Why Questioning the Product is Important by McDonald’s Product Manager

Often in the process of developing a product the people involved, including the product managers, tend to forget the why. Before beginning the process of any product development, it’s important to understand its significance and why it should be implemented in the first place.

In this talk, Richard Mannion elaborates how the product manager can assess the purpose and the vision of the product, so that they can help keep the members involved on the same page.

Meet Richard Mannion

Richard Mannion joined and worked at McDonald’s as a Content Manager for seven and a half years, helping the UK business on the website front and the digital product management. He has experience in managing both local and remote teams to deliver complex product requirements for over 20 countries globally, leading strategic planning through tactical launch activities and the ongoing management of the product.

Richard Mannion at Product Con

Why Questioning the Product is Important

Richard begins by highlighting that often product managers become so obsessed with data that sometimes they forget that one simply needs to ask – what is in the customer’s heart? He elaborates this notion by giving the example of a survey that McDonald’s undertook in 300 restaurants of 7 countries that they served at, in which 600 users participated, to know if the customers felt the need to engage more with the employees.

1. Want Big Impact? Use Big Image

To allow our people to connect with each other and the brand, in a way which informs, engages and inspires them to deliver a great customer experience.

Man looking at whiteboard

2. Hybrid Approach to Product

Richard explains that it’s not always practical to adhere to just one scrum framework, and it may be more useful to use a hybrid of more than one scrum frameworks. They are frameworks and they don’t have to be approached as methodologies, or processes with definite steps.

3. Overview of Roles

Infographic overview of roles

He also highlights that it’s important to understand the role description for the product managers, and he has observed in many cases that their roles are described more on the lines of a project or a program manager.

4. Build a Roadmap

Infographic build a roadmap

It should be noted that not only the features should be ideated keeping the product in mind, but they should also be aligned to the business’s benefit as well.

5. Measure

Tracking the right metrics is crucial to understanding how to pivot or persevere.

6. Learn

Most features will require iterations. Fail fast, learn faster.

Richard concludes by mentioning that it’s not a good approach to put too many things on the roadmap, which would eventually become a blocker when the product manager would have to revisit something for reiterations. A roadmap should be crisp and clear.

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