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Episode 183 - Connecting Product Management to Business Goals by Mastering your Product Strategy (with Gabrielle Bufrem, Product Leadership Coach & Advisor)

Product Leadership
Product Strategy

Episode 183: Connecting Product Management to Business Goals by Mastering your Product Strategy

Gabrielle Bufrem, Product Leadership Coach & Advisor

26 July 2023

26 July 2023 Gabrielle Bufrem head shot

Listen here!

Content Warning - May Contain Adult Language or Themes
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About the Episode

Gabrielle Bufrem is a product leader and product coach who comes highly recommended by Sir Marty Cagan himself. She's passionate about developing product managers and product leaders, as well as helping them be true strategic partners to the business. We spoke about product vision, what to do when it's not there, the importance of product principles and much more.

A quick message from Saeed Khan and me.

My former podcast guest, Saeed Khan and I are thinking of putting together a B2B Product Management cohort course on Maven. Our goal is to help B2B PMs make peace with the differences between B2B product management and much of the classic product literature, and enable them to be true business partners rather than stuck in a remorseless feature factory. We're assessing interest right now, so if this sounds good, please fill in our course questionnaire. Thanks!

Episode highlights:

1. A product strategy is the highest leverage artefact any product leader can have

But it's also one of the hardest to do. It's serious, serious work, which is why so many product teams just end up with a list of tasks, or a "pizza strategy" (pepperoni! chicken! M&Ms!)

2. A lot of problems stem from being people pleasers

No one wants to say "no" and people can suffer from the fear of missing out. People can be afraid to take a stance. But, it's essential to narrow your focus to the absolute essentials if you want to make any progress at all.

3. It's hard to push back on pre-agreed feature requests if you don't have a plan

Product leaders need a deep understanding of their users and customers, but also of the wider business context. You need to be conscious of what the company (and the board) wants.

4. Sometimes companies don't have strategies either

It's easy to get dragged into a neverending feature list, prioritising whatever the next thing is. Product leaders need to work with wider leadership to identify broad goals, how they can get there & what the 3-5 year plan is.

5. Product managers are there to represent the business

UX designers are there to look after the users and the engineering team is there to look after the tech. It's absolutely essential for PMs to be trusted business partners if they want to make a big impact.

Contact Gabrielle

You can connect with Gabi on Twitter or on LinkedIn. Or, check out her website.

Gabrielle Bufrem and me before the recording