In this lesson, we start with the important questions: what is product management? Why build a product? What work goes into overseeing product development? What products does Christian use to keep his hair so nice? That last one is up for speculation, but if you're at all interested in product management, then the rest of this course is for you.
Or, rather, should Christian choose to accept it a while ago at Shapeways. But in this lesson, we look at a specific example of a product management challenge in order to understand what a product manager does to address it.
How do product managers determine the best possible course of action for a product's best possible outcome? Short answer: a lot of listening. Long answer: by owning the roles and not falling into any of the mistakes mentioned in this lesson.
In this lesson, we cover the lifecycle of products - how it develops, grows, and changes - so that you as a product manager know where you are and what you're working towards. It'll be way less awkward than 8th grade biology, we promise.
Knowing where in its lifecycle your product falls will help you anticipate its needs. So in this lesson, we go over the tools you can use and the signals you can identify to determine where your product is at and what you need to be focusing on.
So you've been brought on to manage a product in its initial development phase. Great! How do you manage it? You work through these 7 steps, of course, however many times it takes to create a great product.
Last lesson, we threw a lot of information at you about the product development process. So in this video, we kick back a little bit and play a game that will help you develop your own thinking and be better able to plan how to meet customers' needs as you shape your product.
Welcome to Week 2 of Product Management, where we take a step away from the realms of theory and start managing some product. Are you ready to talk to your customers and make some MVPs?
In this lesson, we're talking all about people. Specifically, how you can identify the people who will most appreciate your product, and how you can talk to customers to help develop a product that is even better for them. And we're doing it with more games, too!
Identifying your customers is just the first step. Now you have to talk to them and find out how best to address the want or need they have which your product solves. In this lesson, we discuss strategies for making the most and getting the best kind of information out of your customer interactions.
Now that you know who to ask and how to ask questions, we cover what sort of questions are going to be the most useful to you as a product manager.
In this video, we demonstrate what a sample customer interview might look like, talk about how to be flexible when the conversation goes off script, and answer the question of when to get away from New York City in the summer.
In this lesson, we clarify the difference between assumptions, which you need to make in order to build a product, and risk, which you need to minimize as much as possible. Plus, derivatives, dastardly figures, and different kinds of cake.
In this lesson, we discuss MVPs - minimum viable products - and how they can provide market insight for your product without you having to do anything. Well, with you having to do comparatively less than actually launching a product.
Now that we know what minimum viable products are, it's time to explore the types that you can build and what they test for. There are many different kinds but which one is yours?
Ready to build an MVP, nerds? We go over the steps of MVP development and go in depth on the first three: identifying risk and assumptions, converting those into testable hypotheses, and deciding which hypotheses to test.
Now that we know what assumptions we need to validate, we need to pick the MVP that will best test them.
In this lesson, we cover how these last steps in creating an MVP will help us make the most out of it. Whether its a success or not, minimum viable product helps you as the product manager learn, adjust your product, and refine it to be as successful as possible.
Now that we know how to make an MVP, we need to learn how to analyze one. In this video, we take all the intimidation out of metrics, and learn how product managers can make them dance, my pretties, dance - or, ahem, utilize them effectively.
In this video, we move from theory to practice, and examine how metrics helped AirBnB fix a real problem they identified with a real product-oriented solution.
In the last video, we saw how AirBnB used metrics to identify a KPI and took steps to address its hypothesis for improving that KPI. Now, we get down to the fun comparing the data and fine-tuning the metrics in order to see the result. It's like an awards ceremony where you don't have to listen to anyone thank their agent.
You're already halfway through the course! Now that you have a whole bunch of information on your customers, it's time to go rest on your laurels, right? Wrong! Let's put that information to work so that you can make some great products! How are we going to do that? Join us in Week 3...
In this lesson, we get tactical and discuss how personas - or groupings of customers - help us organize products and make effective decisions. Pizza for everyone!
In this lesson, we explore how to identify personas based on all your customer interactions, as well as common types of personas product managers should be mindful of. Spoiler: we're an Aries.
In this video, we cover the seven components that can help you create effective personas.
Now that we've covered the context and high level analysis of product management, we dive into actually building a product. The first step in this is understanding and identifying the features of a product that make it the complete experience you want for your customer.
Now that we know how to think about product features a little more, in this video we start translating customer needs into features we can actually build.
In this lesson, we tell some stories. Specifically, the tale of how user stories can help clarify what features need to accomplish and keep every team working on that feature on the same page, focused on the goals that will make the feature a success.
In this lesson, we talk about how to organize all the pieces and needs we've identified and clarified, so that we can successfully assemble them into a useful feature. And all without an allen wrench.
In this video, we actually roll our sleeves up go through the first three steps in prioritization, grouping and ordering the needs we're addressing, and then thinking about the value and effort required to address them. Product managers don't let their teams pull all-nighters for nothing.
In this lesson, we continue breaking down the effort and value of different features in order to prioritize what gets built first.
You are so close to your Product Managing Blackbelt! Now that we've figured out exactly what product and features you should build, we need to get them out of your head and into the market. Stick around, and Christian will teach you how to document your product ideas for future generations (and for present customers.) Let's get you in front of a crowd!
In this stage of the course, we talk user flows, a great tool for giving all your teams a consistent understanding of what they're building. They're also a great excuse for practicing your diamonds.
In this lesson, we talk (and draw!) wireframes. As a product manager, you're going to have to work with both designers and engineers to help them understand what the product's actually going to look like.
In this lesson, we talk about how we bring together all of the information we've gathered and all the solutions we've come up with. Product overviews will help you as the product manager create a concise, understandable way to access everything you've learned.
In this lesson, we talk about how to organize your product documentation beyond the overview so that anyone building the product or brought on later understand what the product's supposed to do and why it's built the way it is. It's like the Rosetta Stone but with more links to metrics.
Ready to go low-brow? Or at least low-structure. In this last lesson, we refine the best practices for creating specs, or the functional documentation, that defines product features and how specifically they work.
Victory! You made it to the end of the course, you Product Managing beast you. Just remember to use your new superpowers responsibly.