Topics

 


 

The Art of Writing High-Fidelity User Stories – Product Usability Begins Here!

John Mansour

Managing Partner
Proficientz – B2B Product Management Training

How can this topic help you?

It will improve product usability.

What is at stake?

Your products may not address the needs of the customer because you don’t fully understand what they do or how they do it.

What should we know?

All user stories are not created equal. Learn 4 components that make great user stories. 3 you know, and 1 you don’t!

What will we be able to do better?

Make your products easier to use, market and sell.

About the presenter

John Mansour is the founder and managing partner of Proficientz, Inc., a training and consulting firm that specializes in B2B Product Management & Marketing. John has more than 25 years experience in high technology product management, product marketing, marketing communications and sales in B2B organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 1000. Prior to those roles, John had extensive operations management experience in B2B software companies, healthcare administration and retail distribution.
John Mansour

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Perfect your Pitch

Sidd Chopra
CSM, PMP, DTM
President
LookWiser.com

How can this topic help you?

Pitch presentations are one of the most challenging types of presentations. Bring your pitch and we will help you polish your pitch so you can get the resources and customers needed to turn your idea into a reality.

What is at stake?

If you can’t convince your investors, customers, vendors or staff, it will be impossible to be successful.

What should we know?

#1. You are in competition for limited resources; good is not good enough, only the best get funded.
#2. People are convinced by their logic not yours.
#3. If you can’t handle the logistics of your own pitch, why would someone trust you with their money?

What will we be able to do better?

Recognize what a good pitch looks like and how to critique and polish your own pitch.

About the presenter

Often called “the Pitch Doctor”, for over 10 years, Sidd has worked with entrepreneurs at Duke, NC State, CED, TiE, Startup Weekend, and other organizations to pitch their ideas. He has worked on successful pitches to billionaires and to one of the most elite fighting forces and coached the winning team in a global business plan competition.
Bring your pitch and make it shine with an international award winning speaker and coach. The doctor is in!

Sidd Chopra

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Funding Growth with Inventory and Contract Manufacturing

Tommy Kirk
COO

Alotech, Inc.

How can this topic help you?

As successful organizations grow product sales, inevitably they come to a point where additional capital is needed to sustain their growth rate. Traditionally, that means giving up equity in the business or personally guaranteeing sizable loans. Learn how can leverage existing inventory with contract manufacturing to sustain your growth curve without giving up equity in the company or tying up personal finances.

What is at stake?

You should spend your time doing sales and marketing your business, not worrying about manufacturing your product. This is a key to growth for any inventor.

What should we know?

You will learn what investors are looking for, and how to leverage your inventory to get investment in your business so time and money are freed up for sales and operational activities.

What will we be able to do better?

You will understand how to find the right investment partner and contract manufacturer so you can enjoy reduced overhead, eliminated concern of production cost overruns, and ultimately, a quality product shipped reliably, with little or no additional unit cost or high-interest loan.

About the presenter

Beginning his career as a machinist, Kirk learned early on how to solve problems and cultivate his trade quickly. Soon he set a personal goal to own his own business. Soon after, he met his mentor and eventual business partner, Bill Murphy. Bill hired him as a General Manager of Alotech, Inc. and taught him the ins and outs of business ownership. Adopting Bill’s business philosophies to develop people not just products, Tommy and Bill have grown the company from 5 full time people generating $500k in sales to 50 employees with over $8.5m in sales.
Tommy Kirk

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The 3×5 Method for Voice of the Customer

Scott Burleson
BS EE, MS Management
Senior Vice President
The AIM Institute

How can this topic help you?

You will learn to conduct professional “Voice of the Customers” interviews using only a 3×5 card as your discussion guide.

What is at stake?

The 3×5 VoC Method minimizes the errors which often occur within “Voice of the Customer” interviews due to the inherent biases that all companies and interviewers have.

What should we know?

You will learn how to quickly get up to speed to execute customer interviews even if you do not have a market research – or even a product management background. Anyone can tell you “how” to execute customer interviews, but if you’re not grounded in what the customer seeks to accomplish, you will only confirm your preconceived notions.

What will we be able to do better?

Execute interviews to uncover unmet needs for your customers.

