Posted on 11 Jul 2013

Last month one of our Product Managers, Vaughn Harber, shared his journey from Product Analyst to Product Manager at a recent Product Anonymous event, and the team at Prod Anon have very kindly agreed to let us share some of their blog content with you.

Vaughn joined PUP a little over 18 months ago as a Product Analyst.  In that time he describes his learning curve as steep and fast; having learnt a lot along the way, he wanted to impart some of his learnings to those who might be where he was not so long ago – at the beginning of their product management journey.

The format of the session allowed some of the more seasoned PM’s at the event to concur or offer additional advice at key points. Vaughn shaped his presentation around three key themes that would have been of significant value if he had known them from day one!

The three areas he identified as tying together what he does every day are Vision, Design and Execution. One of the critical insights Vaughn shared with the audience was that without vision it is very hard to ensure that your product is delivering. Comments from the group endorsed this view and highlighted it as an imperative part of the Product Management role to make it clear and continue to share the vision in order to make the Design stage is that much more effective.

Design felt a much easier concept for him to grasp and the group agreed, with experienced product managers volunteering their insights and  a consensus that it can be the toughest area for a Product Manager to embrace, as it’s often an area they are really passionate about. The advice was to let go a little and encourage the involvement from other teams to get the best designs and outcome for the product, and inevitably the customer.

So these first two stages can be done brilliantly only to see it fall apart at the execution phase. A fabulous comment made here was around checking in with the correct audience – in other words, if you have only ever asked like-minded people whether they like the product and then wish to launch to a much wider group – you might find the execution phase a tough one.

Never mistake yourself for the end user! The last of the call-outs were the Do’s and the Don’ts!  Vaughn’s lists were well received and endorsed by the group. Another great session of knowledge sharing and experiences, kicked off brilliantly by Vaughn and hearty contributions from our Prod Anon-ers.

Vaughn is the latest member of our Australian team to head to one of our global offices, taking up a hybrid account – product management role with our UK team in a matter of weeks. If you’d like to learn more about working at PageUp, check out our Careers Site, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

Want to be a Prod Anon-er? Take a look at their upcoming events.