Splunk

Splunk Overview
Website: splunk.com
Employees: 6130
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Founded: 2004
About
Splunk Inc. Splunk intends to make machine data accessible across an organization by identifying data patterns, providing metrics, diagnosing problems, and providing intelligence for business operations.
Insights from the Splunk Product Management Team
Marvin Green
Marvin Green
Director, Product Management, SplunkSeptember 14
I appreciate this question! Generally speaking, we get inputs mostly from sales, customers and product/engineering. I’ve used the approach of building partnerships with stakeholders and that takes care of the influence vs control dilemma. When you have a strong partnership with your stakeholders, they trust you that you’ll make the right product decisions and in turn, you show that you value their inputs. So I would encourage you to think more about building stronger partnerships so you don’t have to struggle with influence and control.
Marvin Green
Marvin Green
Director, Product Management, SplunkSeptember 14
Thanks for the question! Earlier in my PM career, I used to keep my roadmap a “secret”. As I gain more experience, I realized that it’s valuable to share the roadmap openly with sales, marketing and key stakeholders to build a solid partnership. How I communicate the roadmap and the level of detail I share is based on what each team needs. For example, the sales leadership team may want to know about the big rocks and themes. Your sales engineers will need to go into the weeds of the roadmap and even how you are thinking about building out the features. The best thing to do is to ask the te...
Marvin Green
Marvin Green
Director, Product Management, SplunkSeptember 14
Great question! This is something most product teams wrestle with when only looking at the roadmap from a features perspective to balance what to build for existing vs prospective customers. What I’ve found very useful to address this is to revisit the product strategy and business drivers for the product and align the roadmap accordingly. For example, if you assess your product strategy and look at the data for your business drivers, you may see a trend that customers really start adopting your product in years 2-3 with 10x revenue from their initial purchase, what decisions would you make...
Marvin Green
Marvin Green
Director, Product Management, SplunkSeptember 14
I’m wishing you a successful product pivot! You got this! In this situation, you have your internal stakeholders (sales, marketing, GTM, etc) and you have your customers you need to reset expectations with (mostly for B2B products, less so for B2C) For your internal stakeholders, the best thing you can do is be transparent and bring them as close as possible to what’s happening. For example, share the challenges, the tough trade off considerations, data you are using to drive your decisions, etc. This builds trust and partnership. Once you do that, sharing a short term roadmap will be...
Marvin Green
Marvin Green
Director, Product Management, SplunkSeptember 14
At Splunk, we’ve built a tightly executed roadmap update process where we spend about 2 weeks each quarter to refresh our roadmap so our customers, sales and GTM teams have the latest and greatest roadmap info. In that 2-week process, our product managers and product marketing folks actively collaborate on the roadmap updates. What does that collaboration look like? It’s product managers sharing the features and refining the messaging, customer outcomes and use cases with product marketing so we can have a solid roadmap and tell a compelling story to our customers. The marketing team also p...
Marvin Green
Marvin Green
Director, Product Management, SplunkSeptember 14
Interesting question! From my experience, there are two key questions to answer when thinking about going public with your roadmap. 1) Do we have a predictable sprint velocity? 2) Do we have a predicate delivery rate? Once you have a predictable sprint velocity and predictable feature delivery, you have a high certainty that when you plan features, they will be delivered on time or close to when you expect. There is some degree of change and reprioritization that happens naturally with a roadmap so I’m not saying dates won’t ever change. If you go public with your roadmap and keep chang...
Marvin Green
Marvin Green
Director, Product Management, SplunkSeptember 14
I like this question because it is such a classic situation. I’ve seen this played out at companies and it’s likely a culture issue that it’s very hard to change unless the Product and Sales leadership teams get together and have a heart to heart about it and come to an agreement on the best path forward. Getting the autonomy you are looking for starts at the top and it has to be a coordinated effort to address the culture and behavior. On the other hand, it’s great to get sales input into your roadmap because they are out there daily with customers. If you are looking for a grassroots app...
Marvin Green
Marvin Green
Director, Product Management, SplunkSeptember 14
Thanks for the question! You, my friend, are in a coveted position. I would encourage you to shift your mindset and look at it as an opportunity to influence and educate your leadership team on what you know about your customers and create a vision and strategy for your product to share with them. Since the leadership team is new, you have the opportunity to show them that you are proactively thinking about the product direction and execution versus waiting for direction. So take a shot and give it your best.
Kara Gillis
Kara Gillis
Sr. Director of Product Management, SplunkMay 31
Product differentiation != new features. New features can enhance differentiation, but these are not the same thing. For example, product differentiation can be predominantly delivered in the go-to-market if a product's "see-try-buy" motion is just inherently better than everything else available. The differentiation there is in the trial experience and ease of transaction - not necessarily in the latest feature.
Kara Gillis
Kara Gillis
Sr. Director of Product Management, SplunkMay 31
I'll keep this one rather brief. I find that some product managers do not always listen to their customers and their problems as the guiding light for improving and differentiating their products. Instead, they fall in love with a shiny new piece of technology that may not be solving a critical problem.
Splunk Product Management Leaders
Kara Gillis
Kara Gillis
Sr. Director of Product Management
Marvin Green
Marvin Green
Director, Product Management