Sessions Spring 2018

We’re excited to announce the May 2018 Rocky Mountain Product Camp sessions! Three session areas will be used at the Magnolia Hotel (see table below)

Choose a session for each time slot. Remember, the “rule of two feet” is in effect. Use your own two feet to get the most out of the day.


9:30-12:30 – Pre-Camp Workshops

Time Stout Glenarm
9:30 – 12:20 Creating Products that Deliver Value by Pendo Driving Agile Product Development with Experimentation by Split

12:30-1:00 – Registration/Networking
1:05 -1:20 – Welcome

Time Larimer/Champa Stout Glenarm
1:30 – 2:20 Product Management in the Fourth Industrial Age
by Poornima Farrar
Scaling Product Management
by Scott Williamson
Paths in Product: Perspectives on Professional Growth from Women in Product Management
by Shaughnessy Conley Speirs
2:30 – 3:20 Defining the Viable in the MVP
by Larry Marine
Accelerate Speed-To-Market & Improve Customer Relationships with Continuous Delivery
by Shawn Davison
Get commitment not consensus
by James Heimbuck
3:30 – 4:20 Interviewing Users: The Art of Asking Questions
by Rachel Wynn
Product managers are from Venus and rest of the organization is from Mars.
by Chad McAllister
Indiana Jones and the Quest to Demystify Messaging and Positioning
by Sara Kingsley

4:30 – Closing Remarks and Feedback
4:45 – After reception & networking

Workshop Description


Creating Products that Deliver Value by Susan Harman at Pendo

Everyone working on product teams are trying to achieve the same goal – deliver products and services that address customer needs (jobs) in a way that delivers value to the customer and results in a profitable and scalable business model. But that is hard to do. It requires a deep understanding of what customers are really trying to do and the outcomes they care most about so that you can make informed product and feature decisions that focus on customer outcomes. It requires being data driven; with a metrics mindset. And it requires ongoing learning and analysis of customer behavior so that you can continue on course or iterate as required.

Susan Harman is currently Consultant, Product Management Innovation at Susan has an extensive career as a leader in product management, innovation, marketing and consulting in start-up and corporate environments. Some of the positions Susan has held include: Director at Citrix, Vice President at LexisNexis, Founder and CEO of GreenMachine (a tech incubator), Innovation and Product Management Leader at Intuit, Small Business Group leader at Apple Computer, Consultant, and Product Manager for the PFS and Harvard Software brands at Software Publishing Corp. Susan is an author and holder of several patents. She received her B.S. from Vassar College and was in the Babson College MBA program.

Driving Agile Product Development with Experimentation by Adil Aijaz at Split

The goal of every engineering & product organization can be summarized as: “Rapid development of valuable software.” Engineers are responsible for rapid development, while product managers are responsible for proving it’s value. But how can you as product manager be responsible for proving the value of a feature just as quickly as your engineering team is releasing those features? The key is through experimentation. Experimentation sits at the confluence of DevOps and product management and allows you to make smarter product decisions faster. In this workshop, we’ll explore the experimentation practices of some of the fastest iterating companies, like Amazon, Google, and Linkedin, and how they achieve a cadence of development that exactly mirrors their ability to measure its value. Then we will cover the challenges and suggested solutions to bringing experimentation to your organization.

Adil Aijaz is CEO and co-founder at Split Software. Adil brings over ten years of engineering and technical experience having worked as a software engineer and technical specialist at some of the most innovative enterprise companies such as LinkedIn, Yahoo!, and most recently RelateIQ (acquired by Salesforce). Prior to founding Split in 2015, Adil’s tenure at these companies helped build the foundation for the startup giving him the needed experience in solving data-driven challenges and delivering data infrastructure. Adil holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Engineering from UCLA and a Master of Engineering in Computer Science from Cornell University.

