Wednesday, May 15 is World Product Day, where over 90 ProductTanks from New Zealand to the U.S. West Coast gather to raise awareness of and appreciation for the craft of product management and our global tribe of product people.
To celebrate, we've asked the ProductTankPittsburgh membership to step up and share short talks about problems they've solved. We're happy to have four of these "lightning speakers" take the stage; check out their details and bios below.
The meetup will take place at the Highmark headquarters at Fifth Avenue Place, Downtown. Check in with security at Fifth Avenue Place, and an escort will take you up to the correct floor. Thanks once again to Brian Utz of Highmark Health Solutions for the use of the space!
Come around 5:30 for dinner before the meetup begins! Be sure to join our LinkedIn group at producttankpittsburgh.com, and check out worldproductday.com for more on World Product Day.
Kimberly Zahler: Experience Designer, LUMA Institute
Kimberly works to demystify the language and mechanics of human-centered design so that everyone can apply those insights to make their daily life and work better.
When "bad" things happen to good employees (... or, how I stopped waiting for conditions to be right and started making better decisions): Despite our best efforts and intentions, circumstances surrounding our careers aren't always within our control. So what's a person to do? I'll share the journey of how I wrestled with this question during some difficult times, and came out the other side better able to problem frame and make effective decisions.
Garrett Cooper: CEO & Partner, BenefitMany
A native of the South Hills of Pittsburgh, Garrett Cooper runs the ship at BenefitMany. As a seasoned executive and product manager, his main goal in starting BenefitMany was “to help the ‘good guys’?—?nonprofits, startups and small businesses,” a goal he continues to achieve.
BenefitMany is trying to create easily deployable, cost-effective, and secure alternative channels for people who are seeking help, and for nonprofits that operate a hotline service to dispense it. My talk will feature a discussion on why I'm obsessed with this problem, the meandering road to product launch, and what I learned from the life-saving professionals who work in the hotline field.
Jamie Sterling: Vice President of Product at Carnegie Learning
In her current role of Vice President of Product at Carnegie Learning, Jamie leads the product strategy for the Math Product line, developing cutting-edge AI-powered EdTech products, with the intention of preparing students to be the thinkers we need for the jobs of tomorrow.
As a 20-year-old company that's traditionally let Engineering drive the software product design and decision-making process, decisions were made internally by PhD experts, with disregard for customer feedback and suggestions, and often in isolated silos that did not always consider the full picture or the reality of the classroom. This talk focuses on the shift to a Product-driven organization.
David Rush: Lead Product Manager at numo
David is a product specialist with over a decade of experience in the Pittsburgh tech industry. He started his career as a designer and web developer, and then shifted into product management, finding interest in its cross-functional nature. After running product at Niche and working on a billion-dollar ecommerce website at DICK'S Sporting Goods, David is now Lead Product Manager at numo, a fin-tech lab funded by PNC Bank.
Title: Three Steps to Building Team Buy-in