Montreal is rife with burgeoning startups and midsized tech firms. Within these organizations exist hundreds, perhaps thousands of dedicated product managers. But the product manager is often mistaken for the "project manager." The difference is subtle but significant. One fosters an "IT mindset," while the other fosters a "Product mindset." Paul Ortchanian recognized this inconsistency, and it sparked the creation of what is now known as Bain Public: a company dedicated to helping local companies make smart product decisions through an organizing principle for allocation of resources: the roadmap. Here’s the story of how Bain Public came to be:
The Beginning of Bain Public
Meet Paul. He’s the founder of Bain Public and a problem-solver by nature. A few years ago, after an 8-year stint working as a product manager for startups in Silicon Valley, Paul realized something about the tech organization ecosystem in his hometown of Montreal: many of them had poor product culture.
It’s a common theme that strong, tech-savvy leaders of local startups rarely take the time to properly establish their product organization. What results is the "IT mindset", an isolated approach that focuses on the number of features launched — rolling out a high quantity of features purpose-built for the "perceived" technology needs of executives or a different function like sales and marketing. Missing is the discovery of the necessary product to be built, the strategic decisions related to providing true customer value and creating revenue at a low cost. Having engineers, marketers, designers moving in the same direction, reaching a product goal to accelerate a company’s success is foundational to the Product mindset.
Recognizing the lack of Product mindset-oriented tech companies in Montreal is what sparked the creation and evolution of Bain Public.
Recognizing the Problem and Providing the Solution
Product management within the tech world is a relatively new field of work. As awareness of the concept grows, adopting a Product mindset has become acutely important. This is where Bain Public steps in. The Product mindset is possible to attain within any company. Coaxing it out of the corners is our specialty.
"What are we trying to achieve and how does each feature fit into that? If they do, let’s build them; if not, let’s not waste our time." — Paul
The first clue to the Product mindset solution is in the name: Bain Public.
Bain Public means "public bath" and it originated from a communal need for product hygiene and roadmap cleanliness. We establish company-wide product-related processes to better ensure that elements of road mapping are woven into the fabric of an organization. We create strategies focused on removing friction from all touch-points with relevant, actionable and effective teachings. Bain Public brings together expertise in product, business strategy, engineering, data science, and marketing to provide top-of-the-line product leadership services.
What Does it Mean to Adopt a Product Mindset?
The Product mindset involves building solutions for paying customers within the constraints of a business. Sticking to the company’s mission while helping customers solve real problems is at the forefront of a Product mindset workflow. Converse to a project manager, who focuses more on the assignment of tasks, release dates, and meeting organization deadlines, the product manager assesses the why behind each decision. It is the product manager’s job to make stakeholders care about why the proposed product features matter.
Because product managers work at the intersection of many roles — marketing, sales, engineering, support — achieving a common point of understanding can be difficult. It’s tough stuff.
Bain Public acts as a neutral and expert third party to help companies understand the importance of a Product mindset, and how to implement it. Bain Public uses a collaborative learning approach through three tiers to achieve the Product mindset:
1. Building Roadmaps. The roadmap is essential to ensure the right feature is delivered at the right time, but it also gives organizations direction and motivates stakeholders and teams.
2. Transitionary Leadership. A company may have leaders in place, but many lack the maturity and experience to move the organization to a new level.
3. Mentoring and Coaching. Product managers won’t necessarily learn these skills on their own. At Bain Public we act as coaches and mentors to expedite the process.
What Methods Does Bain Public Use to Guarantee Success?
The methodology at Bain Public involves a hands-on approach. Our team works alongside product managers, emphasizing how the product mission affects the consumer, and discovering the product’s best features by diving into the "Where do we suck and why should customers care". We’ve come up with a formula to help each company solve its unique product problems:
Bain Public helps companies make smart decisions, and ship top-notch products that captivate customers and achieve business objectives. Most importantly, Bain Public helps companies make the ever-important shift from an IT mindset to a Product mindset.
Bain Public is a Product consultancy that helps companies make smart decisions, and ship top-notch products that captivate customers and achieve business objectives. We help ambitious organizations create new value by establishing company-wide product-related processes. Our group of experienced Product Managers works closely with CSuite leadership teams removing friction from all touchpoints of the digital consumer experience to deliver product-market fit allowing companies to operate at scale.
Written by Sydney Jones. Thanks to Paul Ortchanian, George Korkejian and Jason Gendreau for reading drafts of this article and overseeing aspects of its publication. Also, if you have any feedback or criticism about this article then shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.