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High Product Supervisor Values with Microsoft Senior PM


Final week, