If you don’t already know Corinna Stukan, it’s time to get to know the VP of Product at Roam Digital and one of our speakers at LTP DIGITAL 2022 | USA.
Corinna built the product practice at Roam Digital from a team of zero to 15 Product Managers (and it’s still growing!).
She has developed a wide range of products in the B2B and B2C space for companies such as Commonwealth Bank Australia, eBay, ASB Bank New Zealand and Fletcher Building.
Corinna’s background is in software development from Germany, UX Design and Product Management, and has developed strengths in business strategy, design and technology.
We caught up with Corinna to get her thoughts on Product-Led Transformation and its importance to a company’s success.
Can you describe the word Product-Led?
The best way to explain it is by looking at where we have come from in terms of building and selling products to where we are today. In the past, if you look at products like Adobe’s Design software, they’ve usually applied a very heavy Sales-Led licensing model. That worked really well for Adobe but didn’t work that well for the customer.
As a result, a black market emerged where people were both selling and copying licenses, and lots of people were locked into years-long contracts. The pricing model was not flexible for the customer as it wasn’t really customer or product-focused.
Looking at today’s world, we are in an environment where we have so many different products, to solve all sorts of different product problems, with unlimited choice. We had to move on from this heavily Sales-Led model to something that really works better for our customers.
To me, that is the essence of how the Product-Led approach is really shaping the product experience, the pricing, the business model, everything around your product, and more importantly, being able to really show the value of your product to the customers.
It influences a lot of different product decisions, probably the most common one being how you onboard customers.
I also want to highlight that it’s not just onboarding…. that is not the whole picture, but it’s an important part. Being Product-Led is all about showing the value of your product. It is the whole picture from how you actually acquire your customers, and then also retain them by constantly demonstrating value.
The last thing to highlight is also when we talk about Product-Led, I think a common misconception is that it’s about Product-Manager-Led. This is wrong. The key is that the entire organisation works towards building more valuable products for their customers.
And yes, that is easily led by a Product Manager, because they’re the ones pulling all the things together for your roadmap, but it also impacts the larger picture.
It impacts how you support others, your pricing model, your sales which will then impact your designs and the technology that you use to build this product. So it’s really a company wide effort, rather than just saying “We need more Product Managers”.
The key goal is all around providing real value to your customers.
How long do you think it takes to become Product-Led?
I think people see change as a fast thing. It unfortunately isn’t. That’s one key part I am covering in the talk. Harvard Business Review did a fantastic study on how long it takes to transform companies.
We’re talking about the change deeply sinking into a company’s culture.
This is not just about introducing some new agile rituals or sessions, and then thinking the job is done. It’s really about a culture and mindset change.
The study found that it typically takes 5-10 years until culture change really sinks deeply into the company’s DNA and all the different departments’ way of thinking and the way they approach product decisions.
It is a very long journey. This study claimed 5-10 years but companies make great progress throughout the process as well. There are definitely milestones on the way. But it’s important to actually embed those habits as you change.
Why do you think companies struggle to make it through this transformation?
Again, I think people or companies look for quick wins sometimes. We’ve seen that plenty of times with Agile transformations. Companies think it’s just about introducing some new tools and processes. For them, they’ve delivered the project, call themselves Agile after one year and move on before the real mindset change has actually happened.
And what will happen to those companies that don’t become Product-Led?
Well, it’s really about putting the focus on providing real customer value, but also in a way that really works for the business.
That’s why the Product Manager is such a critical role in Product-Led Transformations because they’re the ones who should usually balance both the customer impact and the business success as well.
Corinna has experienced her own successful product-led transformation and will be sharing even more insights on the process at LTP DIGITAL 2022 | USA where she will be speaking on TIMELINE.
If you are interested in hearing more from Corinna, be sure to get tickets to LTP DIGITAL 2022 | USA for March 9, 2022.