Melissa Perri Profile picture
Passionate about product. Teach @harvardhbs. Created online #prodmgmt school @productinst and Author of Escaping the Build Trap.
Nitin Ramrakhyani Profile picture David Anderson Profile picture kwanchen Profile picture 3 added to My Authors
7 Mar
If you’re not rethinking how your business model and company could be disrupted and made better by software products, you’re not truly doing a product “transformation”.

A thread on the power of #prodmgmt 👇 /1
Over the past 7 years I’ve worked with many large enterprises which are what I call “software enabled”. That means they don’t primarily sell software for revenue.

Banks, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, etc. /2
These companies typically were run on a traditional IT approach - the business tells tech what tools they need, and tech builds them. Tech is a Dev shop, a services org. Not strategic but reactive. /3
Read 12 tweets
5 Mar
Here’s my current saga with @HomeDepot and a story about their technology that is completely broken.

I returned $1000 worth of brick I bought online to the store. It said I could. The store accepted it but had to call to process the return. /1
This is an issue I run into all the time at @HomeDepot. They can never return the things I bought online without help but they still tell you to return to any store. So they accept the return, I leave. Here’s a pic of it sitting in the store. /2 Image
I call to make sure it got processed when I leave, and they said yeah everything fine.

I get a call a week later from their shipping company trying to schedule to have it picked up. I tell them it’s at the store they can’t. They said they’ll cancel the pickup.
Read 6 tweets
25 Aug 20
Calling your Product Managers something else may solve some issues in the short term, but it's just going to prevent you from hiring great people in the long term.

Anyone who says titles are not important is either trying to screw over someone or in a very privileged position.
Salary bands are determined by seniority. Salary bands are determined by job titles and positions.

This is from @BuiltInNewYork but I don't necessarily agree with these, just pointing out discrepancies in title. ImageImage
Director of Product vs VP of Product salaries are HUGE differences. ImageImage
Read 4 tweets
14 Jul 20
One big issue I see hold scaled companies back from doing great #prodmgmt is the lack of team work in middle management and exec layers. /1
We promote “scrum” teams and collaboration in an agile transformation, but we rarely talk about how middle managers and execs need to work too. /3
I worked with one company of 5000 people, about 50ish Director levels, and 10 VPs. It was a massive platform that was highly interconnects.

Every single leader set strategy themselves in a bubble. Then they started duplicating each other. /4
Read 10 tweets
13 Jul 20
I’ll caveat this for #prodmgmt.

If you are brand new to the field and the first PM, it’s hard to grow as fast compared to those who have someone to learn from.

Being a PM at a startup accelerated my career, but I had a great VP of Product to learn from.
If you do have a bit of experience in PM or someone to learn from there, I think startups are great. I had an opportunity to be employee 40ish at OpenSky or go to Amazon. I would have made a lot of money if I went to Amazon. My career would have never been the same.
Also I know there’s privilege in these choices, and I’ll say this- if you can negotiate a pay that’s comfortable, I’d recommend a startup. I had to do this to pass on Amazon (OS matched their base). I lost out on stock, but 10 years later my career has more than made up for it.
Read 4 tweets
10 Jul 20
Thread about product ethics.

I agree with Nate that we need WAY better education around finance and investing.

But I disagree that we can't blame Robinhood for investment mistakes, especially due to it's #UX. This is why /1
When things are broken, it gives companies an opportunity to solve the problem and exploit it for value. That's what Robinhood's doing. It's SMART. You find a problem, you solve it. Good business.

But we have to be careful not to exploit our customers as well. /2
When you specifically target unsavvy customers in a complex industry, the burden of education falls on you.

The risk to keep your customers safe falls on you.

This is where Robinhood went wrong. /3
Read 7 tweets
9 Jul 20
I don't know of a single Chief Product Officer who has a PhD. What is this trash advice, Cleverism? Image
Also, make sure you brush up on those Microsoft PPT skills if you want to be a CPO! You know, because that's SUCH a good investment in your time, and it's not like you could hire someone to help there. Image
Let's go back to 2005 and break out the Fireworks, shall we? That will REALLY get the board to invest in our roadmap. Image
Read 6 tweets
6 Jul 20
"More than anyone else, your job is to ensure the long term growth of your company."

Advice for New Chief Product Officers by Jimmy Fortuna, CPO of Enverus, a mentor at

"Hey everyone! If there's one thing that could leave you with briefly, it would be this - Internalize the fact that more than anyone else, your role is to ensure that your business enjoys long-term growth." /1
"That's hard to internalize sometimes because our function is one inherently that operates as much through influence as it does through direct control, and measuring those things over time is difficult, but it is possible." /2
Read 5 tweets
2 Jul 20
The fall is going to be so rough for US teachers due to a complete lack understanding of technology by superintendents and how terrible some educational platforms are. /1
My boufriend’s mom is a 2nd grade teacher. Last night she told me her school district decided that everyone is moving to Canvas. Elementary, middle, and high school. /2
Now I use Canvas at HBS. It’s SO not user friendly.

His mom was telling me they had just got everything set up on Google Classroom for their elementary school in the spring and this was completely sprung on them because the school district wanted to “consolidate”. /2
Read 8 tweets
17 Jun 20
"Make women great again."

