We recently sat down with Credit Karma Associate Director of Product Management, Christina Lucey, to discuss her role on the Product Awards Advisory Board. Her focus for the awards is ‘Building’ and what it takes to execute a product. We cover what that means for product managers and what can make the build phase of product management award-winning.
These are the four stages of building a product:
Building a Product & Executing an Idea
“Good planning without good working is nothing.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower.
As a product manager, you need to assess how you’re doing compared to the plan that was set forth from the start. From there, you can decide if adjustments are needed and then communicate and document those changes to your team. Lucey believes that a good product manager cannot create a plan that has time, scope and quality all set in stone. One of those aspects must be flexible for a team to hit its goals.
What Does a Product Manager Contribute to Building a Product?
Every member of a product team has value to add to a project and it’s important to understand what role the PM will have in a build. Different experiences can lead to unique contributions to a product build. A product manager can contribute to a build and use the collective brainpower of their team to create the most value in a product.
Building Your Team
Product managers don’t just build products, they build teams. The process of building a team includes sourcing and connecting with potential candidates for a product build, assessing the talents available to the team, hiring the best people for the task at hand and then growing the team as the project requires.
Establishing a Culture
A team is not complete once a new hire is brought into the fold. Just as important as finding the right people is building a culture.
Here are questions to ask when developing a culture:
- How do you work?
- What are the accepted norms?
- What are your values?
- How does the team come together?
Building a product is only one aspect of product management. Just as important as following and adjusting the plan is how the team is managed and cultivated. Not to mention the contributions of the PM themselves.
About the speaker
Christina is a product leader with a passion for crafting. After six internships and four years studying computer science at the University of Waterloo, she found product management. After a few years of building a foundation in execution, she launched her first product at BlackBerry in 2011. Since then she been hooked on crafting new digital things ever since. Her efforts on growth and mobile helped propel Yammer towards acquisition. Following that, Christina headed up product at early stage companies twice. Currently she’s at Credit Karma where she is the leader for new product initiatives. When she’s not crafting products or podcasting, you can find her reading, cooking, working on her fitness, or channeling her inner Martha Stewart.