Comprehensive course analysis
Who should attend
- Current or aspiring product management professionals
- Entrepreneurs and small business owners
- Business analysts
- Product marketing managers
- Data analysts
- Engineers and developers
- Operations managers
- People interested in transitioning to the tech industry
About the course
One of today’s most in-demand skills, product management involves cultivating core competencies across a broad range of disciplines. Whether you’re a new product manager or looking to gain more formal training, this comprehensive certificate program will provide you with the opportunity to master the skills and concepts that are essential to becoming a successful product manager.
With courses in product strategy, analytics, communication, and innovation, you will come away with a strong foundation in all aspects of product management, preparing you to create products people love and build a rewarding career in this rapidly growing field. This program is designed to meet the needs of busy working professionals by allowing you to work on each focus area individually over time.
The courses in this certificate program are required to be completed in the order that they appear.
Getting Started with Spreadsheet Modeling and Business Analytics
To successfully and quickly solve business problems you need more than just intuition; you need solutions based on data. Data analytics is essential for any successful business. It helps us frame problems, make comparisons, forecast outcomes, and make decisions. You can use simple but very effective tools to analyze your data and make better, more informed decisions.
In this course, you will explore spreadsheet-modeling for applied decision making. You will work with data sets and navigate in an Excel 2016 Workbook. You will examine data cleaning and modeling concepts, practice core Excel skills, and explore ways to apply data management techniques to the spreadsheet system by using its math and logic capabilities to their full potential. By performing data management, you can improve the structure and usefulness of your data.
Harvesting Spreadsheet Data
Organizations go to great lengths to collect data to inform business decisions. However, given the volume of data, it can become difficult to sift through and find the needed answers. In this course you will gain exposure to the challenges of working with data and learn how you can use Excel to efficiently harvest data to make business decisions. Using Excel as a tool you will be able to quickly answer business questions by applying criteria to your data using Excel’s logic functions, quickly retrieve information from a large set of data, and visually enhance your data.
The course Getting Started with Spreadsheet Modeling and Business Analytics is required to be completed prior to starting this course.
Querying Relational Databases
Data drives many real-world endeavors, which means that storing and accessing the data is foundational to success. Relational databases are an industry-standard data storage mechanism for maintaining data integrity while allowing flexible data retrieval.
You will begin this course by examining the basic table structures that form a relational database. Using the relational database format, you will define connections between your data fields and determine how those can be expressed. You will then practice normalizing a relational database to ensure data integrity and reduce redundancy. As this course concludes, you will use a relational database system called OmniDB along with structured query language (SQL) to retrieve specific information from the database.
Creating Data Visualizations with Tableau
In this course, you will explore how to create common visualizations based on your data and goals. We will learn the steps you must take to successfully create a great chart. These include planning the chart, collecting and preparing your data, and choosing an appropriate chart type. You'll examine the different categories of visualizations and determine the best chart for your purposes.
Enhancing Data Visualizations with Tableau
After creating an initial version of a chart, how do you make it better? In this course, we'll explore the process for creating great charts. First, you'll explore how best to plan and draft your chart. Then, you'll need to eliminate distractions in the chart to make your visualization clear. It's also important to emphasize the most critical data in your chart. We'll look at how our brains process visualizations, and how you can use this information to better design your chart. Lastly, we'll examine how to adjust a chart to target your audience and the iterative process you can use to improve it.
Digital Platform Strategy
The digital landscape continues to be a vital part of an organization's success. For organizations centered around digital technology, it is important to create a digital strategy that addresses the specific opportunities and challenges that arise in digital ecosystems. This includes harnessing the potential to become a digital platform or utilizing preexisting digital platforms from complementor organizations. How can you leverage the power of digital platforms to grow your organization and maximize profitability?
In this course, you will evaluate the state of digital platforms in the current market. You will use this evaluation to identify network effects that your organization can take advantage of and use to boost the value of your products and services in the market. Once you identify the state of platforms and network effects, you will develop a digital platform strategy to grow and maintain your digital strategy, particularly if your organization can create its own digital platform. Finally, you will explore best practices for interacting with digital platforms created by other organizations and develop a strategy for how to choose and interact with a platform created outside of your organization.
