What does a Product Manager do?
As part of our commitment to #BreakTheBias we spent some time getting to know the career journeys of some of our cloud colleagues. So here’s what we discovered when we joined forces with our excellent product team.
Meet Pauline, a Product Lead at Macquarie Cloud Services (MCS), Pauline is the driver behind the organisation’s managed cloud solutions. This involves everything from conceptualising the products and creating the value proposition through to the design, testing, and the operational bedding down of the product.
So, what does a product manager do Pauline?
The best way to explain is that I wear many different hats and am multi-lingual, effectively operating as the hub between stakeholders, interdepartmental groups and partner spokes. A typical day could see me talk to cloud architects to understand current and upcoming technology changes, operations to gauge their specific objectives, customers to test products and integrate their needs into offerings, as well as marketing to ensure the benefits of the products are captured. So safe to say it’s varied to say the least.
What does it take to be a product manager?
At times, it is the ability to say no. It is important to remember that you are saying no as the custodian representing the company and the solution, not as an individual, and that is a key difference. It is vital that product managers fight the instinct to please all parties involved, and rather use facts, data, and a bit of instinct to make an informed, holistic decision.
Throughout my career and even so now, men outnumber women in IT and to some extent, Product Management. I believe one of my strengths is my ability to ask questions and listen to all parties concerned, an attribute I believe to be common in women as well as men. Seeking information without a technology bias to achieve results is an essential skill for product managers, and I hope to see more women break into IT product manager roles.
What made the difference?
If I think back to my early days at Macquarie Cloud Services, some 6 years ago, I remember asking myself whether I could make a meaningful difference to the company goals.
However, our Group Executive played a foundational role in developing my confidence by saying I was the CEO of my product, and that he had the utmost confidence I would bring it to fruition. This instilled a level of confidence, pride, and the feeling that I had the support I needed to get the job done.
What would I say to those who are interested in a career in product management?
It’s definitely not for everyone, it requires skill sets that are not often found together empathy, and soft skills, as well as some level of hard-core technical understanding and operational experience; and the ability to see the big picture, while still zooming into the last little detail of an order workflow.
It’s also not for people who don’t like change. Product Management is about failing fast and moving on to the next MVP and a better solution if the data doesn’t play out as expected.
But if you are someone who wants to create the answer to a real customer need with a smart, repeatable, and operationally sound solution – then this is the best place for you!
Click here to see current vacancies at Macquarie Cloud Services.