How to Prioritize with Google’s Product Manager

How important is prioritization in Product Management? How can you map out tasks and fit them to key results? How do you balance the prioritization of features? At one of our recent events, Google’s Product Manager discussed key aspects of prioritization in Product Management and answered some important questions.

Product Manager at Google

Jeff Betts, a Product Manager at Google, has over six years of Product Management experience at companies such as Google, Twitter, Stitch Labs and Nitro Inc. Before working as a PM, Jeff built and designed websites. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Mathematics.

How to prioritize

To build the best possible solution, a product manager needs to understand WHY they are building. Once the problem and stakeholders have been identified, how does a PM tackle solving it? Jeff covered this problem-solving framework and shared insights and anecdotes from his user-first approach to product development and prioritization strategy.

How to Prioritize with Google's Product Manager

Main takeaways:

  • Priority means “the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important.”
  • Product Managers provide focus through prioritization.
  • Prioritization means being more customer focused.
  • Who are your customers? To understand your customers, you have to go out and meet them, understand who they are, feel their pain and what they want.
  • Also, think about who you want your customers to become; any tool you build is going to change the way a person behaves.
  • Product Management is about problem-solving which starts with the discovery of market and understanding who your customers are and what they need.
  • Portfolio thinking means maximizing ROI, managing risk, and determining resource allocation.
  • “Consider how to balance the portfolio in a quantifiable way. The probability of impact vs. cost to implement.”
  • Objectives and key results; objectives are ambitions, key results are measurable, and OKR’s are public.
  • Customer pain -> product vision -> objective -> key result.
  • Key to team alignment is to tell a compelling, data-driven story focused on the customer pain to solve. 

Knowing how to prioritize as a product manager might sound more difficult than it actually is. In the end, it all comes down to your customer: what do they want and what would help them the most. Also, making sure that the value you get is correlated with the time it takes to do something.

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