How To Succeed In Product Management | Jeffrey Shulman, Red Russak & Soumeya Benghanem
18: Transferrable Skills and Mastering Product Execution

18: Transferrable Skills and Mastering Product Execution

September 22, 2021

In this episode of the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, marketing professor Jeff Shulman and The Product Management Center advisory board members Red Russak and Soumeya Benghanem welcome Diego Granados (Microsoft), Welly Lee (Microsoft), and Shyvee Shi (LinkedIn) to talk about the value of transferable skills and experiences. It’s never about building from scratch, it’s all about the journey that helps build your skills as a PM and the experiences you can bring with you wherever you go and whenever you work on a new product.

 

Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to Apptentive.com/UW.

 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:35 Some PMs aren’t aware of the multitude of experiences and skills necessary in other roles
  • 13:15 The most valuable transferable experiences or job roles
  • 19:27 Create a compelling argument why an undervalued area can work
  • 23:52 What aspiring PMs should have: transferable skills & complete understanding of product management
  • 27:21 Product management is about managing risks
  • 32:41 The PM role is a practice of balancing tension
  • 35:16 You cannot be a good product manager if you don't like people
  • 44:51 Resources to look into to learn product management
  • 48:49 Start by doing the baseline, understand the gaps, then create a plan
  • 52:49 At the beginning, you have to be good at execution
  • 57:51 PMs a lot of time wear multiple hats
  • 58:47 Important career pivoters
  • 01:00:34 No single recipe is going to work for everyone
  • 01:02:49 It’s the journey to learn new things 
17: Making Inclusive Product Design Real

17: Making Inclusive Product Design Real

September 15, 2021

In this episode of the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, marketing professor Jeff Shulman and The Product Management Center advisory board member Soumeya Benghanem welcome Mandy Bhullar (Lululemon) and Ada Lopez (Lenovo) to talk about bringing an inclusive lens on product design. When designing a product, inclusivity should be taken into consideration at the very beginning - when looking at data and conducting research, when planning and structuring, and when finding a diverse team to work on the product.

 

Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to Apptentive.com/UW.

 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:41 Diversifying inclusive product design 
  • 11:02 What inclusive product design?
  • 16:09 The curiosity and investigating the ways in which diverse users might experience technologies differently 
  • 18:43 Inclusive thinking is everyone’s responsibility
  • 19:51 There’s always opportunities to add inclusion 
  • 21:21 A lot of the technological advances were designed with inclusion
  • 22:41 Think who is not benefiting from a product and build for them
  • 28:00 Data research tools: survey, screener, and asking the right questions
  • 31:21 Having a diverse team helps in designing inclusively
  • 35:10 Adaptive gaming controllers are fun inclusive designs
  • 39:20 Build awareness around who to include or exclude
  • 45:18 Collect different inclusive information in repository for future reference
  • 47:35 Constantly search within the context of your product
  • 50:35 “Develop products with inclusive design and accessibility from the beginning.” - Ada Lopez
  • 51:07 “Be intentional about making inclusive decisions.” - Mandy Bhullar 
  • 54:07 “Inclusion is a different way of going about product design.” -  Soumeya Benghanem 
16: Developing a Culture While Scaling Product Organizations

16: Developing a Culture While Scaling Product Organizations

September 8, 2021

In this episode of the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, marketing professor Jeff Shulman and The Product Management Center advisory board members Red Russak and Soumeya Benghanem welcome Vishal Ghotge (Remitly) and Tatyana Mamut (Pendo.io) to talk about shaping a culture as the organization starts scaling. There are many risks associated with scaling up, but the right set of rules, tools, and norms help formulate a culture that can direct individual performance and drive future business success.

 

Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to Apptentive.com/UW.