About the presenter

Scott loves the discipline of innovation – theory and practice. Theory because within innovation, there is convergence of many areas of knowledge: economics, psychology, ethnography, the physical sciences, etc. Practice because unlike other fields where there is no “right answer”, new product development has winners. It also has losers. The market is a fair judge.

As Senior Vice President for AIM, Scott’s charge is to help clients to build skills, to build knowledge, to grow in their experience so that they achieve greater career heights while helping their businesses to grow profitably.
He has worked in engineering and marketing for Converse, John Deere, and Actuant. He also was the Director of the Strategyn Institute, where he helped Fortune 500 firms to implement Outcome-Driven Innovation.

His mantra is, “Everything begins with what the customer is trying to do.”


Scott Burleson

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Communicating With Impact: Causing action and results in others


Dr. Rob Katz, with Bill Spreitzer
Dr. Rob Katz has spent 15 years as a leadership coach and trainer after 12 years in the high-tech industry. He has a PhD in Computer Science from UNC Chapel Hill and a BS EE from MIT. His research was in applying cognitive models to computer graphics, and he has continued that with his innovative training techniques to assist over ten thousand people in developing their own innate talents. Bill Spreitzer worked for over 26 years in Corporate America with Fortune 500 and small-medium sized technology companies, and he founded a business coaching and training practice in 2007. He holds a B.A. degree in business from Michigan State University and is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Business Coaching program.
Senior Partners
Geek Leadership

How can this topic help you?

This is an interactive and hands-on session that will help you cause results through your speaking and create a powerful impression on people. Examples include powerfully presenting your product/service ideas to investors to obtain funding; getting your product/service ideas supported by colleagues including gaining their support and commitment to make it a reality; and, creating and delivering a powerful marketing message (value proposition) that creates a need and action in market/prospects.

What is at stake?

If you ignore the lessons in this session, you run the risk that people will ignore what you are saying or not act on it. Too many good ideas are left behind or not acted upon because they are not communicated effectively.

What should we know?

In this session, you will learn the key ingredients to impactful communication. You will also learn and practice three powerful techniques you can begin using immediately. This will be an interactive session where you will be able to participate and practice causing results and actions in others through your speaking.

What will we be able to do better?

You will have the fundamentals to speak with a clear focus that will directly cause greater results. You will also have a powerful tool that will help you “think on your feet” to speak spontaneously and immediately handle unpredictable situations including objections (instead of thinking of the perfect thing to say hours later!)

About the presenters

 

In the high-tech industry, Rob led teams to bring software and video game products to market. Since then, he has coached entrepreneurs for 15 years to harness their own unique strengths and talents in order to communicate powerfully and overcome the challenges of launching new companies and bringing new products to market.
Led teams to bring software and video game products to market
Bill spend two and a half decades with contract manufacturing, design, and services companies, where he helping clients bring products to market (such as IBM’s servers and storage equipment). This included prototyping, manufacturing and design support.

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Your Next Job

Andy Roth

How can this topic help you?

This session will help you understand the importance of networking to find a job and highlight local resources.

What is at stake?

If you ignore networking, you will find landing the next job very difficult.

What should we know?

You will learn basics of networking and some local resources for job search

What will we be able to do better?

Find your next job

About the presenter

Andy is an experienced IT and development leader.
Andy Roth is a senior technology manager with an emphasis on software development, process improvement, business analysis, IT, Software Licensing, and quality systems. His career of over 20 years started as a US Naval Officer and has included Fujitsu, GTE Government Systems, SRI International, and Tekelec. Andy has degrees in Computer Science from Cornell University and Old Dominion University.

Andy Roth

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Essential Product Ownership – It Takes a Village

Bob Galen
Director, Agile Practices

Zenergy Technologies

How can this topic help you?

It will focus on key skills (tactics, practices, focus points) for high performance in a product owner role.

What is at stake?

Conversely, the product owner role is complex, challenging, and nuanced. Not understanding it well, impacts business results and team health.

What should we know?

It’s a patterns and anti-patterns workshop that makes its learning points via stories. You’ll leave with a set of “ideas” to improve your product ownership craft.

What will we be able to do better?

Already answered, Scrum Product Ownership.

