SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 1, 2004–In late January, 2004, at our Practical Product Management seminar in Austin, Texas, Pragmatic Marketing reached an important landmark. That was the point at which our 25,000th student completed one of our high-tech product management courses. But rather than blowing our own horn, we asked our 25,000th attendee, Tim Johnson, product manager at RightNow Technologies, Inc., an on-demand CRM software vendor in Bozeman, Montana, to tell us why he came to the course and what he took away from it. Here’s what he had to say:
For most companies, the challenge almost always is: What exactly is product management? After working in product management for about four years, I began to realize there really is a discipline associated with this field. And, while I was up on a lot of areas, there were many things in product management I could still learn. Some of my co-workers at RightNow had been to the Practical Product Management course, and I decided this was the place where I could take my professional skills to the next level.
What I got out of the course was that we, as product managers, wear a lot of hats. In fact, there are 37 of them. By going through the course, it became obvious there are certain things I work on diligently and others I have more or less ignored. If you want to be successful and become a market-driven company, you have to handle all 37 duties. Rather than jumping straight into defining product features, you have to look at the underlying problems you are trying to solve. And then structure your product around those issues.
This course also made me realize that we are doing pretty well at RightNow. We are striving to be market driven, and we actually do many of those 37 things. So the course helped me validate that we are on the right track and will only get better. Plus it helped me understand how I can expand my role beyond the tactical side and into strategic product management.
Barb Nelson was a great instructor. She delivered the material without referring to the notes, which tells me she really knows it. It was more than having it memorized; it was practical experience she drew on from her work experience that directly relates to the challenges I’m going through as a product manager—it’s not just theory.
To me, being the 25,000th person to attend this course means there is a real need for it in the market. It validates that there is an industry methodology around product management—rather than everybody going about it differently. There are certain things you should be doing. Are you market driven, or are you not? Anyone who wants to understand product management and what it takes to be a market-driven company absolutely needs to attend.
About Pragmatic Marketing, Inc.
Pragmatic Marketing, Inc. was founded in 1993 and has become the authority on technology product management and marketing. The company’s courses, taught by instructors with real-world experience in leading successful high-tech teams, are based on a proven framework for creating market-driven products people want to buy. Pragmatic Marketing has trained more than 85,000 product management and marketing professionals, with more than 20,000 becoming Pragmatic Marketing Certified. For more information on public or on-site training, please visit www.PragmaticMarketing.com or call (480) 515-1411.