 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 06:50 When scaling, what works in one place might not work in another
  • 08:26 The challenges that come with scaling a product organization
  • 14:03 Always orient toward the holistic customer experience 
  • 16:06 Look at the mechanisms set around the organization
  • 19:21 Best practices to help in scaling
  • 25:09 Culture is the set of rules, tools, and norms that organize and structure how people work
  • 29:37 Center decisions and conversations around the company mission and values
  • 31:59 Change can be hard for a lot of people
  • 35:55 It’s important to understand what the appetite for risk is from the top
  • 41:24 Shaping an organization where it's okay to talk about things
  • 44:35 Take more risks while meeting all needs that your leadership might have of you
  • 49:48 Emotional intelligence plays a big role through scaling pains
  • 52:49 Focus on getting the right people and build trust with them
  • 56:10 Friction creates a lot of innovation 
15: Communities Build Valuable Product Assets and Create Support for PMs

15: Communities Build Valuable Product Assets and Create Support for PMs

September 1, 2021

In this episode of the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, marketing professor Jeff Shulman and The Product Management Center advisory board members Red Russak and Soumeya Benghanem welcome Mark Tan (Wyze) to talk about growing a community. It takes great leadership to grow a community but it would require creating a safe space for the members to continuously participate and engage in these communities. And people supporting each other in any way is the breeding ground for valuable product assets.

 

Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to Apptentive.com/UW.

 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 04:39 Creating a community for Product Managers and growing its members
  • 09:55 Pm needs to be clear on the the value proposition that the product offers
  • 12:33 Online communities require extra step make sure people pay attention
  • 14:13 The leaders and feeders in all communities
  • 16:02 Exploitation of the community and taking away the cycle you’re trying to create
  • 18:59 Let the community members interact and have a conversation
  • 22:26 Allow the customers to participate in the ideation process
  • 28:10 Strategic ways to grow a community from zero to a hundred  
  • 33:27 The ethical issues of creator compensation
  • 36:18 Creating a safe space for people who can participate in the community
  • 40:55 Soumeya’d book recommendations for founders to learn product mindset
  • 47:45 Remove biases when you’re running communities
  • 49:43 Give more than you take and then community will take care of itself
14: The Unpredictability of Managing Product Managers

14: The Unpredictability of Managing Product Managers

August 25, 2021

In this episode of the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, marketing professor Jeff Shulman and The Product Management Center advisory board member Soumeya Benghanem welcome Aaron Bowen (Qualtrics) and Jake Wallack (Axon) to talk about managing product managers in an organization. The most effective way to do this is to trust your team, allow them to solve problems and make decisions as you guide them through structures that give them the opportunity to perform and deliver.

 

Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to Apptentive.com/UW.

 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:41 Managing product managers
  • 11:49 Be able to leave an organization and the decision-making quality should still be there
  • 13:36 Start with the customer, learn from them, and use the information to make a decision
  • 14:53 Your process and approach should be distilled down to the essence but not overly restrictive
  • 19:48 Managers of PMs function as general managers
  • 21:40 Be a ruthless prioritizer for your product and customer
  • 25:13 The emotional - intelligence framework
  • 29:15 What’s going to help a person grow as a PM?
  • 33:45 Help shape the person to continue to deliver then hire and develop the right people
  • 35:35 Organizational design is about everyone working together
  • 37:46 Leaders should never tell high qualified members exactly what to do
  • 39:40 It should be based on trust and your people making the decisions
  • 41:52 PM skill: effective communication
  • 42:25 PM skill: culture
  • 43:32 PM skill: be able to take feedback
  • 44:44 PM skill: navigate organizational politics
  • 46:07 PM skill: vision 
  • 47:55 Habits of highly effective product managers
  • 52:48 Make sure that everyone in your team are successful in what they’re doing
  • 56:24 Motivate with accountability, get out of the way, and trust your PMs
  • 57:26 Great PMs create structure for other people to operate off of 
13: Product Managers Digging Deep Into Pricing Strategies

13: Product Managers Digging Deep Into Pricing Strategies

August 18, 2021

In this episode of the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, marketing professor Jeff Shulman and The Product Management Center advisory board members Red Russak and Soumeya Benghanem welcome Divya Sreekumar (Amazon Web Services) and Harish Komaragiri (Facebook) to talk about product pricing strategies. A lot goes into determining the price of a product which includes the needs of the customer, product value, and willingness to pay of the target audience. The panel also tackles the different spectrum of responsibilities a PM has and how it can affect the overall business model. 

