Amy Lin offers practical advice for product managers who struggle to incorporate data analysis into their product management toolkit.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Luke Chesser via Unsplash

Answer from Amy Lin

Amy Lin works on product management and strategy at Verizon Media. You can find her on Twitter at @amywtlin.

Introduction

Data is such an integral part of a product manager’s daily job. It backs you up when you suggest an approach and helps you prioritize by validating or invalidating a “gut feeling” so your initiatives are based on more than just hunches; data also helps you evaluate if a feature should be rolled out to general release.

However, data can be biased and sometimes even misleading. This article aims to help you understand what to consider when you’re examining numbers with the objective of using data to arrive at fair, unbiased insights. Throughout the article, I’ll also cite a few examples that show how and where you can potentially find data (note, though, that organizations treat the usage of data differently). …


As another year draws to a close, we look back at the articles that we published to answer the community’s questions in 2019. Looking for advice from Women in Product? We’re accepting questions for 2020.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Fabian Irsara on Unsplash

The 5 Most Viewed Posts of 2019

This year’s Top 5 questions show that, while women in PM roles continue to grapple with imposter syndrome, we are also focused on career growth and continuous learning.

  1. How do I know if I’m a good fit for a PM role?

Do you ever feel like you’re in way over your head and you’re not quite sure if you even have the essential skills that a good PM needs? When imposter syndrome gets the better of you, the tactics in this post offer a way to work past the doubts that are holding you back. …


The more senior you are, the greater is the likelihood that your work involves more than delivering working code. In this post, Lisa Wagner explains how she measures and celebrates the intangible wins.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Masha Manaenko via Twenty20

This week’s question: As a PM without working code as a deliverable, where do you find pride in what you do? When what you’re producing is less tangible, where do you find your wins and feel like you’re succeeding?

Answer from Lisa Mo Wagner

Lisa Mo Wagner is a Product Manager at Zattoo. You can find her on Twitter at @lisamowagner.

The work of a product manager is more than just delivering working code. In fact, the more senior your role is, the more likely it is that you won’t have any code-related deliverables at all. …


Eleanor Stribling shares interviewing and career tips from her perspective as a hiring manager who has conducted dozens of interviews in the past year for her growing team.

Image for post
Image for post
Resume writing photo by vinnikava via Twenty20

This week’s question: How can an engineer break into Product Management? What transferrable skills do you look for and how can one attain those skills?

Answer from Eleanor Stribling

Eleanor Stribling is Group Product Manager at Zendesk and the woman behind @productized_io. You can reach her on Twitter at @eleanorstrib.

The short answer

Let me start with the short answer: get as much product-related experience as you can where you work now to get around the “can’t get the job if you haven’t done the job” problem. …


The skills that lie at the heart of Product Management are the same skills that you can use to plan your career. Whitney Doyle explains.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by KoysoStudio via Twenty20

Answer from Whitney Doyle

Whitney Doyle is a Senior Product Manager at Lifesize and formerly a Product Manager at Rosetta Stone. You can find her on Twitter at @tolleywk

Manage your career like you would manage your product

If you are interested in a career in Product Management, chances are you are someone with great ideas, the determination to bring those ideas to life, and you may even have the business acumen to make your ideas stand out from the competition. Dreaming, planning, and making it happen are skills that lie at the heart of Product Management, and those are also the same skills that you can use to plan your career. So why not approach your career in a similar way that you would manage your products? …


Not every product needs a Machine Learning-based solution. This week, Kenlyn Terai offers a framework for assessing if ML is right for your business needs, then outlines how you can go about incorporating an ML-based solution into your product roadmap.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Bea Rose via Twenty20

Answer from Kenlyn Terai

Author’s note: While working as a global product manager at Agilent, I became enamored with advanced statistics and its business applications during my MBA at UCLA Anderson, where I studied modeling and prediction with Dr. Richard Stern and One-to-One Marketing and Marketing Research with Dr. Anand Bodapati. When I later worked as an Engineering instructor and Developer, I sought best-practice insights from Machine Learning (ML) Product Management practitioners to understand how ML is utilized in building applications. …


Sara Nofeliyan and Merci Victoria Grace share insights and lessons learned from their experiences as growth product managers.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by TatianaMara via Twenty20

This week’s question: Tech startups and leading companies are achieving breakthrough results by viewing product development and marketing as integrated functions, not silos. The vital Growth Product Manager role encapsulates this approach. What are the keys to success as a Growth PM? How do I build successful Growth Teams?

Answer from Sara Nofeliyan

Sara Nofeliyan is Lead Product Manager — Growth at Varo and former Product Manager at Acorns. You’ll find her on Twitter at @nofeliyan.

If you belong to an organization that has no blueprint or precedent for growth teams, it can be exciting (and occasionally daunting) to be responsible for creating one. …


Editor’s note: This week, Heather Savatta continues our series entitled #PMSkillsAreLifeSkills by describing how the Savatta household uses Kanban to stay organized.

Image for post
Image for post
Kanban View of Monday.com, from their Press Kit

Answer from Heather Savatta

Heather Savatta is Director, Concert Solutions at Vox Media. You can find her on Twitter at @heathraff

Introduction

You can (and should) Kanban your life! By applying your practical Product skills outside of work, you can improve the efficiency of your everyday life.

What is Kanban?

Kanban is a practice and a framework that was originally used in manufacturing and was later adapted to software development. …


Editor’s note: This week, Terhi Hänninen continues our series entitled #PMSkillsAreLifeSkills by sharing just how powerful Values and Principles can be for PMs and parents alike.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by @InstaCPTguy via Twenty20

Answer from Terhi Hänninen

Terhi Hänninen is a Senior Product Manager at Zalando SE. You can find her on Twitter at @thanninen

If I had to pick the most useful lesson I’ve learned from parenting that applies just as much to product management, it would have to be the importance of principles and values.

Early in my career, I had the illusion that I would be the one calling all the shots when it came to my product. I soon realized that this mode of working would only overwhelm me: I became the bottleneck on most tasks. I struggled to keep up with the stream of questions from my development team. And when my stakeholders asked me to explain the “why” of my decisions, I would have no clear answer. I eventually realized that, because I had become the bottleneck, I was working almost entirely in reactive mode — making decisions on-the-fly, answering questions in the heat of the moment, focusing so much on the what that I had lost sight of the why. …


Editor’s note: When you spend a good chunk of your working day doing Product Management work, it only seems natural that you’d start applying PM skills and techniques in other areas of life as well. This week, Stephanie Muxfeld and Vidya Venkatesh share their takes on the hashtag #PMSkillsAreLifeSkills.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by @socialroby via Twenty20

Answer from Stephanie Muxfeld

Stephanie Muxfeld is a Delivery Leadership Consultant at Slalom. You can find her on Twitter at @stephmuxfeld.

There are a lot of similarities between product management and parenting. Don’t get me wrong; I know plenty of people who do one role without the other and they are wonderful at it. I do believe, however, that there is a special advantage to be gained by those who have both roles and know how to leverage the lessons learned in one role when they work on the other. …

About

Women in Product

A global community of women working in Product Management.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store