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What To Do if You Don’t Agree with an Executive Decision

Conflict solving
Feedback
Product

5 December, 2018

Reza Shirazi

Reza Shirazi

Senior Product Manager at AffiniPay

Reza Shirazi discusses what can be done when you do not agree with an executive's decision.

Problem

One of the executives that I work with wanted to enter a new market. In talking to him, I didn't think it sounded like a good idea but he was an executive and that's what he wanted to do. Our target market was small to midsize firms and he wanted us to also target large enterprise firms. His requests to go into that market would have changed our roadmap and not produced the results we were looking for.

Actions taken

My strategy to address this situation was two-fold. First, I conducted market research about that new market and tried to understand what the qualities of that market were, why it would or would not be a good market with us, and if our product would be a good fit with that market. Second, I attended a conference that had attendees from that market. I did customer interviews with people who would be buying our product to figure out the problems they faced and how they did the work that they did to see whether our payment product would actually solve their problems.

Lessons learned

My findings on both the quantitative data within that market and the findings from my customer interviews confirmed that this market was not a good fit for us. I organized a meeting with our executives and presented these findings. It became clear to him as we reviewed the data and findings that it was not a good market for us to get into and we wouldn't be successful with actually solving the problems that the market had. He also confirmed that we should continue to focus on our current market. This process gained credibility for our product team and we formed a stronger relationship with this executive that will help with future conversations about where we invest in our products.


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