Building a Product Portfolio is Product Management

We didn’t let the process define us. Instead, we defined the process.”

Deanna Ballew, VP of Product Development at Widen, shares how she transformed a services company into a software company, adopted an agile product management methodology, and built a portfolio of products.

Deanna’s company, Widen, pre-exists the internet. The 70+ year old company had been a leading business services company until competition from new entrants providing digital solutions created pressure to win and retain business. This motivated Deanna to create a new product development team and ultimately launch a portfolio of digital products.

Widen’s brand and stability were an asset to Deanna in getting started. However, she had to overcome the company’s legacy practice of creating custom solutions for clients. This practice prevented her team from developing products for a larger market. “It worked when we only had 12 customers. When we got to about 150 customers, it was still working. At 300 customers, it completely broke down,” she said.

In order to build scalable digital products, and ultimately launch a portfolio of new products, Deanna deployed several strategies. She instilled an agile product management methodology, required product managers to get out of the office and talk to customers, and aligned her cross-functional team’s goals to the desired outcomes of the product.

You’ll learn a lot from this episode about product strategy, digital transformation, and prioritizing new opportunities.

Here are the highlights:

Deanna Ballew

VP of Product Development at Widen

Deanna's Recommended Resources on Building a Product Portfolio

What Deanna is Reading and Listening To Right Now


Put our guest's advice into action.

Alpha is the world's most powerful product management platform for running experiments and generating on-demand insights.

Learn More

Subscribe to receive the latest episodes and exclusive resources

Related Episodes


Agile Transformation is Product Management

Andrea Schneider, Acting Director of Product Management at the IRS, and Lauren Gilchrist, Director at Pivotal Labs, share how they shifted the IRS from Waterfall to Agile development and increased speed to release from two years to nine weeks.

Listen to Episode

Conquering a Category is Product Management

Michel Feaster, CEO of Usermind, shares her approach to building and managing a portfolio of products, prioritizing opportunities, and conquering a category.

Listen to Episode

Vision and Strategy is Product Management

Marty Cagan, Partner at Silicon Valley Product Group and Author of Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love, shares how to craft product vision and strategy, modern best practices for product roadmapping, and his framework for prioritizing opportunities.

Listen to Episode

Participate in our 2019 Product Management Insights Survey