The right pricing strategy can make or break a business — yet pricing impacts can be difficult to fully measure and understand.
In this course, you will analyze pricing data, evaluate key factors relevant to pricing effectiveness, and use your insights to optimize product prices. You will have the opportunity to apply a variety of popular pricing formulas and determine the business impact of the resulting price changes. Ultimately, the skills developed in this course will allow you to make pricing decisions that will maximize profits for each product or service in your organization.
It is recommended that students be comfortable using Microsoft Excel before beginning this course.
An enterprise with an innovation culture doesn't just happen. You must plan for both financial success and cultural change. There are several types of and approaches to innovation. How do you create an innovation strategy for your enterprise?
In this course, you will begin to create a roadmap called the innovation placemat. You will identify your organization's goals and align your innovation strategy to it. You will cultivate an executive champion and set SMART goals for your new product, service, or technology. You will identify risks and barriers to deployment and create mitigation plans to overcome them. Along the way, you will hear case studies of organizations large and small, private and government, established and startup, and in many domains who have successfully established an innovation strategy with sustainable positive effects on their bottom lines.
Building Innovation Competencies
To create and sustain a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in your organization, it is helpful to establish an environment that supports certain mindsets. And these mindsets can create first a culture change in your organization, often followed by a higher financial return on investment. These mindsets are the competencies that convert ideas to impact.
In this course, you will learn about and apply three key innovation competencies: lean startup, maker culture, and design thinking. Each of these competencies are used by large and small organizations, resulting in new products and services and satisfied employees and customers.
Lean thinking is a form of customer discovery where you will develop a series of hypotheses and then test them. Maker culture is based on the do-it-yourself ethos and can help you prototype and test products quickly, reducing time to market. Design thinking is a process of empathetically listening to and then co-designing with your customers. While the three competencies have some overlapping methodology, one or two of them will best support your innovation strategy and tie in more effectively with your organization's overall strategy.
Developing Innovation Strategy is required to be completed prior to starting this course.
There are many exciting tools you can use to implement innovation at your organization. These tools are the “hammer and nails” of innovation. In this course, you will learn about 14 innovation tools. You will also see how other organizations have used them to successfully increase cultural and financial ROI, please customers, and improve operational efficiencies. These tools range from simpler activities such as conducting employee training, hosting hackathons, and implementing design sprints to more complex methods such as establishing an external incubator, founding a center of excellence, and acquiring another company. You will then further iterate your innovation placemat.
Developing Innovation Strategy and Building Innovation Competencies are required to be completed prior to starting this course.
So far you have created an innovation strategy and established a vision, SMART goals, and outcome measures. You've identified competencies such as lean startup, makerspace, and design thinking, and selected tools to build an innovation culture. Now you will learn how to implement your strategy. After you map key internal stakeholders, you will devise a campaign plan for your strategy and build a dedicated team. You will understand the different motivations of your innovation shop and “the performance engine” and learn to work effectively with performance engine team members. You will further build out your innovation placemat with your implementation plan, identifying policies that can enhance innovation at your organization.
Developing Innovation Strategy, Building Innovation Competencies, and Innovation Tools are required to be completed prior to starting this course.
Evaluating and Scaling Innovation
In this course, you will devise a strategy to manage a portfolio of innovation projects at your organization. You will examine best practices for portfolio management and establish a plan to spread your innovation and innovation culture. Then you will examine typical risks to your scaling strategy and establish a sustainment plan. Finally, you will revise your innovation placemat and present a practice pitch. This activity will prepare you to pitch your innovation placemat at your organization.
Developing Innovation Strategy, Building Innovation Competencies, Innovation Tools, and Implementing Innovation are required to be completed prior to starting this course.
To be an effective leader, you must be able to articulate your thoughts and positions in a clear and concise manner.