 

Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to Apptentive.com/UW.

 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:48 Why PMs need to learn product pricing
  • 04:12 Product pricing strategies and modifying existing pricing
  • 07:03 Strategizing around pricing is both exciting and delicate
  • 10:20 PMs define customer value, corporate defines product value
  • 11:43 The effort put into developing the product should reflect in its pricing
  • 14:36 Getting a hold of the product value and where you’re going as a business
  • 17:01 Figure out the problem being solved and who is it for
  • 19:31 The product is marketed as a revenue enabler
  • 27:11 Pitfalls for new PMs is an overly narrow perspective of growing a product
  • 31:15 Spectrum of responsibilities a PM has
  • 33:32 3 things that affect pricing: needs of customer, value, and willingness to pay
  • 39:14 Advantages of using a cloud versus maintaining a hardware
  • 42:13 Sustainable business follow a cost-based model
  • 45:54 Business model is a bigger concept than just pricing
  • 46:50 Pricing a new product for enterprise customers
  • 50:58 Economic value estimation - what are the customers cost  and value drivers
  • 52:11 Use real customers to product test
  • 53:00 Customers are willing to pay for the most painful problem
  • 58:29 Book recommendation from Soumeya
  • 59:50 Train your brain to understand how the market works
  • 01:02:11 Applying game theory in pricing 
  • 01:05:09 Think about the economics you’re driving with your product decisions
12: Adapting to Changes as a PM

12: Adapting to Changes as a PM

August 11, 2021

In this episode of the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, marketing professor Jeff Shulman and The Product Management Center advisory board members Red Russak and Soumeya Benghanem collaborates with Women in Product members Parul Shorey (Compass) and Rekha Raghu (Smartsheet) to talk about adapting to changes, dealing with changes in processes, management, or system, managing teams throughout the new structure, and just use change as an opportunity to continuously learn.   

 

Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to Apptentive.com/UW.

 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:03 In collaboration with Women in Product, let’s talk about why adapting to change as PM is important
  • 06:27 For PMs to survive and for the company to flourish, you need to learn to adapt to change
  • 11:41 Changes can be internal, customer, market, and product
  • 12:39 What to do when upper management wants to change strategy or direction
  • 18:08 Tips for PMs on adapting to changes
  • 23:52 Identify the product’s mission and goals when dealing with changes
  • 28:08 When is it time to change the north star?
  • 30:10 Your metrics are going to tell if you’re progressing in the way you want to
  • 35:26 Coaching teams to navigate through changes
  • 37:58 Managing teams is not a scale game
  • 41:16 Take a break to think about the situation before acting on the change
  • 44:07 PMs on evolving best practices and management terminologies 
  • 47:32 If there is change fatigue, there is something wrong with the process
  • 49:25 Look at change as an opportunity 
  • 51:06 Pms shouldn’t overuse the sense of urgency
  • 52:57 Change is what you really want other people to achieve
11: The OKR Approach: Defining Objectives and Key Results

11: The OKR Approach: Defining Objectives and Key Results

August 4, 2021

In this episode of the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, marketing professor Jeff Shulman and The Product Management Center advisory board members Red Russak and Soumeya Benghanem welcome Murtaza Chowdhury (Amazon Web Services) to discuss Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) - a goal-setting framework for outlining and planning product objectives up to the targeted results. OKR helps product managers plan and create frameworks which are shared within the team to set clear goals to align all efforts. 

 

Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to Apptentive.com/UW.

 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 00:42 Objective and Key Results (OKRs) and the need for alignment for outcomes and defining them
  • 05:24 The benefits of the OKR approach
  • 08:32 Have an objective that speaks for the company vision
  • 11:53 Set a vision but don’t be too tactical in your approach 
  • 15:25 A sense of priority among the OKRs 
  • 19:22 Setting the objectives and key results
  • 24:56 Everyone in the team is involved in the product team
  • 26:44 OKR should be broken down into organizational level, team level, and then micro-teams level
  • 28:34 Everyone working on the team has a say on the product development
  • 31:04 User stories are what ties everything together
  • 35:23 Solving team problems through prioritization and alignment
  • 40:16 Everyone in the team is involved in creating the OKR
  • 44:06 Should PMs stay in the background and let micro-teams solve the problem?
  • 48:45 The 3 elements of an effective OKR
  • 51:08 Set objectives that are futuristic, inspirational, and highly ambitious
  • 52:47 Use OKRs with purpose
10: How Different is a FinTech Product from Other Industries?

