Product Thinking
Identifying Survival Metrics with Adam Thomas
October 6, 2021
Adam Thomas is a product management expert, speaker, writer, and the Lead Product Manager at SmartRecruiters. Adam has spent his professional life helping teams reduce friction and craft product strategies that lead to better outcomes for their organizations. He joins Melissa Perri on this week’s Product Thinking Podcast to discuss a concept he developed called survival metrics, which enables product teams to change direction safely and quickly.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Adam talk about in this episode: Adam's professional background and how he got into product management. [2:13] Survival metrics as a concept were created by observing the process that goes into building a product. It's born out of the psychology of thinking about what the customer needs. [7:37] The mark of a good survival metric is action. The metric should be something that helps people in the organization understand what steps need to be taken and why those steps are important. Conversely, a bad survival metric has no direction - it’s more 'go with the flow', vague, and subjective. [9:25] Your company's metrics strategy is tied to the anchor of your vision and mission. This is important because it is what's going to drive your organization forward. [11:39] Survival metrics are tied to a company's culture and are developed through employee feedback. When building a product, find out what employees care about and what their incentives are. The more that product managers do this, the better understanding they would have of the company culture. [16:36] Every project product managers work on should have at least one aspect of the 'stop, pivot, and invest' concept. This will get product managers in the mindset of not just thinking about the bad, but also the good. [19:58] When Adam trains new product managers on survival metrics, he first gives them small projects to observe how they assess them. He gradually introduces the concept of survival metrics after a few weeks. [21:09] Adam shares advice he gives to budding product managers who aren't confident in their decision-making. [24:04] Succeeding in product management requires soft skills. It requires being humble enough to come up with multiple decisions and not knowing the answer immediately. Product managers run into trouble when they act on things they have little or no information on. [26:36] Adam lists the types of things that have worked to break down barriers and make product teams more collaborative. [28:58] Resources Adam Thomas | LinkedIn | Twitter
Adam Thomas is a product management expert, speaker, writer, and the Lead Product Manager at SmartRecruiters. Adam has spent his professional life helping teams reduce friction and craft product strategies that lead to better outcomes for their organizations. He joins Melissa Perri on this week’s Product Thinking Podcast to discuss a concept he developed called survival metrics, which enables product teams to change direction safely and quickly.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Adam talk about in this episode: Adam's professional background and how he got into product management. [2:13] Survival metrics as a concept were created by observing the process that goes into building a product. It's born out of the psychology of thinking about what the customer needs. [7:37] The mark of a good survival metric is action. The metric should be something that helps people in the organization understand what steps need to be taken and why those steps are important. Conversely, a bad survival metric has no direction - it’s more 'go with the flow', vague, and subjective. [9:25] Your company's metrics strategy is tied to the anchor of your vision and mission. This is important because it is what's going to drive your organization forward. [11:39] Survival metrics are tied to a company's culture and are developed through employee feedback. When building a product, find out what employees care about and what their incentives are. The more that product managers do this, the better understanding they would have of the company culture. [16:36] Every project product managers work on should have at least one aspect of the 'stop, pivot, and invest' concept. This will get product managers in the mindset of not just thinking about the bad, but also the good. [19:58] When Adam trains new product managers on survival metrics, he first gives them small projects to observe how they assess them. He gradually introduces the concept of survival metrics after a few weeks. [21:09] Adam shares advice he gives to budding product managers who aren't confident in their decision-making. [24:04] Succeeding in product management requires soft skills. It requires being humble enough to come up with multiple decisions and not knowing the answer immediately. Product managers run into trouble when they act on things they have little or no information on. [26:36] Adam lists the types of things that have worked to break down barriers and make product teams more collaborative. [28:58] Resources Adam Thomas | LinkedIn | Twitter

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