I have seen some product leaders host their product reviews like movies. They start with an opening narrative and build up the story until they get to a climax, perhaps with a twist ending. Sometimes they even use foreshadowing or sneak in spoilers.
While these are the hallmarks of a great story, the techniques for delivering a great product review are completely different. Product reviews are not meant to be a suspenseful ride; rather, they are a chance to reach alignment. They are about achieving clarity and understanding, not emotion and memorability.
In today’s post, I will be breaking down the steps for making your next product review effective, informative, and on-target. The process is simple, but once you’ve mastered it, it will work wonders for your team and your product.
Before the beginning
Before writing a single word, you need to start by documenting why you will be in the room. That means thinking about who your audience is and what you want them—and your team—to get out of the meeting. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you prepare for a product review:
What is the goal of the review?
To inform my team/other teams about our progress? (Note: Could this be an email instead of a meeting?)
To make a decision?
To brainstorm ideas?
To get feedback on a product?
To review the roadmap?
To resolve a conflict?
What is your ideal outcome?
What are the questions you want answered?
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