Session Ideas

ProductCamp is a great place to learn, share ideas, and network. Want to host a session? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Roadmaps – This is a challenge for product managers at all levels. What format do you use? How often do you update your roadmap? Do you show the same roadmap to your customers as you to internally? Who owns the roadmap? How do you negotiate with internal stakeholders? How do you decide what goes on the roadmap? What tools do you use to prioritize?
  • Career Development – We’re all looking for ways to improve our skills and get access to new job opportunities. What has served you well in your career as a product manager? What skills are you trying to develop? Who has helped you the most? If you’ve advanced in seniority, what helped you move up?
  • Stakeholder Management – Product managers have to work cross-functionally with just about every team in the company. How do you rally other people to achieve your vision and objectives? Which relationships are easiest? Which are the hardest? Which internal partners are most important for your role? What are your secrets to negotiation and compromise? How do you work with Design? Engineering? QA?
  • The Process – Getting a product from a napkin sketch out to market is a long and complex process. What have you learned about the product management process that makes you effective today? Do you use Agile? Scrum? Waterfall? None of the above? All of the above?
  • Requirements – This topic looms so large in a product manager’s world that it deserves its own conversation. Do you use stories? Use cases? Requirements? Requirements documents? Sticky notes? A database? Jira? Spreadsheets? You can’t go wrong talking about requirements in a room full of product managers.
  • Tools of the trade – Being a product manager means processing tremendous amounts of information, communicating to multiple constituents and juggling multiple priorities. What tools, electronic or otherwise do you use in your job to manage your workload, help your teams, and keep you in touch with your customers?
  • Customer discovery – You can’t solve problems if you don’t understand your customers. What tools and techniques do you use to keep close to your customers and get the best information from them to guide your product roadmap? What sources of customer data do you have? Do you work with Sales or Support to get information about your customers? Do you have a user researcher? Do you survey your customers?
  • Competitive and Market Analysis – Staying on top of market trends and competitive moves is a key part of the product manager’s job. How much time do you spend on this? Do you get the best information at trade shows? Conferences? Impromptu meetings? Analysts? Reading?
  • Pricing – Not all product managers are responsible for pricing and revenue. If you, this is a great topic to discuss. How do you set prices? How do you adjust them? What tools do you use? Which other teams do you work with on pricing problems? Who makes the decision? What has worked for you? What hasn’t?
  • Design – How much design work do you do in your job? Do you work on a product which has a user interface? What design process do you follow? How do you know you have designed a good product?
  • Prioritization – Probably the most frequent thing a product manager does–deciding where to spend time and money. How do you prioritize? How do you resolve disputes around priority? Who should be involved in the conversation? How do you make the decision? Ever had to reverse yourself? Do you use tools? Meetings? Conversations?
  • The Business Case – How are products or features initiated and approved in your company? Does it work? Do you have to present a business case for your product? Who do you present it to? Do you use a lightweight or heavy process for approval? Stage-gate?
  • Data, A/B Testing and experimentation – Are you a data-driven product manager? Does your company focus on numbers or intuition to make decisions? Do you run experiments? How do you know your product is performing well?
  • End of Life – Some product manager have never shut down a product. Have you? What does sunsetting look like? How do you know when a product has gone beyond its useful life?
  • Product Lines / Portfolio Management – Do you manage multiple or related products? Many product managers don’t. Share your thoughts on how managing product lines or suites is different or the same as single products. How do you balance resources across your portfolio? Do you own a platform? How do you invest in the core versus peripheral components?