Mobile Strategy is Product Management

Russ Miller, Mobile Solutions Architect at Magenic, discusses the emerging opportunities for mobile technologies, how to fit mobile into a digital strategy, and the best tools and methodologies for developing mobile products.

The iPhone launched already 10 years ago, and yet mobile is still transforming people’s everyday lives, and the shift is only accelerating. New technologies such as virtual reality and the internet of things will only further make mobile the central experience for both business and consumer end-users. “Emerging technology always has one thing in common, no matter what flavor of technology you’re using, and that is mobile”, Russ says. That’s why he believes mobile needs to be at the center of every organization’s product and digital strategy.

Russ first began working with mobile products in 1993 when he helped develop one of the first mobile medical records solutions. He later led The Home Depot’s entry into consumer mobile apps. Now Russ is the National Mobile Solution Architect at Magenic Technologies, an 800-consultant custom software and professional services company that serves Fortune 1,000 clients in industries including financial services, healthcare, and retail.

I started the interview by asking Russ about the unique opportunities and challenges associated with developing mobile products. Mobile requires “a high-velocity, high quality delivery cadence” to account for “high user expectations in very contextual, immediate engagement scenarios present exciting opportunities,” he says.  

Russ then shares the strategies that have most contributed to his success with mobile products, including applying an agile development methodology to develop the product iteratively, instead of being glued to a predetermined roadmap that lacks customer validation. He goes on to share the best tools to use throughout the development process for everything from rapid prototyping to measuring user engagement and business outcomes.  

Strategists and mobile product managers alike will gain a lot from this episode about aligning mobile within a company’s overall strategy, and positioning mobile as a new business opportunity, rather than a simple upgrade, to internal stakeholders. Here are the highlights:

  • Russ discusses the next big opportunities for mobile technologies (6:20)
  • How organizations should incorporate mobile into their digital transformation strategy (9:15)
  • The most common challenges mobile product managers need to know about (11:20)
  • Why agile works better than waterfall for mobile products (14:45)
  • The best way to plan and budget for agile mobile development (17:30)
  • The best tools to use during the mobile development process (20:40)
  • Russ describes his experience developing Home Depot’s mobile strategy and experience (24:15)
  • How Russ gets buy in and a budget for his agile mobile approach (27:35)

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud below.  

Russ’ Recommended Resources on Mobile Strategy
The Mobile Mind Shift: Engineer Your Business To Win in the Mobile Moment 

What Russ is Reading and Listening to Right Now
a16z Podcast
Breakingsmart.com

Russ’ Favorite New Product Outside of Work
Haiku Fan

Connect with Russ
Russ’s Blog
Russ on Linkedin

Recommended Episodes
Adopting Mobile is Product Management
Corporate Transformation is Product Management
The Internet of Things is Product Management