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How product management leads change in the enterprise

Getting beyond "but we've always done it that way" to evaluate new methods and practices

Cindy Alvarez

You've got a new idea or practice that you feel your company needs to adopt, but with a large number of stakeholders, a low tolerance for risk, and a long history of "but we've always done it that way," it's hard to get enterprise companies to try something new. Expert Cindy Alvarez will teach you a framework for getting buy-in, reducing risk, and creating small successes that you can build upon. Come with a specific problem or idea in mind that you need to push forward in your organization. By the end of this [two-hour?] training course, you'll be able to create a compelling narrative of how and why that change will benefit the enterprise.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live online course, you'll understand:

  • When it's more effective to publicly plan and when it's better to start with a more "stealth" approach
  • The types of resistance and challenges that new projects encounter in the enterprise
  • Strategies for negotiating with stakeholders

And you'll be able to:

  • Create a compelling vision of your intended change and the expected benefits to the organization
  • Proactively identify potential risk factors and costs
  • Engage skeptics in productive conversations about trade-offs and additional costs

This training course is for you because...

  • You're a product manager or someone who builds products within a large, mature organization that is slow or resistant to change.
  • You're a product manager or someone who builds products within a small, nimble organization, but you collaborate with or sell to large, slower-paced organizations.


Recommended preparation:

Product Leadership (book)

Lean Customer Development (book)

Assignments to be completed before the course:

Recommended follow-up:

Making Change Happen in the Enterprise (Learning Path)

About your instructor

  • Cindy Alvarez is the author of Lean Customer Development: Build Products Your Customers Will Buy. Her background spans psychology, interaction design, product management, research, and enterprise change management. After many years designing and building products in startups, Cindy now helps internal Microsoft teams level up their product development, customer discovery, and devops practices and build a more responsive, inclusive culture.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

  • Group discussion: Ask permission or forgiveness? (10 minutes)
  • Hands-on exercise: Working backward—Write a vision of how your change will make life better (10 minutes)
  • Lecture: Why do people resist change? A framework for anticipating risks and objections (10 minutes)
  • Group discussion: Interviewing your coworkers to understand what's happening now, how they think it's going, and how they explain the status quo (20 minutes)

  • * Break (10 minutes)

  • Group discussion: What could go wrong? A "premortem" on a change project from a volunteer participant (10 minutes)

  • Hands-on exercise: What objections will you run into? (5 minutes)
  • Group discussion: Objection handling for your team skeptics (15 minutes)
  • Lecture: What's next? Turning ideas into actions and sharing progress (10 minutes)
  • Wrap-up and Q&A (10 minutes)