Learning: the ultimate brain shake-up

I recently started the Product Management course at General Assembly. As an account director & strategist, here’s what led me to the decision to up-skill.

My brains loves a shake-up.

I’ve moved countries twice and have had to learn about new markets, consumers and business practices, fast. I’ve jumped into leadership positions and through mentorship and learning from the mistakes I’ve made along the way, have quickly had to grasp how to manage a team and work with clients. I’ve also spent the past 8 years working in digital strategy and social media — a continuously changing landscape — and joined Mentally Friendly in 2014, a digital agency that itself is continually evolving the way it works.

The challenge

In the past few years, I’ve been trying to pivot slightly — to apply my skill set within a product setting. While I love marketing and content strategy for social media, these programs can play a part in a bigger picture: the successful development and growth of products people love.

In my most recent workplaces, the way strategy & content was integrated into the product production process was… not so integrated. The strategy & content and production teams were working in a siloed manner. Not so great when it comes to transparency, collaboration and iteration.

Source: @mf_says

The process shake-up

Earlier this year, MF implemented a collective brain shake up of its own. After working in a part waterfall, part-agile way, the AgencyAgile team was invited to spend a week with the MFSYD studio for all-in planning and roadmapping training workshops. Since then, we’ve been implementing a more comprehensive Agile product development process — increasing interactions and collaboration between teams, and continuous testing of ideas and features. Of course, there have been a few learnings along the way with implementation, but a few months in, we can already see the way it’s positively effecting our teams, work and client relationships.

The pivot

So what does this mean for our strategy & content teams? A more hands-on role in product development, which means… learning! Learning more about product management, refining our user testing and product content analysis processes, and knowledge around user experience design and content.

Source: @benderson

And for me this means the landscape has changed again — cue Product Management course at General Assembly LDN. I’m two weeks in, but my brain is already tingling with new ways of approaching the making of stuff people love. It’s already started to provide me with the frameworks and practical knowledge to have a more hands-on role in product teams moving forward. Now I just need to keep up with my homework.

Here are a few good reads that have been super helpful so far:

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