Dirty-Work Group – A Model for Entrepreneurs

Dirty-Work Group

Or Don’t Let Your Lack of Ability To Do a Part-of-it Stop You from Doing What You Want to Happen

Let us face it. Either we have all the talent needed to pull off an idea or we do not have all the talent to pull off the idea. Should this lacking stop us from going ahead and follow the idea?

Conventional wisdom says, if you can’t do it, you won’t be able to do it. So forget it.

Should we?

In a modern market, a businessman should have multiple capabilities to survive. Not every entrepreneur can hire accountants, financial advisors, lawyers, technical experts for advice. They start with limited resources and consultants don’t come cheap.

All entrepreneurs have one common quality. They are good at multiple tasks. If a successful entrepreneur was good at computers, sure there was at least one more field which the entrepreneur had a “natural knack” for. Maybe marketing, finance or any other area that helped in converting an “idea” into a business reality.

But at times either that is not sufficient or there maybe a lack of “natural knack”. It can discourage an entrepreneur into inaction. A Dirty-Work Group model can be a good approach to walk away unscathed by all these problems.

The Process

As you follow the Beating Down the Idea you would have broken down your projects into activities. The thing different in this break-down is that the activities are classified as per your (the initiator’s) capabilities. It will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. Use this list to look for a team that will make up for these lacking.

The Advantage

Besides a help in forming a team, the process is useful in:

  • Identifying the strength and weakness of team members
  • Identifying weakness that is not covered by another team member and thus identify a weak link
  • Taking the first step where the results of analysis can be directed inwards rather than outwards. Most planning and analysis tools are for “telling” others about a project. The DWG method is easy to adapt and hence greater advantage for the project itself.
  • It is a great team-work promoting method.
  • It helps the “purpose” rather than “people” become the leader and guiding principle.

More Reading

The Edge of Product Management: Talk at Institute of Product Leadership

Product Management Talk Institute of Product Leadership

I gave a talk to the students of Executive MBA at Institute of Product Leadership, Bangalore on 19th Nov 2016. It was a conversation around Product Management, industry practitioners approach to it and what’s new in this domain.

I also shared some new ideas I am toying around with and sought the feedback. It was a lively discussion.

SlideShare.net: http://www.ddiinnxx.com/slideshare-edge-product-management/

SpeakerDeck: http://www.ddiinnxx.com/speakerdeck-edge-product-management/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qvp-I-vymp0


Product Management Workshop for Chennai & Gurgaon

product-management-workshop-chennai-gurgaon-pic

We conducted a Product Management Workshop in Gurgaon on 12th Nov, 2016. This time we joined it with Chennai. So some folks from Chennai travelled to Gurgaon. There was a wonderful response and 14 ThoughtWorkers attended. Thanks to Jagbir Singh Lehl for all the help.

The day started with some excitement with Dinker Charak (aka me) missing the flight! I had insisted that Chennai team travel to Gurgaon as this workshop is most effective when done face to face. Now I had to face them remotely 😉

But thanks for great coordination by Jagbir and enthusiasm/cooperation by the attendees, it went well (as per feedback).

The agenda was very fast faced and aggressive. But we made it through all sessions with skip few items here there.

product-management-workshop-chennai-gurgaon-schedule

Thank you Ankur Arora, Bijesh Vijayan, Jagbir Singh Lehl, Jeneef Joshua VJ, Kandan Muthukumar, Khushbu Agarwal, Kshama Tikmani, Kuhu Batra, Neha Agarwal, Ramani Siva Prakash T, Saif Khan, Sreerupa Dutta Auditto, Surabhi Seth and Virapandy Thulasimani for attending.

 

Product Hackathon – Idea to Product – Nov 5th 2016

product-hackathon-idea-product-day

In line with earlier workshops in

based on the one day ‘Idea Hackathon: From An Idea to A Product’, we held one more this weekend on 5th Nov, 2016.

The agenda was:

1st-idea-hackathon-agenda

Based on the request of the participant, we had a discussion on the role of ProMa. I used the attached deck.

The workshop was attended by Sudeep Kumar, Pradeep Kumar, Ashwini Chiplunkar, Jawahar D, Jincen Easo Mathew and ThoughtWorkers Kiran M, Mark Gonsalves, Kartik Kannan and Sharath Satish.

Five Buckets Model for Product Management

5-buckets-of-product-management

Inspired by The Five Competencies of User Experience Design by Steve Psomas,  ‘Five Buckets’ – Explained by Jonny Schneider and 5 Buckets of Business Analysis by Jiangmei Kang, I created a version for Product Management.

The 5 Buckets Model for Product Management

The Five Buckets is a model to describe the various capabilities of a Product Manager. This model list out important capabilities and suggests them to be competent in a subset of capabilities based on what their focus / interest is.

The 5 Capabilities of Product Managers (ProMa) identified are:

Five Buckets of Product Management

Influencing

  • Rallying opinions around the Product value
  • Active listening
  • Evangelism
  • Articulation of value
  • Connect Business, Users, Techies and be their advocate in Product decisions
  • Establish common language
  • Fill the communication gap
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Conflicts resolution
  • Jedi Mind Tricks
  • Elevator pitches
  • Quips, anecdotes, story telling
  • Personal leadership
  • CxO level conversations

Synthesis

  • Take inputs from various sources and synthesize them into coherent vision
  • Build Product Strategy
  • Product Design, Innovation, User Research keeping inputs and behaviors in mind
  • Work with Business Analysts, Experience Designers, Developers, stakeholders, contributors, builders, consumers, etc.

Prioritization

  • Roadmapping
  • Track and Manage the Delivery Progress
  • Manage and Prioritize the Product Backlog

Business Acumen

  • Sustainability of the business based on the product
  • Business case for ideas/product/innovations/incremental innovations
  • Pricing
  • Market scoping
  • Market research
  • Market size
  • Market opportunity
  • Product – Organization fit
  • Product – Market fit

Domain Knowledge

  • Ramp up at needed pace to get sufficient Domain Knowledge
  • SME or strong Design background or strong Development background

Some Key Thoughts

  • As with other versions, everyone has the combination of two or more capabilities. Nobody can be expert in all five areas.
  • Influencing is a basic and key competency for ProMa to be effective.
  • Prioritization (roadmapping, tracking, etc) and Synthesis (gather inputs and make sense of conflicting demands) are key day to day activities of a ProMa guided by right Business Acumen (business value of anything that crosses them).
  • For situations where Domain Knowledge is important, being an SME helps. Else, as a Generalist, ramping up to have sufficient knowledge of domain works.

Speaker Deck

Thanks to fellow ThoughtWorkers Sachin Sapre, Nagarjun Kandukuru, Kartik Narayanan, Vijayalakshmi K R, Kshama Tikmani and Manish Kumar for the feedbacks at various stages.