Andrea Ippolito is both a lecturer for and the Executive Director of the Engineering Management Program at Cornell University. She recently completed her role as the Director of the Innovators Network at the Department of Veterans Affairs and she previously served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the VA Center for Innovation based out of the White House Office of Science Technology Policy and General Services Administration. She previously was a Ph.D. student in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT, co-founder of Smart Scheduling, Innovation Specialist at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital Innovation Hub, and Co-Director of MIT’s Hacking Medicine. She also served as a Product Innovation Manager at athenahealth and completed her M.S. in Engineering and Management at MIT. Prior to MIT, Ippolito worked as a Research Scientist within the Corporate Technology Development group at Boston Scientific. She obtained both her B.S. in Biological Engineering in 2006 and Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering in 2007 from Cornell University.
To be successful, product managers need a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They also need a clear sense of the required skills and competencies. An appreciation of the roles, responsibilities, and requisite capabilities of this important position is also beneficial for stakeholders and team members who need to work closely with product managers.
This course lays the foundation for success in product management by exploring a product manager's position in an organization and the key associated responsibilities. You will examine the specific skills and competencies most likely to lead to success in carrying out those responsibilities. To further improve your understanding of product management, you will consider how product managers typically work with a product team and other stakeholders to develop successful products, whether they be digital products, hardware, or service offerings.
Before a product is developed, product managers must know how to organize and manage a team. They must understand the typical product development life cycle and be able to select an appropriate development methodology. They must lead the process of identifying and embracing core principles and values appropriate for their team, and they must engage effectively with stakeholders and funding sources.
This course will help build skills in the “nuts and bolts” of product team leadership. You will consider the typical phases of product development and the roles that are involved in each step of the development process. You'll look at possible team structures and the importance of a team charter. You'll survey a number of product development methodologies. Finally, you'll explore ways to foster an effective team culture, run effective team meetings, and keep a product team motivated and focused on shared goals.
Products can only be successful if they address the real needs of customers. Product managers must lead a team effort to research customer needs and propose products that address those opportunities in innovative ways.
This course will guide you through the steps that effective project managers take to propose a product, research the market, begin work on a product roadmap, and identify and analyze specific needs that will inform the design process. You will explore the importance of user stories and develop personas that represent your potential customers.
After customer needs are identified, product managers must lead a team effort to decide how a new or revamped product can best meet those needs. They must translate customer insights into specific design ideas and establish priorities for the design and development process. They must develop a convincing business case and win the support of stakeholders and funding sources.
This course will guide you through the process that effective product managers use to develop and prioritize design ideas based on customer research. You will see how product roadmaps are updated as ideas are refined. You will develop a business case, explore ways of winning buy-in for your project from the people whose support is essential to success, and develop a product charter.
When customer needs have been analyzed and broad priorities have been set for product development, actual design and development can begin. The design process often uses a variety of methods to hammer out increasingly detailed plans. After these plans are validated, development work begins.
This course will start you on the design and development process by showing you how to document detailed project requirements. You will see how to develop prototypes of increasing precision. You will explore how to seek and evaluate design feedback from customers. Finally, you will consider a range of development issues and best practices, including the use of sprints, the establishment of appropriate infrastructure, progress tracking, and working with remote and third-party teams.
After a product has been developed, the product manager must bring it to market and manage the product life cycle as it evolves. The PM must work with other departments to sustain and improve the product over time and must take steps to retire the product at the right time.
This course will show you how to prepare for product launch through close coordination with key departments like marketing, operations, sales, and quality assurance. You will explore ways to build up to an effective mass product launch, and then track and manage the product in the market after launch. You will see how to work with your colleagues in other departments to ensure appropriate growth in product features as well as market viability. Finally, you will reflect on the decisions and steps needed when “sunsetting” a product at the end of its life cycle.