When I mentioned that I was attending “Practical Product Management” presented by Pragmatic Marketing, many of my peers wondered about the value of the seminar itself. After all, product management is something I’ve been doing for several years now, so I’ve got some hands on experience about the topic. Based on my search through Quora and LinkedIn comments, I decided to give it a try this past January. Spoiler: good, but not great.
My objectives were to get a baseline for what product managers do in order to judge the breadth of my own role in comparison, and to use that content to determine the course of my professional development. I was pleased by the seminar’s coverage, but left feeling that there was plenty more that could have been taught.
In terms of my first objective (expectations), I found it valuable to know what other product managers might use as a baseline for their job. These expectations and frameworks are not necessarily vouched for by other professionals, but they’re useful to get everyone talking in the same language. I’ve found that the product management function varies widely across different companies, and Pragmatic Marketing offers a kind of jumping-off point so that you can at least understand what you’re responsible for, as compared to other roles at a given company.
With respect to content, Pragmatic Marketing really offered some well-formed truisms that are very useful to any product manager’s day-to-day work. To paraphrase a few key ones:
- The people who build will win.
- If you don’t do the job, some one else will (often to your product’s detriment).
- Your objective as a product manager is to solve for problems, and then create products for those problems. Never just create products for their own sake.
The rest of the content was uneven given Pragmatic Marketing’s incentive to sell you more courses. I wanted the course to include more extensive discussion and work on roadmap development and requirements writing. It would have added two days onto the schedule, but would have warranted both the duration and a higher price. I could write a few posts about the truisms above to save you some time and money. But if you can get your company to pay for the course, it’s not a bad investment. On a scale of 1 (like ) to 5 (like the best TED talks), I’d rate it a 3.5.