Talks and schedule

Talks and schedule

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

  • 3:00PM

    Arrivals and early registration

  • 5:30PM

    Round tables

  • 7:00PM

    Opening reception

Thursday, 8 April 2021

  • 7:00AM

    Yoga

  • 7:30AM

    Registration and breakfast

  • 9:00AM

    Opening remarks

  • 9:10AM

    Private by Default

    The future of software products is private, personalized, and on-demand. In this talk, Gabe will cover the lessons learned from the launch of private personalization startup Canopy's first consumer app, Tonic and how they can be applied to making future-proof decisions when designing products in 2020 and beyond.

  • 9:45AM

    Find Product-Market Fit Faster: Lessons for Product Managers

    I’ve been a part of product teams for almost 20 years. During this time, I’ve helped transform rough ideas into real products and bring those products to market. In this session I’ll share great techniques for validating products and features. Product managers will learn how to quickly iterate ideas, validate concepts, and make rapid decisions about what to build.

  • 10:20AM

    Break (drinks and snacks)

  • 11:00AM

    How to Establish and Maintain a Design System

    As teams and products grow it can become complicated to maintain consistency across all properties, additionally, there is often a duplication of initial work for each product starting from scratch. By establishing and maintaining a company-wide design language and design system implementation, teams are better equipped to ensure consistency, reduce duplication of work, and improve overall design and code quality.

  • 11:35AM

    Cultivating a Research Mindset

    Research can be scary. But the change in perspective that happens after you spend time connecting with customers is powerful, and the truths you learn are worth it. We're going to talk about how to bring more of that power to your work and maybe make it a little less scary. I like to call it the research mindset. It helps create new understanding about what’s possible, it provides insights to make a product better, and it helps guide and build momentum.

    Join me as I talk about discovery work at Travelocity, Ancestry, Bluehost, and other organizations. You’ll learn how to conduct research that delivers results, changes behavior, and creates a research mindset within your organization.

  • 12:10PM

    Lunch

  • 1:40PM

    Leading from compulsion to compassion

    The modern-day workplace is getting to be demanding and we as humans continue to demand more from ourselves. Both emerging and seasoned leaders are continuously faced with choices and decisions to make. How we make these decisions impacts our teams, our work, and, most importantly, has a significant impact on our self. Outside of being a parent, being a leader is perhaps the only other role that comes with its fair share of freedom and responsibility.

    Who or what inspires you to lead? How aware are you to show up as the leader you want to be? Is there a practice or ritual to bring about an authentic, compelling, yet sustainable way to lead? Given her own upbringing as an Indian-American amidst a culture of tolerance and respect, she thrives in the diversity of thought and action. Drawing from her own personal and professional experiences, Chetana’s talk will explore what it means to lead from within and how the current workplace makes it difficult to do so. How our cultural and personal values intersect with who we are as leaders. What drives someone to lead compulsively?

    Let’s explore following yourself and to lead from a place of compulsion to compassion.

  • 2:15PM

    What do you do when no one cares about your product? How we turned Podium’s Feedback tool from a failing beta to a successful launch

    When I joined Podium, our Feedback tool was in a precarious state. As one sales VP explained, "The percentage of customers we could sell this to is in the single digits.” There were discussions of killing the product completely. Six months later, we launched it publicly to all customers, and it went on to sell millions in the following year. Here’s how we got there, and how you can too.

    With most products, there can be many obstacles to product-market fit:

    • Wrong product
    • Wrong market
    • Wrong message


    I’ll cover specific tactics we used to understand the problem in all three of these areas, including:
    • An internal listening tour
    • JTBD interviews with customers
    • Analyzing data
    • Exploring the ways customers were hacking the product
    • Evaluating against competitor options
    • And more...


    We’ll also discuss how we used that research to transform the product and its appeal… and the things we missed that created unexpected results.

  • 2:50PM

    Break (drinks and snacks)

  • 3:30PM

    Product Skill Gaps: From Start-Ups to Enterprises

    At every level of the business life cycle there is a need for good product development (Product Management and UX). The principles of how to develop products at each stage seem to stay the same. However, the application of soft and hard skills can differ. In this presentation we will explore various case studies from flegingin start-ups, to Enterprises, to government bureaucracies and how application differed between each stage. By the end the audience will have a better understanding of what skills they need to develop to be successful at their companies stage.

