Lessons Learned as Product Manager

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Post created by Bianca Slamet, Product Manager of AIMC Fall 2022

Creating, communicating, and capturing value...

Integrated Marketing Communications, an elective in college I was not interested in taking because I wanted my last remaining quarters to be easy going and predictable. I never realized how much I would learn from it until I decided to take up the challenge and take the class in Summer of 22’. There was only 7 of us that Summer, and while we struggled to enjoy our Summer while creating a podcast from scratch and developing our own personal brands, I learned so much about the process of creating, communicating, and capturing value of a product and brand. 

Creating our product, Marketing by the Minute, from pre-production, production, post-production and finally promotion was so much fun that I decided to take on the role of Product Manager this quarter, where I managed my own production team through Agile project management. Here are a few lessons I learned as a Product Manager.

Stay Agile: The Agile framework is all about continuous improvement and has helped me manage my team and their workflows that seem unmanageable, one task at a time. The IMC class and teams are always expected to create a product that is larger than life, or shall I say larger than academia. This class is meant to simulate a marketing agency with WWU Marketing Program being our main client. With a quarter system, these projects are a huge task and can seem very intimidating. My IMC team this quarter decided to create a video series called “To What Degree,” and my job was to make sure that my team was able to execute this deliverable from start to finish. While our team ran into many difficulties in pre-production, production, post-production, and promotion, we learned through our retrospect’s that staying agile was what kept us going.

Consistency is Key: Our team was lucky enough that our schedules matched, and we were able to meet almost every Monday and Wednesday. Having this advantage helped our team because we were able to solidify our ideas quickly and decide who would pull and lead each task. Our team had forward momentum going strong during the beginning of the quarter, but because our second and third product required the attendance of specific guests, we learned that coordinating busy guests along with busy students was not a small feat. And while we continued to focus on how we would be able to make this work, we slowly lost momentum. What I learned from this is that consistency is key, direct energy elsewhere, and refocus. Because just like in physics, when you stop the momentum, it is harder and takes more energy to get moving again due to inertia.

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Managing is the Best Way to Learn.

Managing a team was probably one of the hardest things I had to wrangle during undergrad. Most of the time, I had imposter syndrome and didn’t believe that I could pull my team to the finish line. However, I learned that you undoubtedly will get better by just following the process, and while I have a basic understanding of what it means to be a manager, I am a better manager now than I was 3 months ago. Huge shoutout to my Fall 2022 IMC Marketing Team! 

Read more at biancaslamet.com