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avatar for Elizabeth Ayer

Elizabeth Ayer

Product Manager
Who are you ?
I'm the product lady who had to retire her battle cry of "Shippit!" after too many people misunderstood the intent. They can't take "early and continuous delivery of valuable software" away from me, though!

As a product team leader, I have tripped and recovered my way to empowered teams. I'm obsessive in pursuit of new techniques and real stories of their use, but I'm also totally unsentimental about dumping what doesn't do the job.

In real life, I like cycling and food, not in that order. After living for 22 years in the United Kingdom, I recently moved back to the U.S., where I'm raising three kids on beautiful Puget Sound in Washington State.

What do you do for a living ?
I work for the U.S. Federal government, because the opportunities for improvement and scale of impact are virtually infinite! As part of 18F, a consultancy within government, I coach teams towards Lean Agile methods, sustainable delivery, and good product decision-making. Before that, I led the Product team at Redgate, a company innovating Database DevOps, and I was a Product Manager for Siemens PLM on systems orchestrating design and manufacturing.

What do you want to speak about at FlowCon ?
I'd like to talk about what Continuous Delivery enables and inspires at the product level. Prioritisation, one of the key functions of Product Management, does not look the same anymore in an Objectives or Empowered Teams world. I'll call out techniques which just don't fit anymore and talk through replacements for high-impact decisions.

What would make you say “waouh” at the end of the conference ?
Like everyone, I love having great conversations. But to get a "woauh"? I think we'd have to pull together in a shared direction that made us look back on "FlowCon '19" as a turning point in the history of software ideas. Great food would work too, though.

What will make you think that attendees have learnt a lot during your session ?
All the tweeting, leading to real discussions about the ideas. Overhearing conversations which are making further sense of my subject. People asking me questions that nobody knows the answer to yet, and joining me in finding the answers.

What is your favorite word ?
I answered this question with the word "Yes" on my undergrad application to Princeton, and I didn't get in, so it is definitely not "Yes." Maybe "tmesis" instead, which is a word for splitting words like, "abso-damn-lutely."

What is the sound, the noise that you love ?
Someone noodling gently on an accoustic guitar.

What is the plant, tree or animal which you would love to be reincarnated into ?
An octopus please! I'd like a totally different, but still intelligent, experience.

What is the question you would have liked us to ask you ?
What activity would you like to do with others in Paris?
If anyone wants to meet up for the Musee de Mineralogie and lunch on Wednesday ....