  • 4:05PM

    Reference Design

    Product vision can be a strong force in product design&mdashit drives teams to work towards a shared outcome and provides self-evident answers to "What are we building? And Why?” Teams that are not driven by purpose and intent are rudderless, habitually choosing precedent over innovation, merely copying what already exists in the hopes it will work here too.

    As a result product vision is often difficult to pin down or name. It’s "something we all share" or "in the deck." If you open that deck you will find a roadmap with features like "Next Generation Search" or "Shopping 2.0." This approach leads to unclear and under-used, general meh products. It also leads to team dysfunction, trust issues and ultimately—burnout.

    So how do you collaboratively create product vision? One that provides enough clarity for an organization to plan, design and build a product a year out, but one that also affords the team responsive and agile shifts as they learn in the market.

    David Merkoski, former ECD of frog design and startup "design advisor" will share with Front a new design tool&mdasha Reference Design—that tames the complexity of product vision for startups.

    Not a design system, nor a set of rules and principles&mdasha Reference Design captures a specific visual rendering of the shared intent and outcomes for a future product in detailed material form. Used in other industries, "Reference Designs are technical blueprints of the system, they contain essential elements of the system, but are meant to be enhanced or modified as required.

    Through a set of clear artifacts and a focus on language, a Reference Design forges internal agreement of the shared purpose that drives teams forward. A highly visible document, it is always the answer to "What are you/we doing?"

    While it may live in a Sketch file on the cloud, it is also literally hanging on the wall. Everyone should be able point to it… "That is what we are building." It is the reference.

    Through a series of case studies spanning industries, startup stages and business models, David will explain how using the cyclical process of a Reference Design can open teams up to being their most engaged and invested selves at work.

    In fact, it becomes quite fun when design is no longer the block and everyone is practically anticipating the next feature to build, seeing the pieces come together. Because when you are design-driven, product-led—work just makes sense.

  • 4:40PM

    Day 1 wrap-up

  • 5:30PM

    Service project

  • 7:00PM

    Networking dinners

  • 8:00PM

    After party

Friday, 9 April 2021

  • 7:00AM

    Group meditation session

  • 7:30AM

    Breakfast

  • 9:00AM

    Day 2 kick-off

  • 9:10AM

    Measuring what's meaningful

    Sometimes the things that are the most meaningful end up being the hardest to measure. In this way, even the most mission-driven companies have room to improve. In this Headspace case study, Vicki will walk you through her design process in detail, which blends user insights and behavioral science. But more than that, she will shine a light on a trend in our industry, and leave you with an actionable idea for how to create products that truly add value.

  • 9:45AM

    Scaling Decisions as a Product Team

    What happens when your team gets really big? In this talk, Elaine tells the story of how the Adobe XD product management team scaled decisions for a recently-released feature that cut across almost the entire product. From processes to values, specific challenges to behavioral analysis, this case study covers how a product team can pull together to make decisions that are coherent to a system at scale.

  • 10:20AM

    Break (drinks and snacks)

  • 11:00AM

    Org design

    Lessons learned and observations from being a leader in the new org design.

  • 11:35AM

    How To Truly Align Your Product and Sales Teams: 5 Things We Learned At Divvy

    Every organization defines product management differently. In this presentation, you’ll hear from the VP of product and strategy at Divvy on how they’ve taken a very different approach to product, and why it’s so important to truly align product with revenue.

  • 12:10PM

    Lunch

  • 1:40PM

    Crossing the Knowing-Doing Gap: Build Your Team OS to Slay Alignment and Execution Challenges

    Leaders are expected to provide strong vision that propels the business into the future, but we don’t always spend enough time under the hood doing the less glamorous work of tuning up the systems that allow teams to make progress together. We see the future, we know the right things to do for our customers, but why is it so hard to get everyone there, especially at scale?

    We will explore the unspoken hierarchy of needs in a team and the interplay between priorities, habits, and systems. I’ll also share concrete examples of the way HubSpot’s design organization tackles creating strong operating systems that allow over 170 autonomous teams to translate vision into action. Whether you are the most senior leader at your company or an individual contributor, you can play a role in helping your team get serious about building systems that enable meaningful motion.

  • 2:15PM

    TBD

  • 2:50PM

    Break (drinks and snacks)

  • 3:30PM

    TBD

  • 4:05PM

    TBD

  • 4:40PM

    Closing remarks

Join us at the Front!

In it's 6th year, Front is a sell-out event, with 800 annual attendees from 8 countries and 34 states across the US. Join us at the Front to share, learn, and be inspired to create amazing products.

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