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
It’s already hard to find strategy creation examples. But finding someone who has created a new strategy, communicated it, executed it, and updated based on learnings is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Luckily for all of us, Megan Murphy, VP of Product at Hotjar, did just that :)
With masterful storytelling, she walked me through her strategy creation when she joined the company 2 years ago, and all her journey to execute and adapt it based on the learnings found along the way.
In this article, I’m sharing my key takeaways. Feel free to listen to the episode or skip directly to my learnings!
- 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.
This content is related to my book Product Direction. In it, I describe in length, with tools and examples, all the steps to create a successful product strategy and how to connect it with OKRs.