Scoping and Shaping for Success


(58 ratings)


1 Day


Cohort-based Course

Get to the crux! A two-hour, hands-on workshop for product leaders to practice shaping focused initiatives with John Cutler live.

Course overview

Escape the tradeoff trap.

Product Managers often get bogged down trying to juggle trade-offs, check all the boxes, and keep everyone happy (and busy).

This hands-on 2-hour workshop is all about escaping the overmaximization trap and increasing your product’s chances of success. 

I will teach a flexible framework for shaping product initiatives, goals, roadmaps, and strategies to be more impactful (and more sane!) for everyone involved. The framework—focusing on drivers, limiting constraints, floats, and enabling constraints—gives you and your team a common language for cutting to the crux of an opportunity, and focusing without killing creativity and adaptability.

Through my full-time and advisory work, I’ve spent thousands of hours of pattern matching the struggles across different organizations. I’m excited to make some of those insights actionable through this workshop.

In this workshop, we’ll walk through:

• An applicable framework for driving product initiatives and roadmaps forward (which I’ve coached dozens of teams through)

• Templates for identifying your drivers, limiting constraints, floats, and enabling constraints

• Exercises for you to practice applying the framework yourself (with feedback!)

• Advanced guidance on implementing the framework in more complex scenarios

Workshop format:

• Two-hour workshop

• Direct feedback

• Interactive exercises

• Access to the recording and all resources (templates, bonus readings)

Thursday, March 21st, 2024: 7-9AM PDT, 2-4PM GMT

Who is this workshop for?


This 2-hour workshop is for product managers, designers, and developers who want to deliver more impact with less risk and investment.


This 2-hour workshop is for leaders who want to get better at advocating for more focus even when stakeholders want it all...yesterday.


This 2-hour workshop is for readers of The Beautiful Mess who want to move past the theory and apply some of the frameworks.

What you’ll get out of this workshop:

Learn a language to describe more abstract trade-offs and polarities

Perceived trade-offs are everywhere in product development. The trick is distinguishing the right tradeoffs to pay attention to and when tradeoffs aren't really tradeoffs (they are polarities).

Hone your intuition by practicing with realistic, hands-on scenarios and real-life cases

"You just have to figure it out!" is not very satisfying advice. Intuition can be practiced, and this workshop will jump start your practice journey.

Apply the principles to shape your next product initiative

By the end of this 2-hour workshop, you will have a concrete set of options for shaping a current initiative or project.

Some parting wisdom and advanced tricks

We'll build on the basics and explore advanced tricks to de-risk your work, learn faster, and keep your team motivated.

Bonus: get live feedback from John as you practice applying the principles!

This course includes

1 interactive live session

Lifetime access to course materials

In-depth lessons

Direct access to instructor

Projects to apply learnings

Guided feedback & reflection

Private community of peers

Course certificate upon completion

Maven Satisfaction Guarantee

This course is backed by Maven’s guarantee. You can receive a full refund within 14 days after the course ends, provided you meet the completion criteria in our refund policy.


(58 ratings)

What students are saying

Meet your instructor

John Cutler

John Cutler

Currently, I'm the Senior Director of Product Enablement at Toast.

Before that, I was at Amplitude, a product analytics company, and I had the opportunity to work with hundreds of product teams around the world. In this role, I ran workshops, I coached product leaders 1:1, and I helped teams focus on what's most impactful. While at Amplitude, I wrote the North Star Playbook, a popular guide on using driver trees and North Star metrics.

Since 2015, I've written close to 800 posts on product development, design, leadership, and management. My primary interest is in identifying patterns in organizations, writing about them, creating frameworks around them, and sharing my learnings publicly. I've been fortunate to work with B2B SaaS companies like Zendesk, Appfolio, and Pendo.

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Workshop Schedule

March 21st, 2024: 7-9AM PDT, 2-4PM GMT
  • Cohort 3: March 21st, 2024

    March 21st, 2024: 7-9AM PDT, 2-4PM GMT

  • Cohort 2: January 20th, 2024

    10AM - 12PM PST, 1PM - 3PM EST

  • Cohort 1: December 16th, 2024

    10AM - 12PM PST, 1PM - 3PM EST

Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts

Active hands-on learning

This course builds on live workshops and hands-on projects

Interactive and project-based

You’ll be interacting with other learners through breakout rooms and project teams

Learn with a cohort of peers

Join a community of like-minded people who want to learn and grow alongside you

Frequently Asked Questions

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