About the presenter

Bob Galen

Director, Agile Practices – Zenergy Technologies

Bob Galen is an Agile Methodologist, Practitioner & Coach based in Cary, NC. In this role he helps guide companies and teams in their pragmatic adoption and organizational shift towards Scrum and other agile methodologies and practices. He is Director, Agile Practices at Zenergy Technologies, a leading agile transformation company. He is also President and Head Coach at RGCG.

Bob regularly speaks at international conferences and professional groups on topics related to software development, project management, software testing and team leadership. He is a Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), and an active member of the Agile & Scrum Alliances.

He’s published three agile focused books: The Three Pillars of Agile Quality and Testing in 2015, Scrum Product Ownership, in 2009 – 2’nd Edition in 2013, and Agile Reflections in 2012. He’s also a prolific writer & blogger (at – www.rgalen.com ) and podcaster (at www.meta-cast.com )

Bob may be reached directly at: bob@rgalen.com or networking via: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobgalen


Bob Galen

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Conquering The PM Interview

Malcom C. Riley III
M.B.A.
Associate Director: Technology
Duke University: The Fuqua School of Business

How can this topic help you?

This session will help participants:

1) Develop a customized preparation strategy to ace PM Interviews
2) Prepare for design questions
3) Prepare for commercialization questions
4) Prepare for key behavioral questions
5) Learn about key PM interview prep resources

What is at stake?

1) Losing out on advancement opportunities that you deserve

2) Missing a framework that will give you language to better support the career progress of your aspiring PM friends and family

What should we know?

Participants will learn how to:

1) Develop a customized preparation strategy to ace PM Interviews
2) Prepare for design questions
3) Prepare for commercialization questions
4) Prepare for key behavioral questions
5) Learn about key PM interview prep resources

What will we be able to do better?

1) Share your experiences and accomplishments more effectively during interviews

2) Navigate questions about products with which you have limited familiarity

3) Impress interviewers

About the presenter

Malcom serves as the Sector Director for Technology at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he coaches students and alumni in addition to developing corporate partnerships across the globe.

Outside of Duke, Malcom leads AYASPHERE, INC, a consulting company that provides go-to-market strategy services for technology companies as well as corporate partnership and global business development support for international development organizations. His clients have included Creative Associates, Dashlane, MobileSmith, NC State’s Laboratory for Analytic Sciences, RTI International, and more.

Malcom earned a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication and Master’s degree in Human Service Administration from Bradley University in Peoria, IL. He also earned an M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.


Malcom C. Riley III

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Happy Customers, Growing Businesses

Nancy MacCreery
MBA, Marketing, Pragmatic Marketing Certified, Certificate in Idea and Innovation Managment, NC State
Principal Consultant
Broad Reach Marketing Services, LLC

How can this topic help you?

Satisfied, happy customers are key to a successful product. But customers aren’t always transparent or vocal about their perceptions. How do you find out?
Attendees will walk away with a review of the many ways to create a process to obtain customer feedback.

What is at stake?

You may miss an opportunity to think about a different approach to capturing feedback from customers

What should we know?

The importance of feedback and ways to capture — beyond the ever present survey

What will we be able to do better?

Find customer feedback, remember approaches to customer research that you may have forgotten

About the presenter

Nancy brings a unique perspective to marketing — blending the business focus of an MBA, the analytical side of an engineer and the creativity of a fiction writer. She’s successfully developed and implemented marketing strategy for both large and small organizations and is skilled in communications, branding, and market research. She loves to solve problems, create practical, effective solutions, and help good ideas and organizations grow.
Nancy is the founder and principal consultant at Broad Reach Marketing Services, LLC, developing practical, effective marketing for businesses in the Triangle Area.
You can reach her at nancy@broadreachmarketingservices.com

Nancy MacCreery

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Turbocharge Your Projects with One Key Mindset Shift

Karen Tax
President, Karen Tax & Associates, B.S. Computer Science, M.S. Organization Development
CEO of the IAM Way
Self

How can this topic help you?

This interactive session will show you the single most important change you can make to ensure projects are completed on time and under budget.

What is at stake?

If you don’t make this shift, you will continue to waste time, energy, and resources via the churn that plagues most business efforts.

What should we know?

You will learn how the shift from a scarcity mindset, to an abundance mindset, transformed one of my client organizations from 10% to 90% project completion.

What will we be able to do better?