Professor Angela Noble-Grange of Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management draws on her own extensive experience as a speaker and communicator to guide students through the preparation and delivery process. She discusses how to identify the communication purpose and analyze your expected audience. She then shares how to formulate and rehearse your message, including how to pay attention to nonverbal communication.
To fine-tune these skills, this course includes interacting with fellow students. Students will participate in discussion forums and will record and share a video of a short presentation that serves as the course project. This provides rich opportunities for students to hone their communication and presentation skills in a practical way, and to learn from the efforts of others.
Participants in this certificate need a high-speed Internet connection, a computer or device that can shoot digital videos with reasonable quality, and access to Adobe Flash software. The eCornell course delivery system provides the ability to record and upload videos, so you won't need special video software.
Success in business often depends on the ability to influence others and gain their support for your objectives, but it takes more than charisma to win over your leaders or colleagues. Persuasive writing can help you present your case in a way that will secure critical stakeholder support.
This course will help you gain and strengthen your persuasive writing skills. You will be guided through the process of narrowing your objective to a very specific "ask," analyzing your audience to know how to appeal to their sense of reason as well as their emotions, and then building the evidence that you will use to present your case.
You will examine how to create a one-page proposal, step by step, and delve into basic design principles to maximize your writing's impact. Since electronic communication is so predominant in today's business world, you will also discover how to transform your proposal into an email. Through this course, you'll be on your way to becoming a stronger writer and business professional.
Product Management Elective Track
Developing a Product Hypothesis and User Personas
Developing and launching new products involves more than a great idea. In today's fast-paced digital economy, understanding your target customers and their specific needs is essential to launching and managing successful products. In startups and established companies alike, the product manager serves as a key player in taking a product from idea to launch to success. To bring viable products to market, a successful product manager needs to balance creative inspiration with a disciplined approach, and it is with this approach that we frame this first course.
This course seeks to answer the question “Who is my customer?” You will explore how to develop a product by first defining the problem your product addresses. To do this, Keith Cowing will share his deep knowledge in product management to help you map your customer's journey and articulate user personas. Once you understand and articulate target personas, you will have a much clearer picture of the real problem your product is trying to solve, paving the way for a strong product strategy.
Product Vision and Goals
Have you ever thought about why some products succeed and some fail? A product manager is responsible for the product's success. This all begins with setting a vision for the future where your stakeholders visualize how your product will improve your customers' lives. From there, you can begin to break down the specific goals you need to accomplish to make this future a reality. That helps you set the vision and articulate what a winning product looks like.
Visualizing and drawing the business is an important step in the process. In this course, you will learn how to break your business down into pieces so that you can carefully develop a winning strategy and focus on what matters. Keith Cowing will help you visualize and draw the business, then identify the objectives and key results you will rally the team to achieve.
Developing a Product Hypothesis and User Personas is required to be completed prior to starting this course.
You have defined clear goals and started to define a vision for your product. The product manager now moves to answer a key question, “What do we build?” A product manager needs to define a framework for prioritization, source ideas from relevant customers, team members, and stakeholders, and make sound decisions. Then a product manager can pull it together into a roadmap that defines what the team will build and when.
In this course, you will learn the art of developing a compelling roadmap, which will keep the team focused and align your stakeholders around the support you need. Keith Cowing will guide you through the nuances of product management, help you define a framework for feature prioritization, and walk you through key factors you need to consider. He will also demonstrate how to skillfully navigate the organization and present the roadmap to your team.
Developing a Product Hypothesis and User Personas and Product Vision and Goals are required to be completed prior to starting this course.
Now that you have built a compelling roadmap and told the story to generate support, it's time to design your product. This course addresses the question, “What should the product look like?”
In this course, you will learn how to prototype, either by yourself or in partnership with a product designer. What is meant by “codeless?” It means you will simulate the product experience just well enough to get valuable feedback from potential customers. You will also learn strategies for partnering effectively with design teams. This will enable you to develop informed opinions about what the product should look like and write a Product Requirements Document (PRD), unlocking the engineering team. This is an exciting moment when you prepare to pivot from analysis and planning to designing and building.
