February 29, 2024

Does Your Team Understand Your Strategy? - Product Science Journal #39

In this issue, I share some favorite articles on what strategy is and isn't and what good strategy looks like.

Does Your Team Understand Your Strategy? - Product Science Journal #39
Written By:
Holly Hester-Reilly
Holly Hester-Reilly

Hello amazing product leaders and startup founders,

I asked my MBA students yesterday how many of them clearly understood how the product areas they had worked in contributed to the overall company strategy. Only two students raised their hands. That was an improvement over last semester when no one did. Still, it’s a place where companies struggle.

This year, I will talk more about the Product Science Principles and what better place to start than strategy. The first principle is Evidence-Based Product Strategy, which I always describe as two parts - one, having a strategy at all, and two, having it be based on real evidence-driven insights, not just intuition.

So, in this issue, I’m sharing articles focused on what strategy is and how you define it.


Holly’s Picks

Revenue Goals are Not Company Strategies
by Rich Mironov
I have always loved Rich’s writing, and this one immediately spoke to me. I can’t tell you how often I come across people setting revenue goals and leaving a vacuum underneath them. And if you like this article, check out his recently refreshed book!

How to Stop your Strategy From Turning into a Fantasy
by Saeed Khan
In this piece, Saeed argues that a strategy “is a hypothesis (a bet) about a critical means to solving a problem or achieving a goal.” I like the framework he shares of the elements of a strategy being objectives, understanding, actions, and measurement.

How to Take Bigger, Bolder Product Bets — Lessons from Slack’s Chief Product Officer
First Round Review
While I use a lot of words (experiment, data, intuition) differently from Slack’s CPO Noah Desai Weiss, I wholly agree with the core principles here: you need a mix of qualitative and quantitative evidence to drive your decisions, you need to share context and build trust with your team, and you need to be willing to take calculated risks.

Join My Upcoming Maven Cohort

Want to learn how to make space for continuous product discovery? After the beta cohort, I got this feedback:

“Thank you for the course. It was very insightful and I took a lot of notes that I am now eager to try!” - Tanya Zuger, Head of Product, Splash

I’ve already sold some tickets to the second cohort, which starts March 20th. It’s just twice a week for two weeks, and, like Tanya, you’ll come away with many ideas to improve your work.

Join the next cohort!

Brought to you by Product Science Group

Our team at Product Science Group partners with startup founders and product leaders to share The Product Science Principles and the accompanying framework, the Product Science Method, which I've developed over my time in tech startups. Through our coaching and consulting work, we help our clients determine which product growth opportunities they should pursue and build the product management skills to deliver on their goals. Reach out if you'd like to explore working together as a client or team member!

Thank you for reading!

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