Growing Mature Products is Product Management

Janna Bastow, Co-Founder of Mind the Product and ProdPad, shares her approach to product roadmapping, backlog grooming, and running experiments.

Most product teams don’t have the luxury of building a new product from scratch. Rather, they’re responsible for growing an existing product with existing customers, rigid stakeholders, technical debt, and competition. In this episode, Janna Bastow shares her best advice for delivering results in this environment.

Janna is a prolific entrepreneur, content creator, and community builder in the world of product management. She’s the Co-Founder of ProdPad and Mind the Product. Mind the Product has hosted product events and conferences in over 150 cities around the world.

According to Janna, there are a number of ways that product teams need to adapt as their product matures.

In terms of product roadmapping, she recommends shifting from a time-based roadmap to one that focuses on strategy and vision. This can help teams avoid becoming what Janna refers to as “feature factories.” Feature factories ship features on time and to spec, but they don’t always ship features that users actually want.

Experimentation may seem risky when you’re managing a product with an entrenched user base that’s used to your product the way it is, and may have different needs than new users.

Janna recommends what she calls dual-track agile, which allocates equal time to discovery and delivery, and rolling out new feature ideas to small segments of users before pushing it to everyone.

You’ll learn a lot from this episode about product roadmapping and agile development.

Here are the highlights:

  • Janna lays out the most common challenges of growing a mature product (4:30)
  • Janna provides insights into how product leaders should shift their approach to roadmapping as their product matures (7:41)
  • Janna shares her approach to grooming unwieldy backlogs (11:58)
  • How Janna’s approach to agile can help teams run better experiments (14:59)
  • Janna shares how product leaders can instill a culture of experimentation at a mature organization (18:03)

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