Sessions – November 2019

We’re excited to announce the November 2019 Rocky Mountain Product Camp sessions! Three session areas will be used at the Embassy Suites Downtown (see table below)

Choose a session for each time slot. Remember, the “rule of two feet” is in effect: if you’re in a session that isn’t valuable to you, use your two feet to leave and join another.


9:30-10:00 – Pre-Camp Workshop Check-in

Crystal Ballroom B

Crystal Ballroom C
10:00 – 11:50Do squeaky wheels drive your roadmap? How to engage all types of users to get better product feedback. By PendoHow Big Data Helps Us Build Better Products and Experiences by Pragmatic Institute

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

TimeCrystal Ballroom CCrystal Ballroom BCrystal Ballroom A
1:30 – 2:20Your Strategy Needs a Roadmap Too by Karen MaslowskiThe Flexible PM: How to Thrive in Chaos by Leslie NewellCreating a Culture of Innovation by Brad Swanson
2:30 – 3:20Keys to a Great Product Planning Process by John TruchelWhy Our Brains Need a Product Management Playbook by Sid Inamdar

Minimum Viable Solution – testing your product solutions before building your MVP by Matt Bernier

3:30 – 4:20Product Coffee Podcast: Building for Outcomes by Jake WerlinDecisions, Decisions: Behavioral Economics, Cognitive Bias and the Product Manager by Shaughnessy SpeirsLightning Talks

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

Workshop Descriptions

Do squeaky wheels drive your roadmap? How to engage all types of users to get better product feedback. by Pendo

Silent customers are those who do not typically complain, respond to surveys, or raise their hands to try out your exciting new feature to get first access. Silent customers might not convey their problems to the company, but they likely do voice their opinions to people close to them. In this session, you’ll learn ways to develop creative engagement techniques that can help turn the 80% silent majority of users into advocates, and potentially uncover your next big innovative idea!

Session Descriptions

Minimum Viable Solution – testing your product solutions before building your MVP by Matt Bernier

So many times, MVPs are built as the cheapest option for validating a product idea. The problem that we run into, is that “minimum” for a production-level product is not minimum at all. How can we figure out what to test and how to test it in an effective way, BEFORE investing an engineering team’s time on the solution?

I am a Product Manager who has worked in different technology companies, helping to find ways to provide solutions within the constraints of the years of technology growth that came before me. I love helping engineering teams who have lost sight of their customer and feel that they under a mountain of tech debt to grow and improve their processes and products.

Why Our Brains Need a Product Management Playbook by Sid Inamdar

Our primary job as Product Managers is to create an unbiased model of our world, analyze it and build solutions to solve the right problems. Unaware to us however, our brains are constantly trying to hijack our products to further its own agenda ! The best way to keep them in check is to build a Product Management playbook ( not a process ) for your team or organization. This class will bring awareness to our cognitive biases in product and discuss a practical playbook created by “borrowing” ideas from popular figures in PM such as Dan Olsen, Eric Ries ,Marty Cagan, Strategyzer, Jake Knapp and Roman Pichler. The class is for anyone looking to get better organized in their product approaches with practical tools and advice to start implementing the next day.

Sid Inamdar is a senior PM at Keysight Technologies and is involved across the PM spectrum driving strategy, business models, product definition, validation and execution. He’s held past roles in engineering, engineering management and sales and has a Masters in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in Strategy/Marketing. Sid uses his past experience to constantly alter product management approaches based on the world around him.

Your strategy needs a roadmap too by Karen Maslowski

Product roadmaps are overwhelmingly schedules of when features will be developed. However, in the ever changing world of product, priorities change and so does that view. To keep your team aligned, you should have a roadmap that shows your mission, vision, goals and the big initiatives you are pursuing over the next few quarters.

Karen spent almost 20 years managing products before joining the team that founded Aha! – then she spent the next 3 years helping hundreds of product managers move from spreadsheets and presentations to a live, manageable roadmapping system.

The Flexible PM: How to Thrive in Chaos by Leslie Newell

Often in product management, it can feel like another day, another roadblock to doing work you love that makes your users happy. Every single PM on the planet faces constantly shifting business priorities, difficult stakeholders, cross-functional partners with competing goals, slipped delivery dates, pressures to be a feature factory, and a whole host of other forces that conspire to make it difficult to just ship great product. In this session, we’ll explore tools and mindsets to harness that chaos and transform it into fuel for creating even better product for your users, all while saving your sanity and making you a stronger, more adaptable PM in the process.

