ME310X Product Management Mindsets

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Contents

Overview

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.

Course Overview

PM Team.jpg
ME310X uses the metaphor of the "Product Management Team" to organize the course work.  Sitting around this "table" are multi-functional representatives of the organization, who will bring unique strengths, viewpoints and political agendas to the new product development conversation.  The Product Manager leader must be able to understand these differences and bring together competing perspectives to successfully design, develop and launch new products.


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 ("Financial Management for the Technically Minded").  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.  We will also experiment with qualification for the Product Development Management Association (PDMA) New Product Development Professional (NPDP) certification.  This is a recognized industry achievement and requires completion of a certification examination.  NPDP certification is strictly optional and not a requirement for successful completion of ME310X.

Fall Quarter

Session #1 (October 6, 2011) - What is Product Management?

What is Product Management?  How is it similar to or different than Entrpreneurship?

Read: "What Counts Factors" for Success: Understanding the Role of Product Manager

Read: "What Counts Factors" from Industry

Case Study: KLUTZ

Special Guest: DeWitt Durham, Vice President Production & Product Development

Session #2 (November 3, 2011) - 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

Bring your resume

Special Guest: Anna-Katrina Shedletsky - Apple Product Design, ME310 Alum

Session #3 (November 17, 2011) - 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


Winter Quarter

Session #4 (January 19, 2012) - The Finance Mindset

Course Materials TBA

Session #5 (February 16, 2012) - The Sales Mindset

Course Materials TBA

Session #6 (March 8, 2012) - The Human Resource Mindset

Course Materials TBA


Spring Quarter

Session #7 (April 12, 2012) - The Marketing Mindset

Course Materials TBA

Session #8 (May 3, 2012) - NPD Team Success Models

Course Materials TBA

Session #9 (May 17, 2012) - Personal Selling - Winning at the Critical Point

Coruse materials TBA

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