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It’s go time! For the next 90 minutes, ask our product managers anything in this thread!

👋 @ClementineHahn @sidewalkballet @danprime @StevieRayTalbot and Bryan here, and we’re excited to answer your #ProductManagement questions!

#GCDigital Photo of @ClementineHahn @sidewalkballet @danprime @StevieRayTalbot and Bryan holding sign that reads, “Twitter #AMA!”
.@lovskogen We don’t have set tech or UX requirements for PMs. PMs have diverse backgrounds and some might lean more UX or dev-heavy, but we look for experience with problem solving, successful delivery, agile product techniques, and coordinating a multidisciplinary team.
Love these - we'd augment #1 to include designers and researchers (and product people) as well, not just engineers!
Absolutely! Just a few differences in the public sector:
1. People, not customers - we're not (usually) selling anything
2. 100%
3. 100% + how goverment affects and could work with industry.
4. This. In the government context there's a lot of engagement!
Translating to gov...
1. How can we help people meet their needs? Is it a problem for gov?
2. 100%
3. 100% + is this problem solved, and can we buy it?
4. 100% + what is the mandate of the current government? How can we meet it?
@toddscanlan 1. Product Owner and Scrum Master are scrum-specific terms and it doesn't quite equate to our version of PM, since we use more than Scrum at CDS. @rossferg has a post on product owner vs product manager here:…
@toddscanlan 3. Yes! Training for public servants in PM is crucial. The "but" is, we should absolutely be bringing in people from the private sector. They can work with experienced public servants to navigate the policies & laws.
1/2 @JenniferPlayer3
Definitely! The biggest difference is that project teams typically measure themselves against completion and product teams chase after outcomes which will never be 100%.
2/2 @JenniferPlayer3
Targeting and prioritizing outcomes over the output means the teams are given autonomy and equipped with the people to respond quickly.
1/2 It will be a tough change but a necessary one to serve people better. If we want people to have a better opinion of government digital services we need to build projects not to satisfy policies but people.
2/2 @scottnlevac Policies should exist to help improve people's wellbeing, not impede their interactions with services.
@Kat_LeBlanc We have an outreach team member repping each product team who helps us tell the story of our work through blog posts, tweets, and more - it’s important for us to be open and transparent, both internally and externally.
@c4therined 1/2 We're working by partnering with the agencies. It is important that the will to innovate comes from within teams that we work with so we can truly have impact.
2/2 @c4therined If your department is willing to act on a specific problem, feel free to reach out so we can start a conversation and see if there's opportunity to partner. Here's a link !
@AntoineAugusti 1/2 PMs get a ton of guidance from policy experts - these bureaucracy hackers are critical to the success of teams at CDS, especially when we have PMs that are new to government.
2/2 @AntoineAugusti Policy experts help PMs understand the legislative landscape and policy intent of the service, which we need to make better product decisions for the people that use the service and the orgs we partner with.
1/2 @AntoineAugusti
Yes! One of the best things about being a PM is learning from your colleages about their disciplines. Though, we're not (necessarily) going to be writing code.
2/2 @AntoineAugusti
Developers can absolutely become a PM, but the skill set is different - more organization, focus on users, and planning, than writing code.
There are tons of resources out there! Take a peek at our very own @rossferg's crowdsourced Product Management Learning List…
1/2 @lana_stewart This is tough. People want a thing to wrap their head around. Continuing to re-focus the conversation on the problem you're trying to solve or understand can help reveal big risks or assumptions in a pre-determined solution.
2/2 @lana_stewart It also helps to set expectations up front wrt the outcomes of each delivery phase, and the difference between a ‘solution’ and a prototype to test with continuing research - research never ends!
1. Be as agile as possible. Have a tangible product so that everyone can look at it sooner. This isn't just for the benefit of learning from your users but also for internal organization to understand what we're shipping. This helps everyone evaluate risks much better.
2. Have a heart-to-heart conversation to understand what risks the requirements are trying to address to help you prioritize which ones are absolutely necessary, which ones you should have, and which ones are nice to have (MoSCow prioritization).
3. Work with the requirements team and bring them into the delivery team as early as possible. Agile teams mean everyone who is vital to delivery should be on the team...
@sboots ...I have found that by bringing requirements folks (security, comms) along and helping them understand the problem we're tackling helps make the conversations smoother.
1/2 @gleegz
How do we grow the community? By showing the value of what a PM does and making a strong case for multi-disciplinary teams. We have complex problems and need a variety of disciplines to tackle them.
2/2 @gleegz
A PM coordinates, sets the vision, and makes sure we're delivering value to service users.

Two barriers we'll need to tackle for the community to grow are in classifications / hiring, and separation between business and IT units in government.
@sboots Product management is not about having all the answers. Sometimes the good answer is to recognize we don't know the answer yet and still figure out a way to have the team move forward acknowledging our own limitations
1/2 @cinorti Lots - we do a lot of translating between tech and non-tech speak, and gov and non-gov speak. CDS PMs have a few audiences, including the people who are using the product directly, and othe public servants who can adopt it and use it in their department.
2/2 @cinorti What it is and how to use it needs to be clear for everyone.
1/2 @megberetta Leading without authority. In a development team we have no real authority to tell a developer or designer to do anything. We have to work with them to make sure that we all agree with the course of action and work towards it together.
2/2 @megberetta This is no different from other industries as it is a feature of giving empowerment to an agile development team.
1/2 @jstweedie Prioritize getting something out in front of users ASAP. To accomplish this product teams will need to collaborate, prioritize what's impactful and feasible, have autonomy to push something out.
2/2 @jstweedie The latter shortens the waterfall when the entire organization understands they need to deploy.
1/5 @_mjlerner Big question! We don't have all the answers, but here's what we have so far:
1. Lack of access to public internet (not everything we do is classified)
Answer: Wifi:…
2/5 @_mjlerner 2. Lack of coordination tools (messaging, agile boards, simultaneous editing, etc.)
Answer: Same premise as above, but always open to suggestions
3/5 @_mjlerner 3. Funding based on projects, rather than problems or products
Answer: This one is tough, still working on it
4/5 @_mjlerner 4. Talking to people that use your services
Answer: Working with policy to enable design research:…

Design (user) research and usability testing is not public opinion research:……
5/5 @_mjlerner 5. Governance splits between business and IT resources
Answer: To start, have your developers sit with the business team.
@charlielapin We add banners to our products to communicate they're still in development and give people a way to provide feedback. We also don't replace any existing services right away; people always have the option to use what's already out there.
@_mjlerner All digital services are contending with this one. We agree that it's better to fund products rather than projects, even better to fund teams. This is what CDS does and we are looking for opportunities to explore this with departments here in Canada.
@ClementineHahn @sidewalkballet @danprime @StevieRayTalbot Thanks for tuning into our #AMA!

Interested in more events about #ProductManagement in the #GC? Let us know by emailing our Head of Product Management:

Until next time! 👋
@_mjlerner Try and shift to focus the work and funding around teams rather than products or projects; so when a product is retired, the entire team can move to something else.
@ClementineHahn @sidewalkballet @danprime @StevieRayTalbot 1/2 @Jefferyyyyyy It's common for governments to start using agile to iterate existing products. Thinking about what happens after roll out - user needs always evolve, so the product should continue to evolve as well and for that you will benefit from having a product manager.
2/2 @Jefferyyyyyy Make the addition of a product manager part of the business case.
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