If you’ve been in product management for a while, you have the scars to prove it. The process of developing and bringing products to market is as unique, different and varied for every business and product as there are food choices in a supermarket. And with this variety comes challenges to success in every size, shape and color. BPMA and BWP offer a wealth of networking events that allow you to connect with experienced product managers that are willing to share their valuable field tested experiences and possible solutions to your challenges.
As Michelle Obama has said, “You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” You have the opportunity to work with leading product managers who have faced and overcome adversity so take advantage of it! Join Boston Women in Product on September 21st for a dinner with local, experienced product professionals to swap stories, common challenges, and gain ideas on how to tackle them.
Here are some stories and words of advice from Boston Women in Product leaders on common issues that seasoned product professionals face.
Vanessa Ferranto, Director of Product Management, The Grommet
Stakeholder management: As you grow in your role, stakeholders will expand beyond your project teams and include senior and executive levels. Building trust is key, and as they say, trust is earned – it doesn’t happen overnight. This requires building stronger relationships. It is important to understand that the Product Manager is the one who ultimately decides the definition of a project or product. This experience and developed skill is critical as you continue to grow in your career as a Product Manager. In addition to providing value to your customers, you will also have the opportunity to better understand the impact your products have internally.
Cait Porte, VP of Product & Customer Experience, Zmags
Saying no: One of the biggest challenges for Product people is ensuring that their team is working on the right ‘stuff’. As you grow in your role, you find yourself saying no more frequently. How do you work with your stakeholders, both internal and external, to communicate why a feature might fall all the priority list or how an enhancement that your customers desperately need might not be in the cards? It’s important for product managers to effectively communicate not just the decision, but the justification behind the decision.
Emera Trujillo, Senior Product Manager, Visible Measures
Cross-functional collaboration: As you lead increasingly large and complex initiatives, cross-functional collaboration becomes ever more important. Communication – and building & maintaining a communication infrastructure – is key in rallying support and guiding a diverse group of stakeholders towards a common goal. Stakeholders and different functional teams will have different communication needs and in order to be a successful product manager, you’ll often need to adapt your communication style and cadence to meet those needs. Approach the development of any communication infrastructure like you would a feature – research, prototype, test, iterate – until it works.
Come share your experiences with other seasoned product managers over dinner on Thursday, September 21st. As space will be limited, take this survey to let us know that you are interested. We will follow up with event details.
Boston Women in Product (BWP) is a community that empowers women to be influencers in their role inspiring them to make a difference and grow in their career. Our mission is to inspire, equip and help advance women in product by encouraging career leadership, development, support, mentoring, and building relationships with like-minded women. The BWP comes together throughout the year in local Boston area events. We gather women together to learn and affect one another in an open, casual setting. We aim to bring expertise from the product community and connect that with women striving to grow in their product career. Open to anyone interested in helping advance women in their product careers. We hope to see you at our next event.