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Course Introduction

Course Introduction
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
3:30 - 5:00
Hawes 201 ← Special location for course kick-off

Welcome to PM101!!

For our first session, we'll do three things. First, we'll use an example to consider the attributes of great and flawed software products. Next, we will discuss PM101’s learning objectives, structure, and requirements. Finally, students will briefly describe their projects in order to help everyone get acquainted.

Required Reading

  1. (HBR) What Does It Take To Be A Great Product Manager  - Julia Austin

  2. (Book) Technically Wrong - Sara Wachter-Boettcher 
    [Should arrive in ~2 weeks - You have until Nov 5 to complete this!]


Recommended Reading

  1. Ken Norton (our guest on September 17) has a great reading list here.

  2. The Mom Test  - Rob Fitzpatrick

  3. The Power of Moments  - The Heath Brothers



We use the G-Docs suite for all deliverables to allow for sharing, peer review and instructor commenting/grading. A shared Google-Sheets workbook tracks all key deliverables for the course. Please familiarize yourselves with the PM101 Assignment Master. It has a dated tab for each deliverable.

As a warm up for the course (and using the Assignment Master!), you will do a simple exercise for our first session on September 5.

For each individual (not as a team):

  • Brainstorm a short list of what you think are the attributes of excellent software products. Then, evaluate that list against one of the following products:


Try to pick a product you have not used before.

  • In a Google Doc, write two short paragraphs with suggestions for improving the product you chose to evaluate.

  • Optional: try sketching your improvement ideas. Include photos of any sketches -- however rough.

  • In the Assignment Master, find the “Sep 5 - Prod Crits” assignment tab and post a link to your Google doc (and optional sketches) by 5 pm on Tuesday, September 4. Please remember to set View Access ON for Prof. Austin.


Note: PM101 will regularly require the submission of small assignments like this in advance of our class sessions. These submissions will count toward your course grade.

Session Prep

  1. Each student should be prepared to discuss the attributes of excellent products and their evaluation of the product they selected, along with suggested improvements.

  2. Each team should have one team member prepared to deliver a two minute pitch (no slides necessary) describing the problem you are trying to solve and for whom.

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