Here is the big question for this year’s Product Conf:

How Wrong Are You Willing to Be?

For years, we struggled to GSD (get stuff done). This has changed in the recent past, and we are getting more done. Instead of worrying about progress, we need to start engaging more people in validating product and the real value being produced (iteratively). This year, Prod Conf will bring together a diverse collection of experience to explore product validation and valuation.


Drawing on real world experience and avoiding the talking head syndrome, practitioners from around the country as well as around the Twin Cities will gather to share stories and to respectfully challenge each other with the shared goal of learning and improving. Sessions will be split into three tracks, focusing on driving innovation, product teams and communities, and balancing the concerns between product and tech. There will be plenty of time for people to engage the speakers directly as well as interact with other participants.

This year’s Product Conf features keynote talks by David Hussman and Jeff Sussna.

David and Jeff are joined by a dozen other speakers who help us explore “how wrong we are willing to be” by digging into product communities and teams, fostering innovation, and balancing concerns between product and tech.

New this year, one of our four tracks is dedicated to hands-on workshops where you’ll learn and practice skills that you can take back to your teams.

Keynote Speakers

David Hussman

David teaches and coaches product and customer learning using a blended cadence of discovery and delivery. He has spent the last 15 years coaching agility and producing products for companies of all sizes around the world. David’s coaching is non-dogmatic and pragmatic. His focus on getting to know a project community allows him to seed self-discovery and avoid falling into the expert trap of simply telling people what they “should do”.

David spends most of his time with teams, helping them create and validate product ideas and roadmaps with responsive engineering. He also works with leadership teams to pragmatically introduce the type of lasting agility that fosters innovation and creates a competitive edge. David is the proud recipient of the Gordon Pask Award.

Session Title:

You’re Definitely Wrong…

Jeff Sussna

Jeff Sussna, Founder and CEO of St. Paul-based Sussna Associates, is an internationally recognized IT coach and design thinking practitioner. He specializes in helping digital organizations build continuous learning cultures. His career spans thirty years of building systems and leading organizations across the entire product development and operations spectrum. Jeff provides Agile, DevOps, and Design Thinking coaching and workshops for leading enterprises, technology companies, and software services.

Jeff is a highly respected teacher, writer, and speaker. He is especially known for introducing the global DevOps community to the importance of empathy, and is the author of Designing Delivery: Rethinking IT In the Digital Service Economy.

Session Title:

Continuous Learning: Harnessing Change for Competitive Advantage

View full list of Speakers
View the presentation recaps here


  3M Auditorium Deluxe 1&2 Heffelfinger Honeywell
Time Track 1 – Driving Innovation Track 2 – Product Teams & Communities Track 3 – Experience/Workshop Track 4 – Validation and Evolution
8:00 – 8:45 Registration and Breakfast
8:45 – 9:00 Opening Remarks and Speaker Intros
9:00 – 10:00 Morning Keynote – David Hussman
10:15 – 11:00 Rob Juncker Brandon Huff Jean Storlie Sara Cowles
11:15 – 12:00 Mike Gillespie Molly Fuller Chris Shinkle Jasmine Russell & co-presenters
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 Afternoon Keynote – Jeff Sussna
2:15 – 3:00 Vivienne Whitfield Kurt Schmidt Anne Steiner Joe Ruekert
3:15 – 4:00 Speaker Panel & Closing
4:00 – 4:30 Beer-o-spective
Download the Agenda!


You Definitely Are Wrong, But You Might Not Know It

Presented by David Hussman

Building on the ability to learn faster (e.g. agile and devops skills), how well are we learning about how wrong we are, and what are we doing about it? Put another way, assume that you are confident that you will get things done in shorter cycles, what stops you from looking to the reflection of results that help your product team(s) or business line learn and adapt iteratively. This talk draws on experiences and interviews with small groups building a single product and larger organizations solving business needs or offering a complex collection of services. You will need to show up ready to question and learn as well as challenge yourself, your peers, and the speaker. Please show up ready to ask, think, and explore.

Continuous Learning: Harnessing Change for Competitive Advantage

Presented by Jeff Sussna

Teams across the product, development, and operations spectrum are struggling to effectively adopt new methodologies. How do we do Agile “right”? What does DevOps really mean? How do we integrate Design Thinking into Agile without losing its creative essence? How do we connect these methods to our ultimate goal, which is to continuously learn from the market by having productive conversations with our customers?

This talk will introduce a truly unified approach to design, development, and operations that goes beyond merely bolting them together. It will explore the shared heritage of Agile, DevOps, and Design Thinking in order to create a deeper understanding of what it means to deliver value. It will present the view that by making user-centered learning a continuous part of everything we do, we can fulfill the Agile promise of harnessing change for competitive advantage.

View the full list of sessions and session descriptions
View the presentation recaps here