How To Succeed In Product Management | Jeffrey Shulman, Red Russak & Soumeya Benghanem
How To Succeed In Product Management | Jeffrey Shulman, Red Russak & Soumeya Benghanem
Jeff Shulman, Red Russak & Soumeya Benghanem
Learn from some of the best product managers in the world through conversations hosted by The Product Management Center at the University of Washington. In each episode, Jeff Shulman and Red Russak dive into the tools, frameworks, and thought processes that will help drive success in product management.
18: Betting on Transferrable Skills and Mastering Product Execution
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 
Sep 22
1 hr 6 min
17: Making Inclusive Product Design Real
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 
Sep 15
58 min
16: Developing a Culture While Scaling Product Organizations
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 
Sep 8
57 min
15: Communities Build Valuable Product Assets and Create Support for PMs
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
Sep 1
53 min
14: The Unpredictability of Managing Product Managers
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 
Aug 25
1 hr
13: Product Managers Digging Deep Into Pricing Strategies
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
Aug 18
1 hr 8 min
12: Adapting to Changes as a PM
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
Aug 11
58 min
11: The OKR Approach: Defining Objectives and Key Results
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
Aug 4
56 min
10: How Different is a FinTech Product from Other Industries?
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
Jul 28
1 hr 1 min
9: Thinking Through Assumptions and Managing the Risks
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
Jul 21
58 min
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