Survival Metrics

2 day virtual workshop
November 30-December 1, 2023, 9:30 am-1:30 pm PT

Product work happens in an ambiguous environment, so teams don’t quite know where they end up after they start. Staying nimble is the name of the game in changing times, and the quicker you are, the more likely you are to find a good answer to a problem. But many product teams slow down to a crawl when challenged (or forced) to rethink their approach to a problem.

Survival Metrics is a framework that helps teams find clarity in their strategy, use metrics to create a culture of data-informed decision-making, and build trust in the product organization so change doesn’t feel as risky. Survival Metrics clarifies the way forward, transforming the specter of change from a bogeyman into a boon.

In this workshop, product strategy expert Adam Thomas outlines how product teams can leverage the three pillars of survival — being fast, data-informed, and politically safe — to plan for change to avoid ambiguity and get all stakeholders excited to move forward.

A basic understanding of the creation of product (product engineers, product designers, product managers).

Target audience
Product managers, product designers, product engineers who are struggling to adjust and operationalize strategy in the market.

Topics Covered
Day 1
I’ve Tried To Pivot In The Past And It Failed – What Gives?
Your last strategy may have been good, but it didn’t inspire change when things weren’t working. You may have even tried to pivot, but nothing happened. In this section, we’re going to go over strategy and pivots, and metrics to talk about how they are connected so that you are able to connect metrics in front to get ahead of the game.

Day 2
Alright – Let’s Make Some Survival Metrics
Now that you have a clear understanding of strategy and pivots, let’s add metrics to help tell the story of your pivot and drive action. You will dissect your next decisions you’ll need to make in your strategy so you can make the next action clear and easy to understand. By the end, you’ll walk away with the ability to understand if something is worth moving forward and build your first Survival Metric.


  • Implement faster cycles of decision-making that identify potential problems before software is built, not after. Break down ideas as they come in, clarify what matters, and distill what the actual decisions are so the team can make them quickly. This prevents millions of dollars of waste AND allows you to explore more options to solve problems.
  • Interpret data collectively to increase confidence in decision-making to build trust, even when you’re wrong. Decide what data matters so you can communicate actions based on your strategy effectively, while increasing data literacy across the team. This allows space to be wrong while building trust by keeping the focus on the numbers.
  • Clarify company values enough to model them in your team’s work so the product resembles your company, not the market. Differentiate in the marketplace by producing final products based on what drives your company instead of chasing trends. Let your feature following stop, and feature leading start.
  • Convince teams to change direction when what they are building isn’t effective instead of “seeing how it goes.” Avoid the results of following through on useless projects. Avoid turndown theater on your scrum teams that leads to terrible utilization rates for products that your team waste time maintaining.’
  • Learn how to turn strategy into something usable. The strategy should drive decisions, and if the strategy isn’t helping people choose how to use resources wisely, there needs to be a change. This workshop will help you interrogate your strategy and start improving prioritization. Differentiate in the marketplace by producing final products based on what drives your company instead of chasing trends. Let your feature following stop, and feature leading start.
  • Leverage Data-Informed Decision-Making: Data is a valuable resource for product teams. This workshop will help you understand how to move data from just a number or object into a story that helps you make decisions.