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Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Lessons from Atlassian: Launching new products, getting buy-in, and staying ahead of the competition | Megan Cook (head of product, Jira)

Lessons from Atlassian: Launching new products, getting buy-in, and staying ahead of the competition | Megan Cook (head of product, Jira)


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Megan Cook is the head of product for Atlassian’s Jira software, which is used by 75% of Fortune 500 companies, has over 125,000 customers globally, over 15 different products, and is by far the most popular project management tool in the world. Megan has been at Atlassian for just under 11 years, and before this role, she was an analyst, a developer, and an Agile coach. In our conversation, we discuss:
• How to get buy-in for your ideas
• The value of starting small
• How, and why, creating space for play is so essential
• How Jira stays ahead of endless competition
• Atlassian’s approach to launching new product lines
• Tactical tips for making remote work, work
• A personal failure and the lessons learned from it

Some takeaways:

  1. Boost relationships and collaboration in remote work by structuring team gatherings. Whether for work or leisure, these sessions, including collaborative work sessions, workshops, and casual interactions, mimic the benefits of in-office dynamics, contributing to sustained productivity.

  2. Adopt a startup mindset when launching a new product line. Start small and focus on proving the idea without overcommitting resources. This approach allows experimentation and the discovery of innovative solutions that can benefit the broader product portfolio over time.

  3. Getting buy-in is a journey, not a one-time event. If you’re proposing a change, try to meet with all the impacted stakeholders early on in the process. Explain to them what you’re doing, listen to their point of view, fold in their feedback, and repeat. When stakeholders help craft your idea, they’re much more likely to buy into it.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Overcast, and YouTube.

Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/lessons-from-atlassian-launching-new-products-getting-buy-in-and-staying-ahead-of-the-competition/

Where to find Megan Cook:

• X: https://twitter.com/meganwcook

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cookmegan

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Megan’s background

(03:50) Creating space for play and psychological safety on teams

(07:36) Peer feedback groups

(10:30) Sharing stories of failure

(13:33) The “10 dollar” game for priorities

(15:24) Advice on making remote work, work

(24:16) Getting buy-in for your ideas

(28:33) The importance of staying open-minded

(34:05) A quick summary of how to get buy-in

(36:45) Fighting the good fight

(38:19) Identifying customer pain points

(43:08) Starting small and showing success

(46:08) Launching new product lines

(53:35) Atlassian’s gated process for new product ideas

(58:29) How Jira stays ahead of competitors

(01:04:56) Learning from failure

(01:09:00) Fight club

(01:10:37) Lightning round


• Jira: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira

• Atlassian: https://www.atlassian.com/

• Bitbucket: https://bitbucket.org/product

• Ben Crowe on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-crowe-67299714/

• Ash Barty on X: https://twitter.com/ashbarty

• Atlassian’s blog, Work Life: https://www.atlassian.com/blog

• Lessons learned: 1,000 days of distributed at Atlassian: https://www.atlassian.com/blog/distributed-work/distributed-work-report

• New research: How to make time for the work that matters: https://www.atlassian.com/blog/distributed-work/calendar-redesign-experiment

• Atlas: https://www.atlassian.com/software/atlas

• Confluence: https://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence

• Lenny’s swag store: https://lennyswag.com/

• What is CSAT and how do you measure it?: https://www.qualtrics.com/experience-management/customer/what-is-csat

• The UX research reckoning is here | Judd Antin (Airbnb, Meta): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-ux-research-reckoning-is-here-judd-antin-airbnb-meta/

• Charlie Sutton on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charliesutton/

• Nokia 6100: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_6100

• Compass: https://www.atlassian.com/software/compass

• Jira Product Discovery: https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/product-discovery

• Canva: https://www.canva.com/

Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love: https://www.amazon.com/INSPIRED-Create-Tech-Products-Customers/dp/1119387507

Scaling People: Tactics for Management and Company Building: https://www.amazon.com/Scaling-People-Tactics-Management-Building/dp/1953953212

Foundation on AppleTV+: https://tv.apple.com/us/show/foundation/umc.cmc.5983fipzqbicvrve6jdfep4x3

Foundation book series: https://www.amazon.com/Foundation-3-Book-Boxed-Set-Empire/dp/0593499573

• Traeger smoker: https://www.traeger.com/shop/wood-pellet-grills

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.

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Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.