Web Directions Conferences for web and digital professionals

The brand new Product track at Web Directions Summit

Just as our industry is constantly evolving, we aim to constantly evolve our events, and their focus, to adapt to these changes.

This year we’ve added both a brand new product management/leadership focussed event, imaginatively named “Product“, and a new product focussed track to our Summit

So in this third article about the presentations at our Summit (you can read a detailed overview of Design at Summit, and Dev at Summit if these are more your focus) let’s look more deeply at what we’ve lined up for you in the product track

The overall shape of the product track reflects the lifecycle of products and product teams, and product professionals concerns throughout that lifecycle.

Day 1, Session 1

In our opening session, Senior Software Development Manager at Paypal Andrew Gregovic looks at large organisations with very mature products/platforms in the context of Agile development, and observes how they struggle to employ pure agile, so fall back on waterfall or hybrid models. But Andrew argues, there’s another way–a 2-speed mode of building rapid, throwaway prototypes (to determine the *right* product) and then afterwards build them *right* if they prove to be viable.

For anyone working in larger organisations, or organisations of any size that have struggled to adopt agile methodologies this will be an invaluable session.

Sten Pittet, now startup CEO, and formerly product manager at Atlassian introduces a simple 4-stage maturity model for outcome-driven teams, and shows how you can grow your goal-setting muscle to move up the ladder 

We round out this first session with Jenny Chu, currently a product manager at Atlassian, who’ll share how you can Get Your Team to Think like a Product Manager. She’ll consider the benefits of getting your team to think like a product manager (for both you and your team!) and practical exercises on how to build that product muscle within your team.

Day 1, Session 2

After lunch on our first day, Head of Product at BlueChilli Cheryl Gledhill will share how as a head of product for an accelerator / incubator shes works with several startups every 3 months, taking them from napkin sketch to “product market fit” using lean startup methodologies. and talk about how to find the seeds of insight and how to turn that into product.

Laura Van Doore Head of Product Design at Fathom borrows from 1999’s now infamous book called The Pragmatic Programmer, filled with timeless advice that, with a little bit of examination and re-interpretation, can help anyone nurture a pragmatic product mindset.

Nicole Brolan, Chief Product Officer, ANZ SEEK will consider the good, the bad and the ugly of OKRs, drawing on her experience of 18 months of embedding them in their products at SEEK. What’s worked well? What hasn’t worked too well – what unintended impacts have occurred? What would they change? It’s a real warts and all story with lots of real world example, aimed at helping you learn from SEEK and improve their process or help your thinking if you are keen to embark on the OKR journey.

And to round out day one, Anna Lee Anda, a UX Researcher at Zendesk will address minimising bias to create a well rounded product. Anna will cover ways at Zendesk they minimise bias to to ensure teams have full context of the problem space and the users.

Day 2, Session 1

Day two’s product track begins with Jonathon Colman UX content design lead at Intercom taking a content-first approach to product onboarding. Knowing your user’s story is central to a great onboarding experience – but how do you actually tell that story? In this presentation, Jonathon Colman shares an approach and a few tools that make it easier to write a great onboarding experience.

We’ll continue with the onboarding focus, by looking at onboarding your users through change, with Alison Cooke and Lauren Max, looking at recent work they’ve been involved in replatforming at Sportsbet. Replatform projects are hard. Certainly for Product Managers, but also for customers. Even if your development process is design-led, your products can fall flat if you fail to support your customers through change. So, what does a great onboarding experience look like?

To round out this group of presentations we’ll delve a bit more deeply into storytelling with Omar Andrade, Agile Coach at Boral. Humans are story telling animals. And the best way to persuade and convince people is often through story. Omar explores the mindset and process for crafting influential stories. Mashing together design thinking, lean startup and classic storytelling structures to craft influential and simple stories that motivate people to action.

But we aren’t done yet. After a great lunch, and time for one or more amazing coffee from our good friends at Sample Coffee, it’s right back at it.

Day 2, Session 2

Peter Ikladious, local boy done good, who’s now Director, Growth at IBM globally will share how he is able to drive growth at one of the world’s largest enterprise companies. Product teams in enterprises are focused on growth now more than ever, yet much of what we hear about growth is geared towards startups. Enterprises face unique challenges that require product teams to think differently in order to achieve growth at scale.

Anson Parker, head of product at the wildly successful Up Bank looks at how they use roadmapping to engage their customers, and chart the way forward for their products. This will be a not-to-be-missed presentation. 

And to round out the product track for 2019 Christian Baker VP Design & User Experience at Local Measure will show us that done is just the beginning. With in-house product teams, the launch of a feature is just the beginning of endless iterations. It can be hard to get that feeling of closure. Teams can suffer from burnout or get stuck in a feature factory. In this talk Christian will explore some techniques teams and individuals can use to avoid or reduce the negative effects of the way we build products.

We sincerely believe it will be an in-depth, deeply rewarding two days. So if you work in product management and leadership, we hope you agree, and also hope to see you there.

We make events for the professionals shaping Australia's digital future

Learn more about us

I had an absolute blast, learnt so much, and met so many great people

Carmen Chung Software engineer, Valiant Finance

Join us in 2019:

  • Web Directions Code 2020

    Australia's conference for JavaScript Developers and Front End Engineers.

    Melbourne June 4 & 5 2020

  • Web Directions Product Design & Management 2020

    Australia's conference for Product professionals. With dedicated product design and product management tracks.

    Melbourne July 1 & 2 2020

  • Web Directions Summit 2020

    A conference for the whole digital team–featuring product, design, front-end dev, and new people/talent/culture tracks.

    Sydney November 5 & 6 2020