From Designing Education Lab
Product Management Mindsets
The role of Product Manager within industry is a driving force of innovation. Product Managers are trained as individual contributor engineers, yet evolve into multi-functional managers who lead the business, often through on-the-job training. The objective of ME310X is to equip the trained engineer to become a Product Manager and successfully meet the multi-functional challenge of new product development within an organization.
What is Product Manager?
A Product Manager is described as a classically trained engineer who works at the nexus of technology development and business management. They design and deliver new product offerings by leading activity that interprets customer needs, shapes technology development and generates bottom-line business results. Product Managers often work in within multi-functional teams and must be sensitive to a variety of viewpoints on how to successfully interpret customer needs, design products to meet those needs, and successfully launch those products into the marketplace.
ME310X sessions are dedicated to a single topic. Each session lasts about 3 hours, and the sessions are scheduled on intermittent Thursdays immediately following SUDS in Room 200. Refreshments are served as a way to keep energy levels high.
Topics will range from the broad ("What is Product Management?") to the specific ("The Financial Mindset"). Course materials will be sourced from MBA curriculum (mostly Harvard and Stanford) and feature case studies for discussion. Each session will have a relevant outside speaker to add real world credibility to the content.
Some preparation work is required. Each session will require background reading, about 30 minutes per session. There are no written assignments. Grading will be based on attendance, evidence of preparation for class, and classroom participation.
Every student who attends all 9 sessions will receive a Certificate of Completion for ME310X New Product Design.
Session #1 (October 10, 2013) - What is Product Management?
What is Product Management? How is it similar to or different than Entrpreneurship?
Case Study: KLUTZ
Special Guest: DeWitt Durham, Vice President Production & Product Development
Session #2 (November 14, 2013) - Getting a Product Management Job
Picking a target employer, creating a winning resume, the interview process, mock interview training
Read: Harvard Business School - Notes on Interviewing
Read: Elevator Pitch Template
Order: Strengths Finder 2.0 (Copies in the ME310 Loft)
Complete: Strengths Finder instrument, bring results to class in January
Special Guest: Anna-Katrina Shedletsky and Tyler Bushnell - Apple Product Design, ME310 Alums
Example ME310 STAR Resume
Session #3 (November 21, 2013) - Leadership and New Product Development Team Dynamics
What is leadership? What are the leadership implications for new product development teams?
Read: Why Teams Don't Work - HBR
Exercise: Mt. Everest Summit Team Challenge - On-Line Simulation (directions to follow)
Special Guest: Megan Delehanty - Two Time Summit Mt. Everest
Session #4 (January 30, 2014) - The Finance Mindset
Research: Corporate Treasure Hunt
Read: Culinarian Cookware
Group Exercise: Promotional Pricing
Special Guest: Bob Togie, Finance Director, Ericsson
Session #5 (February 13, 2014) - The Sales Mindset
Read: Arck Systems
Session #6 (March 6, 2014) - The Human Resource Mindset
Read: HBR Employee Motivation (10 minutes)
Read: Starling Systems Case Study (10 minutes)
Session #7 (April 17, 2014) - The Marketing Mindset
Read: Bryant Pharma (10 minutes)
Special Guest: Bracken Darrell, CEO, Logitech
Session #8 (May 1, 2014) - Business Strategy Mindset
Read: Blue Ocean Strategy (10 mintues)
Read: Innovators Dilemma (5 minutes)
Special Guest: Nicola Corzine - Band of Angels
Session #9 (May 15, 2014) - Getting Started and Beyond
The 100 Day Action Plan