Developing a Product Hypothesis and User Personas, Product Vision and Goals, and Product Roadmapping are required to be completed prior to starting this course.
Product Analytics and Iteration
Once a codeless prototype is built, the product manager needs the ability to assess the product and identify changes to the product roadmap that will fuel success. This is a key area in the product management process, as you want to know how people actually use the product. It's about learning what is working and what is not working, articulating the underlying reasons, and knowing if and when to change direction.
In this course, you will learn how to measure progress, validate or update product hypotheses, and present product learnings. Keith Cowing will share that through data and testing. You will gain the tools to make informed decisions. As you consider the culture of your company, a common thread throughout your career, you will present your product learnings and a case to approve or potentially change the course of your product roadmap.
Developing a Product Hypothesis and User Personas, Product Vision and Goals, Product Roadmapping, and Product Prototyping are required to be completed prior to starting this course.
Product Engineering and Execution
You made it this far learning what worked and what didn't work, and presented product learnings to your team. The case was made to approve or potentially change the course of your product roadmap. The product manager now moves from analyzing to actually building, to bring the product to launch.
In this course, you will learn to guide the engineering team on a day-to-day basis. To work on the right things to produce results and ensure a successful product. You will move fast to plan a sprint, write a user story/ticket, and work with engineering teams and debug. This is the product manager's mission. Are you ready?
Developing a Product Hypothesis and User Personas, Product Vision and Goals, Product Roadmapping, Product Prototyping, and Product Analytics and Iteration are required to be completed prior to starting this course.
Product Management for Engineers Elective Track
Preparing for Success as a Product Manager
To be successful, product managers need a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They also need a clear sense of the required skills and competencies. An appreciation of the roles, responsibilities, and requisite capabilities of this important position is also beneficial for stakeholders and team members who need to work closely with product managers.
This course lays the foundation for success in product management by exploring a product manager's position in an organization and the key associated responsibilities. You will examine the specific skills and competencies most likely to lead to success in carrying out those responsibilities. To further improve your understanding of product management, you will consider how product managers typically work with a product team and other stakeholders to develop successful products, whether they be digital products, hardware, or service offerings.
Managing Product Teams
Before a product is developed, product managers must know how to organize and manage a team. They must understand the typical product development lifecycle and be able to select an appropriate development methodology. They must lead the process of identifying and embracing core principles and values appropriate for their team, and they must engage effectively with stakeholders and funding sources.
This course will help build skills in the “nuts and bolts” of product team leadership. You will consider the typical phases of product development and the roles that are involved in each step of the development process. You'll look at possible team structures and the importance of a team charter. You'll survey a number of product development methodologies. Finally, you'll explore ways to foster a dynamic team culture, run effective team meetings, and keep a product team motivated and focused on shared goals.
It is recommended to take Preparing for Success as a Product Manager prior to this course or have equivalent experience.
Identifying and Targeting Customer Needs
Products can only be successful if they address the real needs of customers. Product managers must lead a team effort to research customer needs and propose products that address those opportunities in innovative ways.
This course will guide you through the steps that effective product managers take to propose a product, research the market, begin work on a product roadmap, and identify and analyze specific needs that will inform the design process. You will explore the importance of user stories and develop personas that represent your potential customers.
It is recommended to take Preparing for Success as a Product Manager and Managing Product Teams prior to this course or have equivalent experience.
Prioritizing for Product Roadmaps
After customer needs are identified, product managers must lead a team effort to decide how a new or revamped product can best meet those needs. They must translate customer insights into specific design ideas and establish priorities for the design and development process. They must develop a convincing business case and win the support of stakeholders and funding sources.
This course will guide you through the process that effective product managers use to develop and prioritize design ideas based on customer research. You will see how product roadmaps are updated as ideas are refined. You will develop a business case, explore ways of winning buy-in for your project from the people whose support is essential to success, and develop a product charter.
It is recommended to take Preparing for Success as a Product Manager, Managing Product Teams, and Identifying and Targeting Customer Needs prior to this course or have equivalent experience.
