I am a product manager, which essentially means I identify features to add to the product based on data and research insights. This is not a one-woman job. Our team is all about collaboration, and I work VERY closely with our engineering team to narrow down problems, shape ideas, and support the development process.
Together we constantly create and optimize processes to streamline product development, then when it’s all put together in a nice and shiny package we define and analyze metrics that inform the success of the product.
The short answer is I didn’t.
At the time, there wasn’t really a path to becoming a product manager at school. It’s really something I learned by doing in the companies that I worked for. To be fair, I guess I also use, to some extent, what I learned at Centrale Lyon and EMLyon. There I learned, in a broad sense, the understanding of code, data analysis, as well as business sense.
Where I really learned product management was in my previous company working as an agile coach, where I was lucky to get the opportunity to learn from great mentors. Here we helped companies launch MVPs (minimum viable product) or reach PMF (product-market fit) and my position was to provide the best environment/working framework for the squad using scrum, lean, etc. & design thinking methodologies. This allowed us to create a product fast, but mainly and more importantly, to create business and user value!
Throughout my whole experience, this motto rang true: ‘learn by doing’
If I have to choose one, I’d say ‘empathy’.
Product managers MUST be empathic! We need to care about our users, feel their pain points, and their aspirations in order for us to build the best product for them!
Being able to analyze quantitative data is key, but our users are not numbers.
Likewise, empathy is also key in terms of the teamwork inside the squad, and the organization as a whole. This helps me to get close to the developers and create a space of trust and benevolence. And when we have that, nothing can stop us from working well as a team, to continuously improve!
It prevents us from falling into the classic ‘order/execution’ relationship.
I saw a product management position open and I was really motivated to get my first product management experience where I could have an impact & responsibilities. Plus, it was great to join the team and be able to use my coach agile experience to help to structure the job and learn as I continued to grow into this position.
I stayed because of (and thanks to) the Team. Wouldn’t be here without them!
Because my job changed so much over the months, from our V2 reformat, to optimizing the platform, to building a new product from scratch, to impacting teams and shaping up methods, it allowed me to experience different parts of what product management can be.
I love action, movement, and spirit for continuous improvement and I get ALL of that at OCUS!