Why what I learnt at the First Product School meetup are the Secret Ingredients.

On Saturday, 2nd Feb 2019, we gathered with over 80 aspiring and Product Management professionals to spend the evening sharing and hearing from product management industry experts on how we could own our craft at the city of Lagos, Nigeria.

Panellist session — Essential skills to succeed as a product manager

Here’s what the day was about;

Oluwatobi Otokiti, Product School Community Organiser(Lagos), spoke to us on the Importance of a Community of Practice.

Communities of Practise are groups of people who share a concern or passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly
Wenger -Trayner

Product management is evolving, Its necessary to find a support network that helps you to become better as a PM professional. As you grow in your career, we believe that feeling supported helps build the right confidence.

The Product management (PM) community will provide an environment that fosters learning and development, sharing of knowledge from varying industry technology experts.

She welcomed us to the first product school meetup in Lagos.

Don’t sink alone, let’s swim together.

Essential skills to succeed as a product manager

Three Panellists shared with us the secret ingredients that a PM should possess in other to succeed in the role. Grace Samuel moderated this panel.

Tobi Amira, Chief Operating Officer at TeamApt Limited, explained to us that a fundamental skill a PM must own is to know how to build the right product with the engineering team. Understand the business, be good at people management, communication and documentation.

Ebun, Director of Product management at Andela, shared why it was necessary as product managers to understand who your customers are and their needs. From his experience, people who have stayed in a company for so long get used to the product, and it’s easy for them to start developing blind spots. Bringing new PMs onboard comes with new ideas and new energy.

A new joiner should interact with customers and learn to understand both customer and business needs.

Iphie Jide-Ebeogu Group Head, Business Development for Financial Services at Interswitch Group, inspired new insights on how to formulate derived data to enable Product managers to take decisions. A good use case to apply this is when there is limited data in making a product decision. It’s important also to learn and use product strategy tools. She gave an example of using dimensions of merit for Competitive analysis in positioning your product.

Biggest Product Management Issues — Group Flip Chart Sessions

Flip chart sessions

We broke out into ten different groups to brainstorm and to come up with our top 3 biggest product management challenges as this would inform topics in future meetups.

Brainstorming sessions

How to Work Effectively with Product Designers

We had a fantastic presentation from David Adamu, Product Designer at Andela on the topic Harmony with Design.

David Adamu presenting at Product School meetup

Given that product managers work with product designers in deciding the best user experience, it’s essential for the PM to critique the designs in an ASK feedback format.

Actionable
Specific
Kind

You can get more details on slides here

In rounding up the meetup, we had a Role-play game. The participants performed based on a scenario that is close to real life questions or challenges they might face at work. PMs were to act out how they would respond to their CEO or a colleague when they are faced with such circumstances at work.

Role Play

It sounds like we had a fantastic time right? Learning in a fun way. We do hope learnings from this meetup will be applied to your daily work. Thank you all for being a part of this.

And a huge thank you to our amazing speakers.

We look forward to seeing you at the next meetup.