Session Description


Product Management in the Fourth Industrial Age by Poornima Farrar

There is much talk on how AI and machine learning are going to upend entire businesses and industries. In preparation for such times, product managers must strike a balance between accelerating disruption and increasing innovation without losing touch with their customers. This talk covers both the soft and hard skills needed for a product manager who wants to build scalable products in the fourth industrial age by drawing on various applications and reviewing topics such as market segmentation, product discovery, product marketing, innovation and scale

With each slide in the example section, there will be a discussion with the audience on the image and how it applies to a specific product management skill.
As a product management leader with 6+ years of experience in Big Data & analytics, Poornima strives to solve problems at scale. She is currently the Senior Product Manager at Workday, focusing on scaling customer adoption. Prior to Workday, she held Product leadership roles at Alteryx and Intelius. Poornima holds a PhD in Linguistics from SUNY University at Buffalo.


Scaling Product Management by Scott Williamson

The majority of software projects fail. In many cases, these failures can be tied back to poor Product Management (PM) practices. Additionally, PM is a fast moving discipline and it’s hard to know whether you’re doing things well. To add to that, scaling anything is hard! So what do you do to navigate these challenges? This talk is designed to provide hard won best practice recommendations on topics to help you scale your PM organization effectively, including growing a PM team, getting customer focused, and building a consistent PM system.

The content will take up 20-30 min, leaving the remainder of the time for interactive Q&A to dig into what matters to the audience.

Scott Williamson is VP, Product Management at SendGrid, where he helped scale the PM team from 4 people to 23 people over a 4 year period of rapid company growth. Scott is a 20-year software veteran, with over 8 years of experience managing large PM teams.


Paths in Product: Perspectives on Professional Growth from Women in Product Management by Shaughnessy Conley Speirs

The session will be a guided panel discussion with women in various stages of their product careers, from the recent career-changer to the veteran product leader. Each has reflections to offer on their path into and through their product career, the strategies and partners that helped them develop, and the challenges they worked through as women in product. Attendees will come away with ideas on how to grow in product management, how to support others in their own product career evolution, and how to build a more inclusive product community. The panelists:

  • Jenny Nunemacher [Product Manager, ReedGroup]
  • Rachel Wynn [Associate Product Manager, Alteryx]
  • Christina Sheldon [UX and PM Intern, 7 Cups]
  • Holly Vezina [Director of Product, APR Consulting]

The guided discussion will be followed by an open question & answer session, where attendees will be invited to pose their own questions to the panelists.

I’m a working mom, a writer, and I’ve been a woman in tech for five years and a woman in product for one. I’m passionate about amplifying other women who have things to teach their communities about the work they do and about how to collaborate and learn inclusively. The panelists are women in product with a range of experience levels in both product and consulting companies.


Defining the Viable in the MVP by Larry Marine

This presentation demonstrates a ranking process that accurately identifies the viability aspect of an MVP. This process creates a matrix that balances the user’s needs, the business objectives, and the technical feasibility to define the most viable aspect of any product or service. Attendees will learn when to conduct the ranking, how to perform the process, and what data they will need in order to conduct it. Attendees will walk away from this session with enough knowledge to effectively implement a simplified version of this matrix on their own projects.

This includes an interactive, audience participation practice session of conducting the matrix ranking process to demonstrate how to overcome the difficulties of achieving a balanced, multidisciplinary consensus of the product design objectives.

Larry has been a UX Research and Design consultant for almost 30 years and have used this matrix on over a hundred different projects. I focus my presentations on sharing actionable processes that attendees can use to improve their practices. Larry has presented a number of sessions at RMPCamp that have been well-received, so he must be doing something right.


Accelerate Speed-To-Market & Improve Customer Relationships with Continuous Delivery by Shawn Davison

The pace of technological advancement and demand for constant innovation is changing the way that software engineers approach development and design. In many instances, traditional Water-SCRUM-Fall has been replaced by an Agile development supported by Lean practices and a DevOps culture. This new model depends on the concept of continuous delivery – a development approach wherein teams are: – Continuously integrating the software built by developers; – Building new components, features and fixes; – Running automated tests to detect failures and problems; and – Delivering frequent new releases Continuous delivery helps companies rapidly accelerate the speed-to-market of their products and product updates, reduce costs and risks, and enhance customer relationships as products are constantly improved.

