Ita says that while her job description does not line up with the Google definition of product manager, product management is very much part of her day-to-day role. As well as overseeing the design, build, and deployment of customer support tools, she and three California-based team members are involved in analysing metrics across a range of areas, including measuring the impact that the tools have on organisational efficiency.
During a career development conversation, Ita’s manager recommended using product management as a lens to focus her work. Based on the discussion, Ita undertook some research and realised that an academic grounding in product management could help with her day-to-day work “not least because it is essential that I successfully communicate with Google’s engineers – using language and terminology that ensures we understand each other clearly”, she notes. “DIT is one of the few places in the world where you can study product management at a high level. The only comparable programme I could find is in California.”
In undertaking the course, Ita had a number of specifi crequirements, the most important of which was acquiring a thorough understanding of the engineering and development side of creating new products. “Unlike most of my colleagues on this course, who wanted to learn more about the business side of product management, my priority was to learn to speak the language of engineering.”
Ita has embedded some of the programme’s recommended practices with her team – in particular, the approach to roadmapping and product requirement documents (PRDs). “We have become more effective and more effi cient as a result”, she notes.
In terms of other positive outcomes, Ita says that various tools and techniques that she picked up from the DIT lectures have helped her greatly with her day-to-day work. Critically, she has a very good working relationship with the Google engineering team.
“I would recommend the programme to anyone who can see the link between their job and product management – even if they don’t have product management in their job title. Although I am a knowledge manager, not a product manager, the programme has defi nitely delivered for me. As well as that, I have acquired new skills that will be very valuable for my long-term career development.”