2 years of Strategy Communication, Execution, and Updates

An interview with the VP of Product @ Hotjar, about her journey after two years of taking the role and a strong focus on a new strategy

My takeaways

  • Megan made very explicit how costly the process of aligning and communicating the strategy is. But she also knew that 70% of strategies fail due to a lack of understanding of the strategy and what each team needs to do to make it succeed. So if you are investing time and effort, and have identified a strong strategy, you also need to invest this communication time to succeed.
  • When discussing with Megan which stakeholders to align on the strategy, she mentioned Reforge’s “4 fits”. The market, the model, and the channel should shape the product strategy, and you must align with the key stakeholders that shape those attributes. This will make product strategy alignment rather easy.
  • Super interesting how Megan keeps track and identifies market trends by using a Trello board with significant news and grouping them under columns that represent a particular pattern.
  • Personalized strategy conversations: while they are really time-consuming, there is a high return on investment since people feel really heard and involved in the strategy process.
  • It was interesting to see Megan’s view of business case templates, and how they started using them, but drop the use once the expectation was clear: “is this big enough to matter?”. Overall, they had a great way to go from strategic pillars to these strategic moves, mostly created by the teams.
  • While many times I preach about running experiments to validate the strategic assumptions, it was interesting Megan’s experience where one pillar became irrelevant simply because it was considerably less important than the other two. They concentrate their efforts on the first two and it paid out even ignoring the third one.

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Nacho Bassino

Working on online products, currently as Director of Product at XING. Passionate about technology and amazing web/mobile products.