Fundamentals of Product Management
Learn today’s newest skills and tools for delivering products that customers love and that work for the business, across the product and market life cycles, diving into the competencies needed at each stage.
8-10 Hours per Week
Today’s product managers are visionaries, leaders, collaborators, and coaches that work across teams and functional expertise to create competitive and loved products. This requires startup and corporate strategy, product strategy, vision setting and evangelism. Students will learn the basics of customer discovery, product discovery, product delivery, and the core-context model for managing products through maturity. This course will also cover how these change given the product adoption lifecycle and the market life cycle maturity, including how to detect which stage you are in and what types of strategies can be employed at each stage.
What You'll Learn
- Learn the roles and responsibilities in product management, from team roles to leadership roles, and how those change throughout the product life cycle.
- Understand the product life cycle and market life cycle, and the innovation challenges and proposed solutions to move products through these life cycles.
- Develop foundational knowledge and skills in customer discovery, product discovery, product delivery, product evangelism, vision-setting, and coaching through simulations.
- Develop the mindsets and understanding of truly empowered teams and company cultures that enable growth despite macroeconomic factors and conditions.
- Prepare yourself fully to learn the required knowledge and skills to be successful in a career in product management at every level of the organization.
Who Will Benefit
- Aspiring product managers interested in learning the fundamentals framework and approaches, and how product management works across industries and companies.
- Active product managers who want to expand their toolsets, identify gaps, and explore how the best companies at product achieve rapid adoption and growth.
- Agile coaches interested in understanding how product managers enable agility through early pipeline discovery and design to enable products at scale.
- Educators, consultants, and organizational leads desiring to improve their capacity to teach, advise, or empower their constituencies to effectively lead innovation and drive growth across emerging and established markets.
Module 1: What is Product Management?
Understand what is product management, project vs. product, how it relates to complex systems and volume operations, and the role of the product manager leading the product team. Also learn the essentials of the lean revolution, the agile revolution, how product management is enabling Business Agility.
Module 2: Product and Market Life Cycles
Learn the key concepts of how markets are made with theories of utility, jobs-to-be-done theory, and the product and market lifecycle. Explore how products in technology development cross the Chasm using Bowling Alley Strategies and drive towards adoption with Product, Market, and Operational innovation methods.
Module 3: Portfolio Management
Explore how product improvements are screened and selected using various portfolio analytics, visualizations, and strategies. Understand the key differences between Traditional and Agile portfolios, and how they align to strategies and drive changes in resource allocations.
Module 4: Project to Product
Explore the key differences in various delivery approaches, including Traditional, Lean, and Agile and how they differ in use across industries, customer management, and engineering methods. Then go further with DevOps using Lean Analytics, and how Project methodologies have given way to Product organizational strategies.
Module 5: Product Vision and Strategy
What are Strong Product teams? How does the Product Manager role change throughout their career? What are the teams like and the relationship to the Product Designer and Tech Leads? What are the various models of organization?
Module 6: Product Vision and Strategy
Understand product vision principles and how they guide strategy development (go-to-market) and ultimately set objectives and key results (OKRs). Then explore evangelism and how we can create shared visions through joint design and continuous discovery.
Module 7: Customer and Product Discovery
Learn the customer discovery method, including the Four Steps to the epiphany and Lean Startup, as well as the Business Model Canvas. Learn how to create various prototypes before your first Concierge Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to generate ideas and evaluate product solutions. Test across the key risks: value, usability, feasibility, and viability.
Module 8: Product Design
What are the ways we can empathize with the customer? How can we gather validated requirements, manage uncertainty in technologies and user experiences, and solve complex design problems? How can we ensure designs are ready for fabrication, manufacturing, and delivery at scale?
Module 9: Product Delivery
What are the Scaled Product Strategies? How can we enable autonomy at scale, and develop product plans that support large-scale product deliveries across many product teams? What are the various delivery models and their tradeoffs between discipline and innovation?
Module 10: Product Team Leadership
How can we motivate and lead teams and develop great teams? What is needed to coach and sustain performance, and achieve people development of product leaders? How can we negotiate with stakeholders and address our toughest problems of ethics and sustainability?
Coaching and Mentoring
Live Office Hours
Peer Interactions and Networking
Founder and CEO, Squarespace
Project Management Center of Excellence
University of Maryland
John Johnson serves as the Strategic Program Manager at the University of Maryland's Project Management Center for Excellence. He leads the initiatives that help grow the Project Management Center for Excellence across its three pillars: Academic Excellence, Outreach and Professional Development, and Research. He is primarily responsible for the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) program, which currently is educating over 100,000 enrolled learners across the world. Mr. Johnson also teaches graduate courses on Agile and Predictive management at the University of Maryland’s Project Management Program. Mr. Johnson serves as the Strategic Advisor for Softek Enterprises LLC. Established in 2007, Softek specializes in evolving business systems using Agile, DevOps, and Cloud technologies to deliver working solutions faster for the government’s most critical IT challenges.
Previously, Mr. Johnson served as CTO of Sotek and worked closely with senior Agency influencers to explore and develop solutions. During his tenure he more than doubled Softek revenue annually, while leading multiple deliveries for clients and partners. Prior to Softek, Mr. Johnson served as Senior Agile Project Manager with IBM, where he led multiple development teams building applications for the National Archives Records Administration (NARA). These applications were built on Amazon’s Gov Cloud (AWS) with cutting-edge cloud technologies to process, store, and search the hundreds of petabytes of government records expected at NARA by 2020. This project won “Project of the Year” across all of IBM globally for its success in project management innovation in 2015. He also worked as a Management Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, where he led projects for the Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy from optimizing site investments and posture for Reserve forces, to developing award-winning project analysis and portfolio management software to optimize billions in shore energy investments.