All dudes on the website. Image
100% funded by women? Not a woman in that picture at all. Image
Read 4 tweets
8 Jun 20
Entering the VP of Product or Chief Product Officer role for the first time comes as a shock to many. So many things change:

/1 #prodmgmt
Instead of focusing tactically on products, you now have a strategic portfolio to manage

/2 #prodmgmt
Instead of working with development teams on a daily basis, you're now a member of the executive team

/3 #prodmgmt
Read 8 tweets
27 May 20
As many of you know, I started my career as both a Product Manager and a #UX Designer. I actually didn't know these were two different disciplines for a long time - to me they seemed so intertwined. /1
When I started freelancing, I redesigned a SAAS data platform. The company had been struggling to close sales because it "didn't look modern". After redesign, sales skyrocketed. They exited a year later for a ridiculous sum of money, all without adding any new functionality. /2
This is why I'm passionate about #productmanagers understanding #UXDesign. Not just for the sake of the user - I have seen first hand how much a business can take a hit when #UX is deprioritized, and also the flip side - how much it thrives once its fixed. /3
Read 4 tweets
3 Apr 20
Are you kidding me @BankofAmerica with this requirement of having a credit card to apply for the PPP? What type of scam is this. I have been a loyal customer for years with my business accounts. #bankofamerica #PPPloan Image
Apparently you are not here to support my small business @BankofAmerica, you liars. Image
Also I have a Line of Credit with BOA for the security deposit on our office we cannot use. So that is a lending relationship and they STILL won't let me apply for this.
Read 10 tweets
16 Mar 20
When I started teaching #prodmgmt in 2013, there was a huge need to concentrate on the user. Everything you read about the discipline was so focused on the business and generating requirements. We were lacking customer focus. /1
While companies still need a lot of work in this area, we've come a long way thanks to tireless efforts of people pushing the agendas in #leanstartup, #leanux, and customer-centricity.

But now, we've swung the pendulum the other way. /2
I see so many new product managers only focusing on what the customer asks for, frequently turning into "waiters" - they add these requests to the backlog, with no semblance of product strategy or what makes sense for the business. /3
Read 7 tweets
9 Mar 20
Great question! I worked with a #remote team as a PM and our team is all very remote these days - Spain, Kansas, Amsterdam, NYC, Croatia. Here’s my tips for #prodmgmt /1
Establish times you will be online, especially if there are different timezones. Make sure everyone knows how to reach you and when you will be available. /2
Set checkins once a day if you’re not used to working remote to make sure you can align. As you get better at aligning remotely, you can move this down to a quick slack message. /3
Read 10 tweets
7 Mar 20
One of my biggest gripes is when I hear people say “my executives just don’t get it.”

Maybe you’re not communicating it well? Maybe you’re not telling the story that’s valuable to them?

As #prodmgmt and #UX people we empathize with our customers all day. Why not our execs?
The biggest question I get asked every week is “how do I get my execs on board with doing great #prodmgmt?”

And when I say how, everyone goes “no, not like that.”

🤔 /1
It’s funny because when I first started as a consultant I used to rant about executives just not “getting it.”

And everyone cheered.

You know what? I was really bad then at getting executives to adopt good practices and listen to me.

Guess what changed? It wasn’t them. /2
Read 5 tweets
2 Mar 20
Today we ran a roadmap sim @austinfish developed at HBS with #prodmgmt students.

1st round we had everyone map out the case individually in their teams. Everyone prioritized their product first.

2nd round they collaborated w/ each other and execs. Trade-off discussions were 🔥.
Collaborating around roadmaps is such a key skill and one I see lacking when companies grow super fast.

When we start off small, we chat all the time. As soon as we get more and more teams though, we forget to align with each other. /2
Then you end up with duplicated efforts and out of sync priorities.

While you don’t want to change your roadmap too often (unless your market and business is changing) you should be reviewing all together at least once a quarter. /3
Read 5 tweets
31 Dec 19
Reflecting on the last decade in #prodmgmt.

Turning it into a blog post, but going to frame up some observations here from my own experience.

What else have you seen? We've come a long way, but we still have far to go.

2014: "I do not need Product Managers, I can run my company myself, I have the strategy."

2019: "How do I hire a CPO? I need them yesterday."

Founders realizing they can't do it all on their own, that Product Management is a career, and an important skill for the exec team. /2
2011: "You are crazy for joining a startup, Melissa. What are you even doing there? What is Product Management? You should have stayed at Barclays."

2019: "I'm going to go get my MBA so I can be a product manager."

Product, and product in startups, is now the hot job. /3
Read 11 tweets
2 Oct 19
Well I’m stuck on the runway and you know what that means!


Time for a #prodmgmt twitter rant.

Today’s rant is about enterprise companies and how they value digital product management. /1
I’ve spent the last 5 years helping very very large organizations go through “product transformations”. You know, that thing after the “agile” transformation.

When they realize “oh crap we have 450 people who don’t know what they’re doing.” /2
And I’m glad that these #agile transformations happened because it helped to show these companies they need real #prodmgmt, not just backlog groomers.

But there’s a problem... /3
Read 14 tweets