Women in Product

eCornell

eCornell

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Who should attend

  • Women interested in developing a career in product management
  • Product managers
  • Data scientists and analysts
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Tech leaders
  • Software developers and engineers
  • UX and web design professionals
  • Project managers
  • MBA students

About the course

As the key to developing innovative solutions to customer needs and driving growth, product management is one of today’s increasingly critical and fast-growing fields — yet one where women are massively underrepresented.

This certificate program provides the opportunity for women interested in growing a career in product to gain the essential skills needed to design and develop a product through its entire lifecycle, from scoping and development through launch and beyond. The courses will introduce you to the processes of initiating new products, identifying the target customer, creating user stories, and design and development. In the second half of the program, you will examine some of the issues facing women leaders in the workplace and develop strategies for dealing with them, including how to best negotiate in the workplace, how to effectively provide both positive and negative feedback, and how to strengthen your emotional intelligence to stand out as a leader among both men and women.

The ultimate goal of the program is to encourage more women to grow into product leaders that develop innovative apps or solutions on which the world may be currently missing out.

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.

Women in Leadership: Navigating the Double Bind

Most women in a leadership role face a very common dilemma: If she's a strong, assertive leader, she's viewed as domineering and abrasive, encountering resistance as a result. If she isn't assertive enough, she's viewed as weak and a pushover, making it hard to get support within the organization. In this course, you will examine that very common double standard and identify strategies to deal with it.

All leaders, regardless of gender, face conflict and resistance and have to work with people who think, act, and communicate differently from themselves. In this course, Deborah Streeter, the Bruce F. Failing, Sr., Professor of Personal Enterprise at Cornell, will show you how to recognize when there's gender bias at play and when there isn't, and how to address any issues that arise.

Women in Leadership: Negotiation Skills

Many women say they would rather go to the dentist than negotiate for themselves. Why? Women are taught early to create equity in relationships. When you negotiate with someone and you feel that you're taking something away from them, that feels like a violation of the social contract with which you were raised. There's little wonder, then, that negotiation feels deeply uncomfortable for many women.

Yet negotiating is a critical skill that everyone, especially women, has to practice and master in order to be an effective leader. In this course from Cornell Professor Deborah Streeter, you will practice key behaviors that help negotiations, including asking for what you want — something most women are not taught to do. The course emphasises the gender dimension of negotiation strategies and the critical skills on which women leaders in particular need to focus. This course will be most helpful for women leaders who are not already practiced and comfortable in negotiation settings, and those who find negotiating stressful, uncomfortable, and difficult. Negotiating is a routine part of daily life and leadership, and approaching it with confidence and skill signals that you know your worth.

Women in Leadership: Using Emotional Intelligence to Drive Results

Research shows that emotional intelligence is a critical predictor of performance as well as a very strong driver of leadership and personal excellence. Those with high emotional intelligence can typically read a room quickly, clue into subterfuge, and more easily show respect and empathy. While soft skills such as those may not sound impressive, they can be imperative for a woman in a leadership role. You can be a top performer without any emotional intelligence, but the numbers are against you.

In this course from Professor Deborah Streeter, women leaders can develop their emotional intelligence and learn how to use it to their advantage to manage their team to greater success.

Women in Leadership: Giving and Receiving Feedback

Research shows that feedback is critical for leaders and that creating a culture of feedback is key to a team's success. The more successful a team is, the better an organization's bottom line. However, there is an art to giving and receiving feedback, and if not done properly, feedback can have a negative impact to morale. Conversely, teams who receive feedback in a positive, supportive way will strive to continue to do well.

There can be a gender dimension to giving and receiving feedback that is critical for women in leadership roles to understand, as men and women react differently. In this course, Professor Deborah Streeter will examine the gender dimensions of giving and receiving feedback and explore strategies for working as effectively as possible to lead a high-performing team.

Women in Leadership: Outsmart the Work-Life Balance

To maintain energy and positive focus, it's critical for women in leadership roles to cultivate a healthy and productive balance between their professional and personal lives. In this course, Professor Deborah Streeter examines the typical work-life balance conflicts that interfere with productivity and happiness. Students will also examine ways to create various checks to ensure they stay in balance, allowing them to move forward effectively and focus energy on the tasks that will have the greatest positive impact.

KEY COURSE TAKEAWAYS

  • Design and develop a product
  • Identify and target customer needs to inform product design
  • Perform market research to develop a product business case
  • Create a product roadmap
  • Manage a product development team
  • Give feedback effectively, putting your team in a position to succeed
  • Navigate the “double bind” dilemma facing women in leadership
  • Negotiate effectively as a woman leader

Experts

Deborah Streeter

Deborah Streeter is the Bruce F. Failing, Sr. Professor of Personal Enterprise and Small Business Management at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Entrepreneurship and small business management are the focus of Dr. Streeter’s teaching, research, and outreach activiti...

Andrea Ippolito

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...

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Women in Product at eCornell

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