A Candid Letter From a Product Management Instructor

Believe me when I say that I’ve poured my heart and soul into our online training program.

Recently I was conducting a Beta test of our new Virtual Instructor Review program. Names popped up on the list as students logged in, and I checked it carefully. It turns out that people are shy on the phone. They keep their thoughts to themselves. They think that what they have to share and ask isn’t worth talking about. I’m tracking the list carefully though, because I want to make sure I call on everyone. That everyone’s voice is heard, and concerns are addressed. I remind everyone that if you have a question, it’s likely someone else has the same question too.

When I’m in front of a class of product managers, product management hopefuls, or even those who started their role today – I can scan the room. I can check faces for interest. I can call on them to share their work, experiences and lives. It’s relatively easy after a short time to get everyone laughing. And when people laugh, they learn.

And yet, I know that not everyone can make it to in-person training. Classes might be too far, cost too much or maybe they just need the training now. For these reasons and more, we’ve seen many Product Managers sign up to start our Certified Product Manager Online Course and Exam.

Believe me when I say that I’ve poured my heart and soul into our online training program. When I wrote it, I started from the premise that if I can deliver material in class, you should be able to consume it effectively wherever you are in the world. If I couldn’t figure out how to turn a class exercise into a solo exercise, I setup an exercise that asks you to rope someone in to help. I even give your exercise assistant instructions on how to help you.

More than that, I know that online courses have been shown to be amazingly effective. They reduce the amount of time spent learning by an impressive 40-60% [1]. And the increase in revenue generated per employee using technology? 26% higher [2]. That’s a huge boost to you and your company – all without leaving your desk or home!

And yet we are also human. We want to check that we’ve understood a concept or confirm that our plans to implement a new idea make sense. As with a gym membership, we often need some help to keep making progress, to show up – a partner or a trainer to hold us accountable. And finally, we want to pass the test – with flying colors – the first time. That’s why we’ve introduced Certified Product Manager Online – Virtual Instructor Review. It’s an add-on to our existing online course. For 8 weeks, you participate in a virtual class where we review the key ideas in each of the modules as a group, with an expert instructor.

Each week, we review key concepts and tools briefly. We check for understanding and then the questions come – from them and often from me: “What does this look like for your product line?” “How would you apply this idea?” “Have you tried to use it yet? If so, how?” As the weeks go by, we all learn who has what type of product or customer, and adjust the discussion to match their needs. We get in synch as a virtual team, and yes, we laugh together. Success!

By the end of the eight weeks, each person is confident that they’re on the right track at work. They have new tools they can put to use, understand where they need to focus more attention, know what’s going to make a difference in their career. Best of all, they are confident that, yes, they’ll pass the certification test!

I know that Certified Product Manager Online – Virtual Instructor Review is a mouthful of a product name! But I also know that it is our way of making sure that no matter where you are in your product management career, you can get even better meeting with experienced instructors like me who care deeply about your success and how to get you there – whether we can meet in person or not.

Join me for our next VIR starting July 9th, 2019.

Sincerely,
Pamela

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About the Author

Pam Schure People Skills for Product Owners

Pam Schure
Director of Products and Services

Pamela Schure is the Director of Products and Services with 280 Group. She is a 25-year Product Management, Product Marketing and international business veteran with companies such as Apple, Sun Microsystems and Adaptec. She has worked with many companies, small and large, in diverse industries to determine what the key success factors are. She has deep expertise in how to use Product Management and Product Marketing skills to transform businesses and products.

280 Group is the world’s leading Product Management training and consulting firm. We help companies and individuals do GREAT Product Management and Product Marketing using our Optimal Product Process™.

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