2020 Roundup: Best Product Talks from Amazon

We’ve had some great speakers and talented product professionals joining us this year to share what they know, and help you break into product or level up your PM game.

The amount of high quality, free content out there for Product Managers can be quite overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. So start here!

You’ll find our picks for some of our favorite talks and webinars from this crazy year, covering everything from your first PM interview to the difference between Agile and ad hoc.

Also check out: 2020 Roundup: The Best Product Talks from Google

1. Cracking Your Way into Product Management with Senior PM, Sanchit Bansal

We’re starting off our list with one of the first steps you’ll ever taken in your Product Management career…and that’s getting into it!

Sanchit Bansal will take you through all of the basics, including the responsibilities of a PM, the skills and work experience needed to become one, preparing for the interview, and the typical interview questions you can expect.

Key Takeaways

One of the most helpful parts of the talk is when Sanchit breaks down the various stages you can expect to see in a PM interview.

1. The Introduction: This should sound like a story, highlighting your achievements and demonstrating the key skills that the interviewer is looking for.

2. Work Experience and Examples: Here the objective of the interviewer is to understand your soft skills, and judge the quality of your work.

3. Product Case Studies: You’ll be tasked with talking about a product you do/don’t like, designing a new product, or suggesting improvements. This analyses the way you think about products.

4. Self Awareness Questions: You’ll be asked about your strengths and weaknesses, with questions designed to test your character and clarity of thoughts.

For each of these sections Sanchit gives some great tips and strategies, to help you bring your A game and land that perfect product job.

You might also be interested in: The Ultimate List of Product Manager Interview Questions

2. Remote Product Management with Product Lead, Manmohan Sharma

Remote Product Management was always something of a myth, until 2020 hit and suddenly we all had to get used to it!

Manmohan Sharma gives us a quick 16 minute rapid-fire talk on all the tools and tricks you need for great remote PMing.

Key Takeaways

One of the most important parts of the talk is the advice on how to keep communication flowing when you’re no longer working in the same physical space:

  1. Chats for informal communications which replicate the informal ‘hallway’ chats you’d have with colleagues.
  2. Screen sharing/ video calling
  3. Data driven stories
  4. Daily/weekly/biweekly meetings
  5. Regular status updates

You might also be interested in: Is It Possible To Work Remotely As a Product Manager?

3. Prioritize, Plan, Check, Act, Repeat with Senior PM, Prabhat Kumar

The focus of Prabhat‘s is to get you thinking about how to create the most customer value, and why the steps you take towards achieving that should be the ones you take first.

Key Takeaways

The most valuable takeaway for PMs of all levels in this talk is Prabhat’s framework for prioritization, and he makes the clear distinction between prioritization between products, and prioritizing work between a product.

The two can be both be used with the framework, although one is about determining which product the team should work on next, and the other is about how efficiently you can execute product development.

You might also be interested in: Common Prioritization Mistakes

4. Product Lifecycles and Why They Matter with Senior PM, Burcin Dizman

Burcin Dizman focuses her talk on an overview of product lifecycles, and why they matter to Product Managers. She takes us through each phase (conception, design, launch & grow, and maturity) and goes over what they involve.

Key takeaways

A lot of what PMs talk about revolves around the early and exciting stages of the product lifecycle. Launch is an enormous topic, with design and conception following close behind. Maturity seems to get a little lost in the buzz.

The maturity phase involves operational excellence, and a lot of maintenance. While not as glamorous as launch, it’s still a very important part of a PM’s role.

This is where you’ll see a stalling growth in your product. It might be growing slowly, or it might actually be shrinking.

At that point it’s the PMs responsibility to make the call between sunset or pivot.

You might also be interested in: 3 Steps to Shipping Great Products by Fmr Google PM

5. Are We Agile or More Ad Hoc? with Senior PM, Aishwarya Sharma

Confused about agile methodologies? Aishwarya Sharma says that agile is pretty much a household name by now, but it’s easy to get it wrong. It’s important to pause and reflect if you are actually agile or more ah hoc.

Key takeways

In this talk, Aishwarya takes us through the basics of agile, why disruptions occur, and how to strike the balance.

How do you strike the balance? By…

  • Embracing the reality and adding buffers to sprints
  • Evaluating the requirements against product vision
  • Having early collaboration with the engineering team
  • Feature development != Feature delivery
  • Keeping time for software bugs, refactoring
  • Not changing frameworks too often, eg, switching between Kanban and Scrum
The Product Economy

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