The Evolution of a Product Evangelist


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The Evolution of a Product Evangelist

Product Managers evolve along a continuum into “Evangelists” with passion, training and experience.

The Framework

At Aspirent we believe that Product Evangelists make markets. They are industry mavens and the strategic harbingers who help dictate product strategy and ensure that it’s a fit for the company’s customers.  They answer the questions: what should be built, when should we build it?

We find that Product Managers within many organizations focus less on vision and more on solution or system-centric order taking.  Over time, many have been driven by deadlines into a state of dispassion.  The Aspirent Product Management Framework and Improvement Continuum were developed to help Product Management Organizations evolve into true, Product Evangelists!

The framework highlights the inputs an evangelist is “Driven By” and the outputs the Evangelist “Drives:

Product Manager - Driven By and Drives


The Continuum

Maturing a Product Manager and an Organization’s competency requires a dedicated investment in the people, their tools, culture and processes along a Continuum from Managers to “Evangelists:”

Order Taker -> Influencer of Customer Strategy

Deadline Driven -> Driven by Vision

Measures Value -> Creates Value

Dispassionate Participant > Passionate Advocate

Industry Awareness -> Industry Driver

Solution Centric -> Customer Centric

The journey along the Continuum is one of incremental improvement.  A roadmap of the events, commitments and activities as well as key measurement milestones is the first strategic step once a commitment is made down the path.

A Product Organization’s Leadership must invest in and make the following commitments:

  1. Sponsorship – Visibly provide support for the transformational process
  2. The Journey – Develop a continuous improvement program including sponsored and self-driven activities and events
  3. Training – Secure and invest in the right training at the right time(s)
  4. Tools & Process – Embrace and apply new tools and processes into the Culture

Product Managers must agree and commit to the following:

  1. Buy-in – Team members must by bought into the transformation, no opting out
  2. Enthusiasm – Must embrace the change with the enthusiasm to reinvent
  3. Dedication – Must put in the work and reward leaderships commitment and investment

A holistic roadmap with the appropriate investments and buy-in, managed and monitored can bring about transformational change in a Product Organization.

– Brent Collins, Founding Partner

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