December 12, 2019 PRODUCT MANAGEMENT, PRODUCT MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Neha Taleja is helping to transform access to educational materials through digital innovation (Part 3)

SC Moatti Article Author
Neha Taleja
Macmillan Learning Senior Director of Product

What does being a great product manager mean? Neha Taleja, Senior Director of Product at Macmillan, shares her thoughts below:

Check out part 1 and part 2 of these series.

4 Tips For Being A Great Product Manager

  • Ability to empathize: Have empathy toward users to understand their challenges. Are you building a product that solves a pain point?
  • Understanding technology trends: You need an awareness of how technology is evolving with your customers and users. Also, this is crucial so that the products you’re creating are not already outdated.
  • Data analysis: Objectively building hypothesis, getting evidence, getting subjective quantifiable data to measure and to evaluate decisions are all extremely important skills. 
  • People skills: Seeking buy-in and getting your go-to-market strategy right is no easy task. Especially when you’re working with many different stakeholders, including investors. Having the skills to convince stakeholders that this product will help solve customers’ problems is crucial. 

Advice for Working in EdTech

Being a great product manager means you keep learning. What we know is just the beginning of what is possible. Due to this, it’s important to develop the ability to constantly shift your thought process. And, you need the ability to learn the things that affect your processes, based on how your consumers operate.

Most importantly, avoid becoming overconfident. Many product managers develop an overconfidence bias in and I’ve been one of those myself. It takes a lot of understanding to overcome an overconfidence bias. Learn to self-calibrate and correct your bias. Make sure that you’re not letting this affect your work and the problems you’re trying to solve. Keep learning and be curious.

About the Speaker
Neha Taleja
Macmillan Learning Senior Director of Product
Neha is the Senior Director of Product at Macmillan. She is leading a set of start-up products under the institutional group aimed to address challenges in higher education such as affordability of educational materials, retention and student success. She has been building, growing and scaling products in the ed-tech space for the past decade. Her experience ranging from course-ware solutions, student facing applications, to analytics and insights tools for decision makers. She has also had the honor to contribute in the non-profit sector, bridging access to quality education gap in underserved communities in over 13 countries.

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