Designing and Developing Products
When customer needs have been analyzed and broad priorities have been set for product development, actual design and development can commence. The design process often uses a variety of methods to hammer out increasingly detailed plans. After these plans are validated, development work begins.
This course will start you on the design and development process by showing you how to document detailed project requirements. You will see how to develop prototypes of increasing precision. You will explore how to seek and evaluate design feedback from customers. Finally, you will consider a range of development issues and best practices, including the use of sprints, the establishment of appropriate infrastructure, progress tracking, and working with remote and third-party teams.
It is recommended to take Preparing for Success as a Product Manager, Managing Product Teams, Identifying and Targeting Customer Needs, and Prioritizing for Product Roadmaps prior to this course or have equivalent experience.
Managing the Product Lifecycle
After a product has been developed, the product manager must bring it to market and manage the product lifecycle as it evolves. The PM must work with other departments to sustain and improve the product over time and must take steps to retire the product at the right time.
This course will show you how to prepare for product launch through close coordination with key departments like marketing, operations, sales, and quality assurance. You will explore ways to build up to an effective mass product launch, and then track and manage the product in the market after launch. You will see how to work with your colleagues in other departments to ensure appropriate growth in product features as well as market viability. Finally, you will reflect on the decisions and steps needed when “sunsetting” a product at the end of its life cycle.
It is recommended to take Preparing for Success as a Product Manager, Managing Product Teams, Identifying and Targeting Customer Needs, Prioritizing for Product Roadmaps, and Designing and Developing Products prior to this course or have equivalent experience.
Key course takeaways
- Manage a product development team
- Define a single problem that the product solves for customers
- Perform user research, map the customer journey, and create target personas
- Design a product prototype
- Identify and select appropriate development methodologies such as waterfall, agile, and lean
- Create a product roadmap
- Analyze financial and functional data using Excel
- Write SQL queries for a relational database
- Create visualizations that transform raw data into actionable information that drives decisions
- Leverage the power of digital platforms to grow your organization
- Apply innovation competencies including lean startup, maker culture, and design thinking
- Convey ideas clearly and persuasively to achieve results from writing
- Formulate and deliver messages with maximum effectiveness
Vithala R. Rao is the Deane Malott Professor of Management and professor of marketing and quantitative methods at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. He holds master''s degrees in mathematical statistics from the University of Bombay and in sociology from the University of Mi...
A graduate of the Johnson MBA program, Professor Angela Noble-Grange, a senior lecturer of management communication, teaches oral communication and management writing at Johnson. Her interests include persuasive speaking and writing, as well as gender and race differences in message perception. S...
Biography Peggy Odom-Reed is a senior lecturer in the marketing and management communication area at the School of Hotel Administration, where she teaches courses in management communication. Currently, she serves as the course chair for HADM 3650–Persuasive Business Communication for Hospitality...
Donna L. Haeger is a Professor of Practice in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. She teaches introductory and advanced spreadsheet-modeling courses for applied decision-making. These courses leverage Microsoft Excel as a business analytics tool....
Andrea Ippolito is a Lecturer and Executive Director of the Engineering Management Program at Cornell University. She recently completed her role as the Director of the Innovators Network at the Department of Veterans Affairs and she previously served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the VA...
Ben joined the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing in 2016 as a member of the Consulting Group. He previously spent fourteen years at Cornell as an image synthesis researcher in the Program of Computer Graphics. Ben also has fourteen years of industrial experience developing commercial-quality ...
Justin Johnson received his PhD from MIT and is currently a professor of economics at Cornell University''s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. He teaches business strategy to the School''s MBA and Executive MBA students. He has worked with eCornell (a Cornell University subsidia...
Keith Cowing is a Visiting Lecturer at Cornell Tech and vice president of product management at Flatiron Health, a technology company focused on accelerating cancer research. He has spent 15 years building products, teams, and companies, and now teaches about careers and product management. Keith...
Adam joined the Cornell Center for Advanced Computing in 2014 and is a member of the consulting group. He has been working in research at Cornell since 2005, first as a Research Associate in the Astronomy Department and then an Astronomy Programmer at the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center ...
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