Build Influence and Get Things Done by Google Product Leader, Satheesh Nanniyur

"If I just did what the customers asked, I would deliver faster horses, but not cars." Henry Ford.

Influence - the missing piece. 

You're accountable for success or failure of the product. But you don't code, sell, market, or support the product. Execution is by Influence. 

What this session is about. 

Thoughts on: 

  • Being effective as a product leader 

  • Building support in the organization. 

  • How to influence and get things done! 

Why should you care? 

As a PM, your success depends on the support of others.  

The first step to becoming a successful product manager, to become a successful and influential person in an organization, is to focus on an opportunity or problem. The solution to the problem may come from different stakeholders. Present the problem to the stakeholders and encourage their suggestions on possible solutions. The second step is to understand the value for key stakeholders. There are some people who would benefit from your proposal or there are organizations that may object to these ideas. There may be certain difficulties for the customer support service. Therefore, it is important to think about how this affects people, not just business, to try to identify these conflicts and resolve them in advance.

The third step is to convey the value of solving a problem, an idea or an opportunity. Consolidate this in an already established belief in the organization. It's important to be as specific as possible. 

It is important to make the problem visible, often bringing it to the attention of stakeholders. After that, the teams will focus on that. It is also important to maintain this momentum until the goals are achieved. It will probably be necessary to create a platform for communication with your stakeholders, it is possible in the form of regular meetings, updates by email, in the form of newsletters. And even after doing all this, you may not be able to influence those areas in which something is constantly changing in the organization. Have a long-term view of the product and the people to understand what drives them. New team members may have new ideas and it is important to be receptive to them, it is important to build trust and relationships with different people. 

Common mistakes of product managers. 

  • Using leverage - the emotional hurt will outlast the leverage.  

  • Making it personal - instead, think of how you can help your team. 

  • Thinking of win/loss - influence is not a zero-sum game. 

  • Exerting authority - use influence rather than authority. 

The Influence Framework for Product Managers.  

Satheesh Nanniyur, Google Product Leader