Searching For An Adaptable Product Playbook
I was already a Senior PM with what I felt was strong experience so far in my career.
But I was looking for something new to experience, to build something from problem statement through to launch.
I had pieced together my own process and ideas, but it felt time to challenge my assumptions so far:
Am I doing the right thing? Am I following the right process? And what should a strong process look like across an organisation? Are there other, better methods I could use?
Wherever I look, however, I became less and less certain about my process.
There’s so much material online on methods and processes, but you never know what’s right and wrong. It’s easy to feel lost amongst all of that - and much of it so vague or straight up wrong that you don’t know where to start.
I wanted high-quality, adaptable material from somebody who had been there and done it themselves. Who had worked with lots of PMs and knew how product worked in the real-world.
This is something Prod MBA offered and it gave me the confidence to jump in & commit to joining.
Building Real-World Experience in A Unique Way
I had initially been referred by a friend, Chris, who had loved the programme.
But was still a little sceptical starting, as had done Scrum certifications before, where you listen for two days, do two quick exercises and just get your certificate at the end… Just a money-making machine with no value.
Prod MBA was clearly different.
From Day 1, you put into practice what you learn. And the 8 weeks gives you enough time to think about what you are learning, to question it, to adapt it and make it your own.
By actually experiencing getting feedback from testing with real users, whether with your strategy or with a no-code prototype, your learning is taken to another level.
Also, I loved the breadth of knowledge. Most courses focus on one specific topic, such as “customer interviews”. Prod MBA covers the whole thing, but still does it comprehensively. This means you see what the input of one method is, what the output is - and how it feeds into the next step.
There’s a closed feedback loop & connection between frameworks that is invaluable.
Looking back, this was all clear right from the start. From the syllabus to the intro videos during onboarding, everything seemed new and exciting to me.
There was also a lot of value in talking to other product people in the community over video calls and Slack - which is something that doesn’t just end after the 8 weeks of Prod MBA. There’s a real community.
Owning My Process
I’m now so much more confident with my process.
That experience taking something from zero to one (in my case, a working prototype) has been very powerful. Just having that freedom to experiment and the feedback loop of learning through doing.
It’s cemented my process, but also, it has made me a better leader:
If you’ve done everything yourself, from interviews to testing, you know how to manage others in your team effectively & how to delegate better.
Specific tools I now use a lot are the Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas, the Minimal Viable Offer & a lot of Figma!
Anton Doberschütz works as a Senior PM in the heart of Berlin’s startup scene
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