Product Management and Solution Design Winter 2024

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Class Details

In this course, students will work in small teams to design a software product that solves a problem of their choosing. To support this endeavor, we will examine, critique, and apply methodologies intended to solve these problems, including those developed by Marty Cagan, Steve Blank, Don Norman, Steve Krug, and Eric Ries. Students will learn to act as effective product managers, achieving alignment between business, technology, and UI/UX design. Such alignment is crucial given that technology projects often fail not because of the quality of technical engineering but due to misalignment in these three areas. Google Glass failed to account for its price tag, fashion, and the privacy panic. The initial Obamacare website failed to address management issues and predict the volume of website visitors. Flexcube failed to update and incorporate users into the design of their product, resulting in a $500 M UX mistake for Citi bank. These organizations did not identify the right problem, or did not build the right solution. The underlying conflict is IT teams like to be told what to build, but users often do not know what they want or how to express it. We will learn how product managers and their interdisciplinary teams can bridge that gap.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 10
Expected: NA
Class#: 1347
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Presentation(s); Creative project(s)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Preference for upper classmen (seniors, juniors)
Unit Notes: Allan Wellenstein is a SVP at DataArt, where he heads the DataArt Solution Advisors consulting group as well as their product management competency. Though technically headquartered in NYC, he lives with his wife and three children in Pittsfield, MA.
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses
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