At Riot Games our mission is to be the most player-focused game company in the world. That means we need to build fun, competitive, and engaging experiences for our players – everyday! In this journey we discovered that the product owner mindset and tools are insufficient. We needed to go beyond creating and managing backlogs to defining inspiring visions and creating bold strategies – still in an agile and flexible manner.

This shift requires a new mindset and a collection of effective yet lightweight tools and techniques. Our product leaders must ask different questions, discover deeper resonance, and provide strategic guidance that maintains the empowerment and autonomy of our programs and teams. As a result, we require a focus on the new world we aspire to create and the required impact, consistent terminology for often vague or overused strategic concepts; and we require the capability to identify and challenge the implicit assumptions in our strategic decision.

We will show how at Riot Games we have expanded on Jeff Patton’s work on output/outcome/impact and combined it with Roger Martin’s work on lightweight iterative strategy to drive our product organization forward. In addition, we are leveraging the validated learning approach from Lean Startup to minimize the risk of our strategic directions. We will discuss a critical inflection point where it is all too common to shift from outcome and impact back to output and why we believe this is inappropriate and how we keep it from happening at Riot. We will also include activities that will allow participants to experience the strategic thought process we are currently deploying across Product Management at Riot Games.

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