here at #pctoronto.

Notes for this session are here

Helping cross-functional teams adopt Design Thinking principles in their everyday work with Bryan Dingwall and Sreejayan Syam

Learn about the importance of having all your employees understand and apply the basic Design Thinking principles in their everyday work. As part of product management at Intuit, Bryan and Sree dedicate time utilizing and coaching cross-functional teams on Intuit’s Design for Delight (D4D) methodology, focusing on:

  1. Developing deep customer empathy
  2. Identifying real-world customer problems
  3. Developing and testing Leap of Faith Assumptions
  4. Running rapid experimentation with customers
Session Format: 
Interactive Workshop – extended session. Pair/group activities. In-room prototyping and experimentation.

Bio:Bryan Dingwall – Senior Product Manager at Intuit, currently leading delivery of Intuit’s TurboTax Live products in Canada

Sreejayan Syam – Product Manager at Intuit, focusing on amazing TurboTax DIY and Mobile experiences for Canadians

Best Practices: Building Products that Meet Enterprise Customer Expectations: with Ross Richardson

Discover best practices around how to define products that meet enterprise customers quality and compliance requirements. Short presentation followed by breakout groups which will discuss various aspects of delivering software successfully to enterprise customers.

Bio: I previously held leadership positions in the telecom industry, defining and delivering enterprise grade wireless products.

Mapageddon: Exploring customer journey and experience mapping with Dayton Pereira

Experience maps, empathy maps, journey maps, story maps, service blueprints—how do you choose the right one at the right time?

When done right, mapping can be a powerful tool to help you understand how your products or services affect or influence the needs of your customers. It can be used to gain deep empathy for your customer, uncover points of friction, areas of opportunity, and compare current state vs. future state of your product or services. With many mapping frameworks to choose from, it can sometimes feel like having too many options.

This session is designed to help you choose the right mapping framework when faced with business problems in various stages, from fledgeling ideas to feature enhancements. We’ll deep dive into three of the most fundamental maps for business innovation, experience maps, customer journey maps and empathy maps. We’ll also cover related mapping frameworks like jobs to be done, story maps and service blueprints.

The goal of this session is to leave you with powerful business innovation methods you can use at your organization immediately. Gather your team and see the whole picture of your business from the lens of your customers.

Bio: Dayton is passionate about design as a powerful tool to solve complex business problems. He works closely with clients to research and understand their challenges, translating them into opportunities. Over his almost 20 year career, the digital products Dayton has developed have reached and delighted millions of people.

Testing Product Ideas: with Adhithya Krishnamachari

As we move into an iterative and experimental mindset to launch product features, testing for user feedback becomes a key activity for  a product manager.

In this session, I want to outline the different testing methods that can be used for each stage of the product development cycle such as define, design and drive (post launch). Specifically, I would like to discuss some of my personal experiences of gathering user insights at Toronto Star and would like to learn more about similar experiences from fellow product managers

Bio:Adhithya (Adi) is a Product Manager with the Digital Team at Toronto Star and brings over 5 years of product mgmt. experience across banking, insurance and digital media space. Adi’s core philosophy as a PM is to always put the user needs first, bring new features to the market quickly and constantly evolve these features based on user feedback 

Applying Value Based Pricing in a Software World: with Scott Miller

Software can be overwhelmingly complex to price and monetize – especially in the fast-paced digital transformation world. Unfortunately, willingness-to-pay guesswork and/or cost-plus is often used for determining one’s software pricing strategy.

The result? Significantly underachieving your software’s revenue and profitability potential. Enter a need for value-based pricing.

“Pricing Excellence” within your organization is a journey… and a process. This workshop helps to kick-off your journey by introducing value-based pricing concepts, frameworks, and tools. We will also discuss various case study examples linking price to the software “value story”, and provide attendees an opportunity to address some of their own organization’s pricing challenges.

Bio: Scott Miller is Founder and CEO of Miller Advisors, a boutique consultancy firm based in Toronto specializing in B2B software product strategy, commercialization, pricing & offer design, as well as ISPMA certification training.

Value Proposition Design & Quantifying Customer Value: with Bryan Elanko

Companies have a hard time articulating the value they add to their customers across their portfolio of products. They often communicate their value in their own terms and the customer is often not even part of that discussion.

I’ll walk through a framework that I developed to uncover the key value statements for any solution that makes sense to the customer. This framework will remove any hurdle for the customer in understanding why they need to choose your product. Additionally, I’ll also share ways to quantify the value you add to your customer’s business which helps a lot especially in complex B2B sales.

Bio:Bryan Elanko is Director of Strategy Development at National Oilwell Varco (NOV) with a focus on strategic planning, commercialization, and business development initiatives impacting multiple end markets.

Stop Selling Your Service as a Software: with XinChi Yang

With the current hype of SaaS and obsession around MRR, too many companies are making the costly mistake of trying to fit everything they do into a product rather than having services.

This workshop will provide you a framework to examine all the components of your software, devise a pricing model in the context of your costs and value to your customers, and ensure your pricing model does not screw you over.

Bio: XinChi Yang is the Head of Product at Cinchy. She is an enterprise B2B product manager with a background in Mathematics and Economics. She obsesses over systems and processes to eliminate parts that just don’t make sense.

Product innovation in mature markets: with Nathan Nemirovski

We are constantly told we need to innovate more, in every part of our business. But what do you do when you have an existing product in an existing market that is being challenged? How do you revive those products and restart growth?

Bio: Nathan manages Oracle Eloqua CRM integrations used by hundreds of enterprise customers across various industries. Nathan spent 15+ years of his career working in a variety of product, business and technical leadership roles such as Sr. Product Manager at Tier1CRM and Development Manager at Tira Wireless Inc. Nathan holds a BSc degree in Computer Sciences and an MBA degree from Schulich School of Business.

Market Opportunity and Assessment Strategy: with Sidra Khan

How to assess new market opportunities and build a business case:

  • Industry-focused solutions
  • Customer segmentation (B2B/B2C/SME)
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Quantify revenue forecast/opportunity/growth