How can product leaders cultivate user centric product strategies? In this episode of the Product Leaders to Watch Series with Cognizant Product Director Chenny Solaiyappan, Twitch Product VP Stephanie J. Neill speaks on her career journey and insights into building great products. Stephanie discusses the importance of identifying meaningful problems to solve and her impactful work reducing immigration wait times. She shares tips for product managers, emphasizing the need for grit, humility, and the ability to navigate ambiguity and conflict. The conversation provides valuable perspectives on user-centric product strategies and what makes an exceptional product leader.

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Show Notes

  1. Stephanie has had a product mindset her whole life and sees it as a problem-solving approach.
  2. She found fulfillment solving meaningful problems through her work at the White House.
  3. Stephanie played a key role reducing immigration wait times through technical transformations.
  4. A great product solves a meaningful problem in a delightful and sustainable way.
  5. User-centric product strategies are critical for product success.
  6. Usability testing and design practices are undervalued but important.
  7. Exciting tech trends include AI and people working on critical services.
  8. The AAB looks for products that solve meaningful problems delightfully and sustainably.
  9. As a PM, having grit and being goal-oriented but flexible is important.
  10. PMs must be humble and avoid self-promotion.
  11. Leaning into ambiguity and conflict is key for navigating uncertainty as a PM.
  12. Keeping issues small and resolving misalignment is part of embracing challenges.
  13. Organizing chaos and having a clear mental model helps PM work.
  14. Talent is needed to build accessible systems, especially for underserved groups.
  15. Healthcare data fragmentation poses challenges for AI and machine learning.
  16. Transitioning services to digital can improve lives through reduced wait times.
  17. Finding the right problems and solutions requires creativity and an open mindset.
  18. Soft skills like communication and empathy are as vital as technical skills for PMs.
  19. Defining what makes a great product evolves each year.
  20. There is no shortage of meaningful problems in government in need of solutions.

About the speaker
Stephanie J. Neill Twitch, VP of Product Member

Stephanie Neill is a Product Executive with almost 20 years of experience across some of the internet’s biggest brands, including Lions Gate Entertainment, The New York Times, InterActiveCorp (IAC), and Amazon's wildly popular Stephanie is a big believer in sharing Product Management best practices and building community and has founded multiple Product communities across the United States, including Women in Product DC Chapter, ProductCamp San Francisco, and UXNY.

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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