As a result of this presentation, you will be equipped to use the single most important soft leadership skill needed to increase profits by reducing waste.

About the presenter

Karen is the author of the book “Passion, Authenticity & Leadership @ Workbook” and creator of the “IAM Happy @ Work” online learning program which is based on the leadership and career development programs she designed and delivered for several organizations including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and ATW Companies of Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and California.

Karen has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of California Riverside, a M.S. in Organization Development from the American University / National Training Labs and is a trained coach. She has been a teacher and mentor coach for the NC State Business Coach program since 2001.


Karen Tax

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Creating a New Power Ecosystem

Chris Doerfler

Cofounder 3DFS Software-Defined Power
3DFS

How can this topic help you?

The U.S. electrical grid loses almost 70% of the electricity that is generated each year. In 3rd world countries the losses are much higher. Creating a new power ecosystem, centered around distributed use of software control of electricity will result in reclaiming more than half of those losses while protecting and preserving electrical networks from instability and security threats while providing more visibility through data. The focus of this topic is to explore the direction that this disruption will likely head first and how it will trickle down through the energy industry

What is at stake?

Software control of electricity brings profound benefits to the end user, yet there are entire market segments and industries that are firmly entrenched in the existing business models and supply chains. The energy industry is rife with major players that have siloed R&D structures and are typically reluctant to outside innovation unless pushed by market demand. Ignorance of a better and cleaner way to generate, distribute, store and consume electricity only allows this century old innovation stagnation in the energy industry to exist.

What should we know?

By preventing the losses in electricity usage with software control of electricity, eventually the amount of electricity available on the Grid will be increased by more than double without additional generation.

Every device in an electrical environment can be identified at the main panel, opening a future of real time, all time asset monitoring with predictive analytics.

The future of electricity is using less, not using more.

What will we be able to do better?

You will look at the world much more optimistically in spite of all the doom and gloom associated with global climate change. You will also be able to speak more intelligently about the U.S. energy profile. You will be able to rest assured knowing that there are solutions available that will dramatically reduce our energy consumption.

About the presenter

Chris had a variety of experiences with different industries prior to finding a home in the disruptive energy technology space. For almost 6 years, Chris has been involved in the launching and development of many innovative energy technology products that bring new functionality to the market.
Chris Doerfler

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Calling Inventors… “How do I turn my invention into a product ready to sell?”

Aparna Sproelich
Business Development Director, BSME, MSA, MS Engineering Technology, Lighting Certified (LC)
Business Development Manager
Anuva Manufacturing Services, Inc.

How can this topic help you?

If you have an idea for a product, and don’t know how to make it reality, then this session is for you!

What is at stake?

If you don’t know the process of product development, you may miss some steps that can cause you to waste time and money.

What should we know?

The key things you should know about product development:
1. how to define your product.
2. how to enhance your product with emerging technologies that are not available yet.
3. Know your gaps and develop path to “product” progress to get to market quickly.

What will we be able to do better?

You will be able to identify the gaps in your product development process, close these gaps and get your product ready for market more quickly.

About the presenter

Aparna is a seasoned business development and product development manager with over 20 years of experience and leadership with major manufacturers such as Black and Decker, Johnson Electric, Buehler Motor and Cree, and Anuva. During the first part of Aparna’s career, she focused on product engineering, reliability testing, program/project management, manufacturing and operations within the consumer/industrial products, defense, automotive, medical device and lighting sectors. She then expanded her skill set into BtoB business development and account management. Aparna received her Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, a Masters of Science in Engineering Technology East Carolina University and a Masters of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University.
Aparna Sproelich

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Create Your Product Adventure: My personal journey of developing software tools for Product Managers

Steve Johnson
Founder
Founder
Under10 Playbook

How can this topic help you?

In this session, author Steve Johnson introduces a nimble idea-to-market process with strong emphasis on personal experience with customers.

What is at stake?

Just having a process is itself a best practice yet most product teams have only a development process, not a business planning process.

What should we know?

In this session, author Steve Johnson introduces a nimble idea-to-market process with strong emphasis on personal experience with customers.

What will we be able to do better?

From business planning to product launch, this approach for managing products empowers your product team to work smarter and collaborate better with colleagues and customers.

About the presenter

Author, consultant, and trainer of product managers since 1993.
Steve Johnson

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