Lecture Week 13 Product Management, DMI Capstone, April 15, 2019
Around 2016, some people who work in digital industries started thinking and writing a lot more about how digital items were “products” – even if they are services. When you order a new synch cable from Amazon for your phone, that’s clearly a product – but you can also think of Spotify as a product, even though it’s a streaming service; the newest song from Cardi B is a product, even though it’s delivered through a service; r/news on Reddit, political analysis from the FiveThirtyEight blog, a data interactive on Texas universities’ athletics programs and news about Brexit in the New York Times – it’s all “product.”
So one of the biggest areas of growth in hiring in digital media is project managers.
You all already have the skills for these jobs – what we’ll concentrate on this week is just clarifying the concept of Project Management, including how it developed and has evolved.
Dr. Royal wrote an extensive book chapter AND co-taught a massive open online course (a MOOC) on Digital Project Management. Before Monday’s class, I want you to read her chapter:
And I’d like for you to look at three of her videos from the Product Management MOOC, which she co-taught with Aron Pilhofer (formerly of the NY Times and Guardian, now at Temple University in Philadelphia) and Becca Aronson (the first-ever product manager at the Texas Tribune).
Product Management MOOC Part 1, Introduction to Product Management
Product Management MOOC Part 2, Details About Product Management
Finally, Dr. Royal published a study in 2017 about her research into project management: she talked with a bunch of people working in digital media about this emerging idea and has some great quotes.
Your assignment is to read and watch a bunch of this and then go to our Slack #general channel and just list a favorite digital “product” of yours and why you like it. Remember, just about anything you use can be a product. Here’s an example: My car came with an app, which lets me find my car, tells me if there’s a recall or it needs maintenance, lets me call for roadside assistance and schedule dealer maintenance, and has a social media section for owners of the same car. I wouldn’t have had any need for it but it’s actually pretty cool now that I’m used to it.