PM Careers

[ARCHIVE FROM 2017]

Monday, October 2, 2017
3:30 PM to 5:30 PM 
Hawes 203

Guests:

  • Dan Belcher, Serial Entrepreneur and former Sr. PM at GOOG (through acquisition of his company, Stackdriver)

  • Gong Ke Gouldstone, VP of Product and Technology at WeSpire & HBS ‘15

  • Inessa Lurye, Director of Product at Yesware & HBS/MPP ‘13

  • Wombi Rose, CEO & Co-Founder of Lovepop Cards & HBS '15

This session will focus primarily on the role of the PM and Product Founder. There is nothing you need to prepare for the session itself other than the readings below. However, please see the assignment noted after the readings which is an important step in your product development process!

Required Reading

(geared towards aspiring PMs, but many helpful tips for Product Founders!)

  1. An Intro to PM Interviewing - Ellen Chisa

  2. Four Mistakes New Product Managers Make - Matt Schnitt

  3. Seven Essential Skills for the Full Stack Product Person - Alex Cowan

  4. Be a Great Product Leader - Adam Nash

  5. Product Strategy Means Saying No - Des Traynor

  6. Landing an Entry Level PM/APM Role and Do Product Managers Really Need a Background in CS? - Jackie Bavaro

 

Recommended Reading

  1. Cracking the PM Interview - Gayle McDowell & Jackie Bavaro

  2. PM at Microsoft - Steven Sinofsky

  3. What Does a PM at Facebook Do? - Russ Heddleston

 

Assignment

Based on the discussions we’ve had in our sessions, map out 1-2 low-fidelity tests for your product. Things to consider:
 

  • What key steps in the user or customer journey can you test without any tech?

  • Do not try to do the whole set of features/capabilities you intend for your product. Make it realistic to do over a short period of time, like an afternoon. Use this time/effort constraint to force you to focus on where you want to learn and how to do this simply. For example, having someone right down the list of things you’d expect them to fill out in an online form to test for completeness or giving cards with alerts someone might get on their phone and asking people how they’d respond to each message (including time/sequence of said messages).

  • Get creative! These tests could cost nothing other than your time (and your test subjects’ time!).

 

By 5PM Sunday, October 1, post a link to the Assignment master tab “Oct 2 - Lo-Fi” with your team’s low fidelity test plan, including:

  1. A full script of the test(s), including props, tools, etc. to be used in the test.

  2. A list of the questions you are trying to answer in the test(s).

  3. Each test’s success metrics - how do you know the tests were successful/questions answered? Tie back these tests to your assumptions/hypothesis about the target personas. Examples:

    1. Our assumption is that the target persona gets frustrated at point Y in the “xyz” process. We will test that the user gets frustrated at point Y in the process by.... We will know this is true, when the user says/does….at this point in the process.

    2. We believe it takes too long for the persona to get “xyz” done between steps 3 and 4 of their process. We will measure the average time between step 3 and step four. We will know that the process is too long if the time between steps 3 and 4 is longer than “n” minutes.

    3. We believe our target persona will change their behavior from “x” to “y” when they have “xyz” tool to do “abc”. We will test that their behavior changes from “x” to “y” by giving them “manual version of xyz” to use for “n” time. We will know that they are willing to change their behavior using “xyz” when the persona says/does “certain behavior n number of times” after using the tool for “n” period of time.
       

Julia Austin, Senior Lecturer

Harvard Business School

Rock Center 115