10: How Different is a FinTech Product from Other Industries?

July 28, 2021

In this episode of the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, marketing professor Jeff Shulman and The Product Management Center advisory board members Red Russak and Soumeya Benghanem welcome Herman Man (BlueVine) and Ambika Sharma (US Bank) to discuss how uniquely different financial services is from other products yet they share the same goal and that is to understand the what and why of a customer and then building a roadmap around that.

 

Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to Apptentive.com/UW.

 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:24 As a FinTech product manager, how do you relate to other industries?
  • 04:22 The nuance that comes with financial services
  • 07:56 FinTech is a huge opportunity where you find something that works for the audience
  • 09:55 FinTech and healthcare industries are parallel in a way that there should be trust, stable, and reliable
  • 12:58 Start with understanding what it is that you can’t do
  • 15:25 Influence without authority, prioritizing which experiments
  • 19:42 Grit and intuition creates a good product manager
  • 21:39 Figuring out whether or not the idea sticks
  • 24:24 What is product innovation in the FinTech space?
  • 28:16 The biggest issues with invoice factoring
  • 29:39 Keeping an eye on the changing landscapes and finding opportunities to leverage
  • 33:00 The impact of retail trading on different product areas
  • 34:57 Business competition possibly affecting a PMs roadmap
  • 38:12 Customers understand their problems but can’t express how to solve it
  • 41:48 Coming up with the right solution is going to require intuition
  • 45:23 Monthly cadence makes a formal process go smoother
  • 48:35 Partnering closely with internal partners 
  • 50:26 Being a PM in FinTech making a financial difference to people's lives
  • 52:25 There is no general rule that is always true
  • 54:00 Always understand the what and the why of a customer
  • 56:40 The success factors are always passion and curiosity
9: Thinking Through Assumptions and Managing the Risks

9: Thinking Through Assumptions and Managing the Risks

July 21, 2021

In this episode of the How to Succeed in Product Management Podcast, marketing professor Jeff Shulman and The Product Management Center advisory board members Red Russak and Soumeya Benghanem welcome Dontae Delgado (Compass) and Siddhartha Rabindran (Microsoft) to discuss managing assumptions and start ranking them from the top most important to the least important, and build a framework around it to help develop the product. Assumptions, when correctly utilized and tested in the right environment exponentially helps product leaders find success. 

 

Support for How to Succeed in Product Management is brought to you by Apptentive, which enables product managers to measure shifts in customer emotion and gather actionable feedback across the mobile customer journey. To learn more, go to Apptentive.com/UW.

 

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:42 The importance of managing assumptions and risk management
  • 03:46 It’s easy to become comfortable with the flows of the product
  • 05:11 Clarity plays an important role in managing assumptions
  • 08:44 The different classifications of assumptions
  • 10:45 Approach is the most important part of addressing assumptions
  • 13:55 Assumption prompts to make assumptions explicit
  • 15:52 The build versus buy evaluation
  • 19:53 After generating assumptions, start ranking them
  • 23:36 Critical path is about the solution and the framing
  • 24:25 Proper documentation is key to effective communication
  • 27:17 Situations that could happen when assumptions aren’t made
  • 29:45 Reference books and resources for assumption management
  • 37:04 How do you go about validating assumptions?
  • 40:31 The product team considers four important things: product, market, channels, and business model
  • 43:42 Producer and consumer framework in critical in managing expectations
  • 47:31 Building a culture of domain empathy
  • 50:28 Assumptions are an integral part of everything we do
  • 54:13 Assumptions are linchpin to product success
  • 55:29 Some assumptions, when utilized correctly or incorrectly, either hurt or help the products