Leslie Newell is currently a Senior Product Manager at Slack. She has 9 years of product management experience across a diverse set of companies and industries. She’s most passionate about helping product leaders at all levels navigate the often-complicated-but-always-rewarding path of creating products that users love and pay for. She lives in Stapleton with her husband, Zachary, and her grumpy cat, Hope, and when not working, she’s most likely to be found curled up on the couch in pajamas with a murder mystery.

Decisions, Decisions: Behavioral Economics, Cognitive Bias and the Product Manager by Shaughnessy Speirs

Choice plays into almost all aspects of the job of the product manager. We choose how to prioritize work to be done; we facilitate group decision-making on our products; and we use choice architecture in the products our customers use every day. In this session, I’ll provide an overview about behavioral economics, a new-ish field that studies how people make choices, and its implications for the people building and using products.

Shaughnessy has been working in tech for six years and came into product management by way of business analysis and good mentorship. She loves building software, and she’s curious about the psychology of how teams decide what to build and how customers decide what to buy.

Creating a Culture of Innovation by Brad Swanson

How much does your company culture *really* foster innovation? Are there competing cultural forces that pull too strongly away from that vital entrepreneurial and creative spirit? Participants will use the Competing Values Framework to assess the ‘shape’ of their organization’s culture across four archetypes: Collaborative, Creative, Competing, & Controlling. We will learn a structured framework for influencing changes in the culture, and participants will identify concrete actions they can take to nudge the culture in a different direction.

Since 1999, Agility 11 Founder Brad Swanson has been applying Agile practices to lead organizations to success. As a recognized expert in Lean & Agile delivery, Brad has been a trusted coach and consultant for executives and large organizations in Europe, Asia and North America, helping them to optimize their leadership practices, product management and development practices. Brad is a Certified Leadership Agility® 360 Coach, Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST), Certified Agile Coach (Certified Enterprise Coach®), CAL Educator® and Certified LeSS Practitioner (Large Scale Scrum), former President of Agile Denver and co-founder of the Mile High Agile conference.

Keys to a Great Product Planning Process by John Truchel

One of the most important yet most difficult activities a Product leader performs is the strategic quarterly and annual product planning process for his or her organization. Much more than just a roadmap, this process is difficult because it challenges the organization to think about its future needs versus its immediate ones, and often requires alignment across many different departments and resources. When done poorly, the strategic product planning process is painful; when done well, it is like harmonious music. This session will introduce a planning methodology that we have evolved over the years at OrthoFi, its various benefits, and the common pitfalls and lessons learned.

John Truchel is the Vice President of Product Management at OrthoFi, where he leads a team focused on continually improving our solution for our Orthodontic clients and their respective patients and families. Prior to joining OrthoFi, John held product and technology leadership positions at IBM, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and MedAssets.

Product Coffee Podcast: Building for Outcomes by Jake Werlin

Outcome-driven roadmaps are all the rage these days in the Product Management world. Let’s break down what they actually mean and how they might effectively be put into practice. Why are they useful, what are they intended to do and what can you expect to gain from them? We’ll also dive into how you might adopt them, because your organization probably has a culture of feature roadmaps. (Hint: Outcome-based roadmaps are different) Grab a cup o’ Joe and join us!

Product Coffee is a podcast hosted by the Ibotta Product Team. Each week we unpack product management challenges, trade advice, pose new ideas and share a laugh at the absurdity of the day-to-day. We hail from a variety of backgrounds but all bring a fresh perspective and the occasional wit to the PM conversation.

Lightning Talks!

Lightning Talks are an amazing format to get quick insights and learning. Each presenter will get about 8 minutes to share their topic, each in rapid succession over the session. Our lightning talks will be:

  • “Tools for minimizing distractions and maximizing deep think time” by Julie Pifer [3 minutes]
  • “Boundaries and Product Management” by Bricelyn Jones [8 minutes]
  • “PdM – the advice I wish I received and listened to.” by Larry McKeogh [8 minutes]
  • “Design or requirements? Chicken or the Egg?” by Kelley Poturaski [8 minutes]
  • “Is my product team trustworthy?” by Dru Clegg [8 minutes]
  • “Why Stakeholder Schematics Are Better Than Personas” by Taj Moore [3 minutes]
  • “The Reluctant Evangelist: How to set and stick to a vision when you’re allergic to fluffiness” by Laura Fletcher [8 minutes]