Working at a fast-paced, Series B-funded startup is an exciting experience in and of itself. But, when that startup’s mission is to transform the way the world’s largest and most ubiquitous industry does business, you have to be prepared for anything... especially when you’re part of a Product Management team that is responsible for continually rolling out excellent new features.
A day in the life of Assoc. PM Shana Duchin
Working at a fast-paced, Series B-funded startup is an exciting experience in and of itself. But, when that startup’s mission is to transform the way the world’s largest and most ubiquitous industry does business, you have to be prepared for anything… especially when you’re part of a Product Management team that is responsible for continually rolling out excellent new features.
Applying new ideas while paying close to everyday details is, after all, vital to the exponential growth that Knowde is trying to achieve. This is especially true when working with other teams, on multiple projects, all of which are in various stages of being developed, tested and released.
Coming from a computer science background, I accepted Knowde’s offer to be an Associate Product Manager (APM) because I’m passionate about the full lifecycle of developing products. From ideation to execution, I enjoy the experience of seeing vision come to fruition.
Being an APM for Knowde allows me to be part of the end-to-end process of building features on a daily basis!
Day to day
At Knowde, each APM is paired with a Lead Product Manager (LPM), where we form a 1:1 mentorship-type relationship. Learning from a highly experienced LPM facilitates fast personal growth and continues to teach me what it takes to develop into a talented Product Manager!
One of these lessons focuses on the ability to have foresight for the future. LPMs are constantly trying to fill Knowde‘s roadmap with new ideas. They provide the blueprints to turn our vision into our reality, which is crucial for a company’s long-term success.
It’s important for Lead Product Managers to be as detailed as possible in the ideation process, to stay aligned with other teams, and to develop an accurate plan for building products. Once this plan is finalized, my responsibility as an APM is to ensure proper execution and keep stakeholders informed of our progress. This way, any “bumps in the road” can be addressed immediately.
It’s crucial to be aware of every product requirement, starting with the design process and ending with implementation. There are millions of questions asked from start to finish and it’s the job of all APMs to be aligned with their LPMs when providing answers.
APMs are also tasked with keeping a product within scope. We make sure that what is being implemented aims to create a “Minimum Viable Product”, so that follow-up features can be released in a timely fashion.
Platforms Used Daily
Figma is the platform that Knowde‘s designers use to build out what our Product team envisions. I use these designs to write tickets and outline the work, as well as to answer questions that come up during development.
Confluence, a product within the Atlassian suite, is the Product team’s virtual workspace. Here, I help to document Product Requirements, keep notes on key stakeholder meetings, and note action items. Confluence also helps our teams organize collaborative documents, shared notes or information, and more as it allows for cross-team visibility.
Also within the Atlassian software suite, APMs use Jira to plan and manage our sprints. We work quickly, so it’s crucial to watch the day to day progression of a sprint and ensure deadlines are being met.
Tips for Aspiring APMs
As an APM, I am reminded every day of how important good communication skills are. APMs have to articulate requirements, designs, and development work clearly and concisely to many different teams–and often to teams without a technical background.
To succeed, I recommend becoming familiar with the platforms listed above as they are fairly standard across Product teams.
Most importantly, it’s vital to be passionate about your company and its mission. As an APM, our job is to help make the company’s visions materialize and come to life. This requires accountability, attention to detail, and the willingness to strive for perfection for your company!
It’s not just the end-to-end cycle; it’s about seizing the opportunity to be an important part every step of the way.