I have been working now for a whopping 13 years in Product Management and Product Delivery. Following a MA (1999-2000) in interactive media I dipped my toes into Interactive TV for several years until I ended up at Sky where inevitably the focus for Interactive became SkyBet, as that was where the money was.
In 2004 I then moved onto pastures new in Sky, left the satelitte office that was WestCross House and began working with the core product team, initially dubbed New Product Development (NPD) but eventually evolving into SPD (Strategic Product Development) in this role my focus was on concept through to delivery of SkyHD boxes and EPGs and any in home devices (Routers/cabling/WiFibridges)
I was lucky enough to be the core Product owner of nationwide product launch which involved coordinating a UK wide team of 250+ project managers, supply chain and operational staff, finance and marketing, research, technical and corporate teams…This was for the first UK 1TB box, which also had the accolade of being on time, and on budget!
Since leaving Sky I have further developed my skills in defining clear and deliverable Product Strategies at two SMEs, creating end to end Product Management Processes and putting in place and training up a Product Management team from scratch.
In my career to date I have worked across several channels, sectors and for a multitude of end users/audiences and believe the crux of product strategy and innovation is always the same:
Understanding the market landscape into which your existing and new products are intended, ensuring a complete and expert knowledge is shared internally of all your competitors, this then leads into Idea Generation (Ideation) where all employees from operations, help desk through to developers and designers get a chance to offer their ideas into the pot for consideration. At Sky I spearheaded an internal idea generation scheme for core product that was adopted company wide. A high level of tech ability is also key as a successful Product Manager you need to be able to talk to your development team at a fairly low level in order to truly be the product owner and be accountable for the end delivery. A passion for UX is also key to ensure you are always considered the product expert you need to know your end user. Finally, business savvy is essential to be able to manage your internal stakeholders and product a solid business cases and product rationale as well as knowing how to measure the success of your product in life.
I have been a product owner, run teams of product managers and at times – done both! Over the years I have gathered up a wealth of how NOT to do it, and thankfully – how to do it right.
The purpose of this blog is to share and help anyone who is looking for a bit of guidance in their role as product manager. As we are not always lucky enough to have someone in our company that has the time or the inclination to help out those who have the potential but not the years of experience….
I am happy to write posts based on your questions and take the lead from you on what areas will be of interest.