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How to Get Into Product Management by Splunk Dir of Field PM

- You can become a Product Manager regardless of your current role - There are multiple paths to getting into Product Management which include getting an MBA or choosing intermediary roles like Technical Marketing/Solutions Architect - As a new Product Manager you'll be most successful if you build on your strengths and learn about your product, customers, industry and competition
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  • 1. How to Get Into Product Management by Splunk Dir of Field PM
  • 2. Join 35,000+Product Managers on Free Resources Discover great job opportunities Job Portal
  • 3. C O U R S E S Product Management Learn the skills you need to land a Product Manager job
  • 4. C O U R S E S Coding for Managers Build a website and gain the technical knowledge to lead software engineers
  • 5. C O U R S E S Data Analytics for Managers Learn the skills to understand web analytics, SQL and machine learning concepts
  • 6. C O U R S E S Learn how to acquire more users and convert them into clients Digital Marketing for Managers
  • 7. C O U R S E S UX Design for Managers Gain a deeper understanding of your users and deliver an exceptional end-to- end experience
  • 8. C O U R S E S For experienced Product Managers looking to gain strategic skills needed for top leadership roles Product Leadership
  • 9. C O U R S E S Corporate Training Level up your team’s Product Management skills
  • 10. Narayanan Krishnamoorthy T O N I G H T ’ S S P E A K E R
  • 11. WhoAmI? Work: ❖ Product Management (7 years) ➢ Built 4 families of products → 20+ products ➢ Worked on all aspects of Product Management → Concept to Grave ➢ 1 approved and 2 pending patents ❖ Technical Marketing Engineering (~2 years) ❖ QA/Engineering (~2.5 years) Personal: ❖ Father and Husband ❖ Spartan Follow me: LinkedIn: ayanankrishna moorthy/ Twitter: @kumar2907 Instagram: kumar2907
  • 12. My journey to Product Management-ville ● Started in QA out of grad school - hands-on, challenging labs, documentation, beta support ● Didn’t want to invest time and $$ in an MBA ● Joined the TME team ( 300 engg : 1 TME) ● Built a rapport with the PM team and added value to their day to day role ● Transitioned to PM within my group @ Cisco ● Moved to Aerohive as a Sr.PM and eventually led the team responsible for 80% of company revenue ● Moved to Splunk as Engineering for over 2 years out of grad school but wanted a customer facing role ● Director of Field PM
  • 13. What to expect today? 1. Product Management - Explore, Understand, Decide, Prepare 2. Interviewing for the role 3. Expected Challenges and Mitigation Strategies 4. Early days - Plan your 30-60-90 5. Q&A
  • 14. Product Management - Explore, Understand, Decide, Prepare
  • 15. Explore, Understand 1. Why? 2. What if? 3. Speak to current PMs in your group - hear their perspective 4. Introspect : SWOT analysis 5. Understand that a PM role emcompasses everything from product definition to GTM → it’s unlike most other rules where repetition is normal
  • 16. Decide and Prepare 1. Decide if PM is for you. 2. Preparation: (length of preparation depends on your current role and available time for preparation) a. Know the product b. Know the customers c. Know the industry d. Know the competition 3. Most orgs need prior PM experience. How would you tackle that? a. Moving to a PM role within your current company is more viable than looking elsewhere b. Look for intermediate roles which can eventually lead to PM c. Talk to PMs within your org and find areas of contribution
  • 17. Your journey to Product Management
  • 18. Product Manager MBA Engineering Sales Technical Sales Marketing Education/Training Technical Marketing/Solution Experts Starting point Destination
  • 19. Interviews
  • 20. What to Expect? ● Variables: ○ Interviewers’ background and biases ○ Role’s requirement ○ Company culture ○ Appetite for non-PMs ○ Timing ○ Urgency ● Sometimes, all at once
  • 21. Some Potential Landmines and How to Tackle Them ● “You don’t have former PM experience” ○ Focus on elements of your current role that are applicable to the PM role. ● “We need someone to hit the ground running” ○ Get into the details: What are their top priorities? How do they define success? ○ Express your appetite to do more and learn ● You’re not a PM. What value do you bring to the table? ○ Focus on key aspects about your current role - Product knowledge, customer knowledge, competitive, messaging/positioning etc
  • 22. The New PM Gal/Guy - Expected Challenges
  • 23. First week/month: Questions on your mind ● What are the team dynamics within the PM team? ● What is my role? ● Who are my partners/counterparts? ● What makes me valuable? ● How can I add value? ● Where can I add value? ● When in doubt, who do I ask ? ● Do I need additional training to be better at my job? ● Where can I find supporting resources?
  • 24. Challenges and Possible Mitigations Challenge: Lack of clarity about the role/ownership Solution: Meet your manager as soon as you can to understand his/her expectations of you and document your shared understanding Challenge: Insufficient knowledge about PM best practices Solution: PM training should start even before you interview. Enroll in formal training. Read books - interviews, best practices, blogs etc Challenge: How can I add value? Solution: Think about your role before PM. Engineers know the technology/product well. QA are very hands on. Marketing folks are good with storytelling. Sales are good with customers. Each role can bring in value.
  • 25. Challenges and Possible Mitigations….continued Challenge: Haven’t presented the product/roadmap in front of customers/audience Solution: Get access to the relevant decks sooner than later. Prepare your script. Present it to a trusted friend/manager Challenge: Haven’t analyzed financial data before Solution: Review old reports, speak with finance, get access to your ERP system, speak with PM peers who have do this on a regular basis
  • 26. Questions you shouldn’t be asking ● How do I learn the product? ● How do I sound like a PM? ● Do I need to know other aspects of PM? I’m really good at ABC aspects of PM.
  • 27. Make Yourself Relevant ● Bring your expertise from your old role ● Know the product ● Don’t be afraid to get hands on ● Research your sales trends, customer base, ASP, market segmentation ● Review old PRD/MRD/pricing/positioning decks to acclimatize yourself with templates ● Find opportunities to contribute early
  • 28. Build your 30-60-90 ● Mutually agreed 30-60-90 day plan with your manager ● Set achievable but moderately challenging goals which add value to the org ● Get written agreement from your manager ● Review it every 2 weeks to ensure on track delivery ● Get a mix of technical and business goals ● Use this time to ask questions about doing things differently. Only you have an outsider’s perspective.
  • 29. In Summary: 10 Things To Remember 1. You can be a Product Manager, regardless of your current role 2. Investing in an MBA is one path to get into Product Management 3. Intermediary roles to get to Product Management is another viable choice 4. Preparation - for the interview should start 2-3 months before plans to interview 5. Know - the product, technology, customers, business, industry and competition 6. Ask - Don’t be afraid to bring up ideas and seek clarity 7. Be an excellent storyteller - adept in presenting in front of audiences 8. Visit customers/sales at least once a quarter 9. Build a trusted relationship with your counterparts (engg/ops/marketing/sales) 10.Remember to have fun
  • 30. Part-time Product Management, Coding, Data Analytics, Digital Marketing, UX Design, Product Leadership courses and Corporate Training
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