Engineer for the future of Cloud
June 10-13, 2019
San Jose, CA

Product management and DevOps, together at last and kicking butt

James Heimbuck (SendGrid)
4:45pm5:25pm Thursday, June 13, 2019
Average rating: ****.
(4.64, 11 ratings)



Prerequisite knowledge

  • A high-level understanding of Agile concepts, such as story points, epics, sprints, and acceptance criteria (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Discover common practices for using product management to solve DevOps problems


DevOps and platform teams have too many projects, not enough time, and users who are an email, message, or quick walk away to tap you on the shoulder to ask if that thing is done, because “it’s really holding them up from completing something for real this time.”

James Heimbuck shares some tried-and-true product management practices that help solve the problems of never-ending projects, squeaky wheels that demand priority, and projects that flop on launch.

James discusses common product practices and the experience of introducing those at SendGrid in the tech ops org, including validating problems through customer interactions, using story maps to get to first-and-fast release, launching products for adoption, getting user feedback and incorporating it into the backlog, and sunsetting a product.

Photo of James Heimbuck

James Heimbuck


James Heimbuck is the product manager for infrastructure at SendGrid, where he’s working with the company’s tech ops and internal tools teams to deliver platforms, products, and services to enable the delivery teams to create and deliver code for its 78,000 customers. Previously, he spent the last 14 years in B2B and B2C product management roles at companies such as Webroot, Bluprint (formerly Craftsy), and HomeAdvisor.