How can product leaders design human-centered products? In this episode of the Product Leaders to Watch Series with Cognizant Product Director Chenny Solaiyappan, NASA Fmr Chief of Human Systems Engineering and Integration Division Dr. Jennifer Rochlis discusses her unique path from NASA to private sector roles, emphasizing her focus on human-centered design. She stresses the importance of considering the human as part of the system across the entire product lifecycle. The episode provides insights into Dr. Rochlis’ experience in designing systems for stressful human environments and her perspectives on integrating stakeholders from different disciplines.

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Show Notes

  1. Dr. Rochlis has a non-traditional background transitioning from NASA to private sector product roles.
  2. She focused on human-centered design and human systems integration at NASA.
  3. Her work at NASA centered around human survival and possibility in high-risk environments.
  4. She emphasizes designing for the human as part of the system from the beginning.
  5. Lifecycle costs are largely determined in the early design phases.
  6. Great products consider sustainability and modularity over the full lifecycle.
  7. Products should enhance capabilities and services sustainably.
  8. Simple, elegant solutions can be the most impactful.
  9. Integrating stakeholders from all disciplines is key for product managers.
  10. Make tradeoffs regarding budget, timeline, resources and requirements.
  11. Validation is important to ensure solutions meet actual customer needs.
  12. Regulatory and ethical considerations are important for AI and new technologies.
  13. Design for training and maintenance from the start.
  14. Most costs are incurred after development in operations and sustainment.
  15. Designing for maintenance turnaround times is important to meet goals.
  16. Verification alone is not enough, you also need validation of intended use.
  17. Integration skills are important for product managers to balance stakeholders.
  18. Product leaders have to make tough decisions regarding priorities and capabilities.
  19. Considering the full ecosystem is important, not just the individual product.
  20. Simple, elegant solutions can provide an “Aha!” moment for users.

About the speaker
Jennifer Rochlis, Ph.D. NASA, Fmr Chief, Human Systems Engineering and Integration Division Member

Dr. Jennifer Rochlis has spent her career bridging the sciences with the human element and strives to bring that synergistic approach to her clients. She is the President and CEO of Advancing Frontiers, a consulting company providing spaceflight integration services. Prior to that she was the Vice President for Products and Solution Architecture at Teledyne FLIR, and in her 20 years at NASA, she was a Division Chief in the Human Health and Performance Directorate, a Branch Chief in the Engineering Directorate, and an Associate Director Human Resources. She received her B.A. in Physics at Mount Holyoke College, her M.S. and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has authored numerous publications and book chapters in the areas of human factors engineering, human-machine interfaces, telerobotics, bioastronautics, and human systems integration - including the agency-wide NASA Human Systems Integration Practitioner’s Guide. She also has 15 years of non-profit board and advisory experience, and is a STEM career mentor, and active speaker in the areas of human-centered design and leadership. Dr. Rochlis is also an entrepreneur with her own coaching company, providing integrative coaching for individual clients and teams, towards both personal and professional advancement. She is Miracle Minded Master Coach trained by Marianne Williamson, Board Certified as an Alternative Medical Practitioner and Holistic Health Practitioner, and a certified Quantum Human Design Practitioner and Family Coach.

About the host
Chenny Solaiyappan Cognizant, Director, Product Management, Government Health programs

Chenny Solaiyappan is the Director of Product Management for Cognizant Trizetto's Government and Quality Solutions, and a founding member of the ClaimSphere suite of products, encompassing quality, HEDIS ®, CMS Stars, and clinical solutions. An accomplished Intrapreneur and Lean Startup Practitioner, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the overall product strategy and serves as the HL7 DaVinci Business Co-chair. With a notable track record, Chenny has provided consultancy to over 30 health plans across the nation, consistently raising Quality and Star ratings in Medicaid, Medicare, Federal Employees Health Plan, and Commercial health plan sectors, collectively supporting 30 million lives. His outstanding leadership and innovative contributions have earned him prestigious awards, including the 2023 Top 20 Global Product Manager Award by Products That Count, as well as the 2021 and 2019 Product of the Year awards by Cognizant Trizetto.

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