There will be opportunities to discuss audience examples and continuous delivery best practice recommendations.

Shawn is a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years experience building many successful software and technology companies, three of which are now part of large well-known public companies. The software he has architected is being used by millions of people around the world every day. At heart, he is a solution architect – serving as a liaison between concept and reality. His primary passion is building Enterprise Cloud software products & services that make a difference by improving quality of life.


Get commitment not consensus by James Heimbuck

As a Product Manager finding problems to solve is easy but figuring what to solve first and how to solve it often means dealing with many competing opinions and agendas. In this session you will learn a way to find common goals and get commitments to finding a solution that works.

Small groups will complete an exercise in hearing out all stakeholders for a problem, deciding on the first to tackle and what solving that problem results in to learn the model for getting commitment.

James has worked in and around Denver for the last 14 years in companies ranging from 12 to 1200 people in various product roles.

Interviewing Users: The Art of Asking Questions by Rachel Wynn

Asking questions is deceptively difficult. If you want information, you should ask information, right? Not if you want answers that will help you gain actionable insights. Talking to users can be incredibly valuable if you ask the right questions. In this session, we’ll discuss asking unbiased questions, sequencing questions, and pivoting to learn the most from users. We will also discuss the complexities presented in asking questions in person, audio/video call, and via email/forums.

This session will be interactive by practicing question asking strategies with fellow attendees. This will be done at various points to break up the content. The audience will also help generate scenarios.

Before her work in product management, Rachel worked as a speech-language pathologist and conducted patient interviews daily as part of cognitive assessments. Through that experience, she learned a lot about interviewing people to gain actionable insights.


Product managers are from Venus and rest of the organization is from Mars. by Chad McAllister   

The title of the classic and #1 New York Times bestseller guide to relationships is  “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” In a nutshell, it helps men and women understand each other.

It is time for a similar guide for organizations so all the people not involved in product management can understand what product managers do. In fact, your organization is likely asking for this even if they haven’t asked you.

Leaders want to understand what a product-driven organization is and that is great news for product managers. You will stand out by facilitating the discussion, describing the role of product management and what the rest of the organization needs to understand about product management to be product driven.

In this interactive session, we’ll combine your experience with real case studies to understand what your organization must know and how you can make that happen. The result? An organization that delivers greater value to customers, generates more revenue, and appreciates your work.

Chad McAllister, PhD, is the host of The Everyday Innovator podcast, which thousands of product managers listen to each week to help them become product masters. He is also a top 40 Product Management Influencer, a top 10 Innovation Blogger, and a product manager with 25+ years of experience.

Indiana Jones and the Quest to Demystify Messaging and Positioning
by Sara Kingsley

This session is meant to empower product teams to transform their organization’s market message. Messaging and positioning takes time and without a clear process or methodology, it can seem like an endless quest. Throughout this session, I’ll explain the common challenges encountered when working on messaging and positioning and lay out a market-driven roadmap attendee can adopt to help with their next positioning project. Session attendees can expect the talk to include interactive activities to assist in creative thinking and to walk away with a better understanding of how to successfully navigate messaging and positioning projects.

I’m planning two different small group activities during my session. Expect at least one to be agile-style with stickie notes and free-form brainstorming to assist the group get in a creative frame of mind to truly consider messaging and positioning.

Sara Kingsley spent the beginning of her career in the public sector working as a research analyst and writer with the Georgia’s Governor’s Policy Office and the Office of the Secretary of Defense in D.C.. After realizing government would likely never be efficient, Sara took her communication skills and applied them to building a career in a more fun and creative field – marketing. For the past five years, she has committed herself to understanding the nuances of technology markets and buyers. Sara currently serves as a Senior Product Marketing Manager at LogRhythm, a cybersecurity company in Boulder, Colorado.