Tackling Product into a thing

I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved so far and who I’ve been privileged to work with. Taking that and applying it to the next challenge is really important, I really care about a few things:

  • making things that are really easy to use and just work
  • helping others to develop while they do what they do
  • making technology accessible and relevant
  • fixing problems and understanding how things work

I think that’s why I’ve ended up working in Product Management. I find a real personal satisfaction in sharing something, seeing people use it, fixing the things that don’t work, and working with a team of people to do that together.

I’m now moving roles, I’m going to be Head of Product and User Centred Design.

It’s safe to say that Product Management is contentious but very necessary. Not only do we have Product Managers (people who work with Delivery Managers, Software Engineers, BAs, User Researchers and UX Designers) we also have Product Owners (people from a business area that represent their needs and priorities). It’s obvious that conflict arises from that. Some Product Managers have to work with multiple Product Owners, often trying to solve the problems in their areas and building up a reputation that says no more than yes. It’s tough. That’s one thing I’m going to tackle.

I feel really fortunate to work with a great group of Product Managers to make this happen. We have between us a lot of experience from inside and outside public service, from technical and non-technical backgrounds and we’re a diverse bunch. But we can get better, we need to find great training, support and mentoring for all of us. We need a set of communities that support growth and challenge. We need to be able to share the problems in deciding what to do and have the chance to move around roles to get different experiences. I need new people to come through from junior positions or different professions, we need to create new pathways for them. That’s some other things I’m going to tackle.

What about me? What about that top paragraph? Well that’s a harder challenge. At times like this I’ve experienced anxiety, impostor syndrome and been depressed. That’s not to compare my experiences to others who manage that on a daily basis, it’s just how it is. And it’s quite often my family that feel that the most. I’m going to be kinder to myself and say no to things that do not need me.

Finally I’m going to tackle sharing this change (any suggestions please!). If you would like to talk about my work, you can find me on Twitter.

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