Instilling a Product Mindset Across Your Company by Expedia Sr PM, Rob Hall

What is "Product Mindset"?

  • Picture painter

  • Problem Focused

  • Data Driven

  • Accountability not Ownership

  • Communicator/Connector

  • Customer/End User experience

  • User focused, not self promoting

  • Trust

  • Subject Matter Expert

How do you spread this across the org?

Problem Focused.

  • Scientific Method

  • Observe/Question

  • Research>Hypothesis

  • Test>Observe

  • Analyze the data

  • Ask WHY??

Accountability or Ownership

"You can trust me to do what I say I`m going to do".

To be accountable means to be responsible for the result. Accountability makes the conversation more open to inclusion. You can get more people involved in what you're trying to achieve. Accountability means you deliver what you promise, on budget or whatever, because your reputation is at stake. It also means that you are honest when you fail. If you can't complete a task on time or the results aren't what you hoped for, you need to be honest and open in your communication. Being frank, you respect the influence you have on your teammates. Being responsible is the main factor in building trust.
When you work in different teams, with different strengths, it is important to consider how you differ from others. Whether you work in a team or not.
Responsibility says to others, "You can trust me for what I'm about to do." It also means that we need to speak in a language that our audience will understand.


"Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind" - Brene Brown

We all have these kinds of interactions where we use jargon, technical terms and acronyms that other people don't understand. As product specialists, we need to be aware of this and we need to effectively speak the many languages ​​of our stakeholders. We must effectively deliver our content in multiple languages. We operate as efficiently as we can. As communicators, we should always include the question "why". We must be open in our communication and bring clarity.
People who spend less time protecting information, or don't communicate information in a way that others can understand, will be seen as leaders in their space.
Make sure we are all on the same level and understand each other. It's not easy and time consuming, but it's worth the effort.
Effective communication with our colleagues leads to effective understanding of our users.

User focused, not self promoting.

"My world is not your world." - Keith Goodall.

We can relate this to the methods of communication as well as how we focus on our end user or customer.
We need to see ourselves differently or understand that the way we think is different from how other people think, the perception is different from the perception of others.
Our role as product specialists is to solve problems and improve our products in a way that benefits our customers.
User-centricity is extremely important when we talk about product thinking and how it applies to others in our organization.
If we focus on others, our role is not to solve our personal problems, but rather the problems of our users, customers or our partners. Each PM can take a user-centric approach to problem solving, and in doing so, they will gain a complete understanding of everything, not just what is right in front of them.

Why and What?

  • Product managers are nothing without others.

  • A problem focused approach will have better results than

  • Accountability signals trust

  • Learn your teammates language

  • Focus on users over yourself

Rob Hall, Expedia Sr PM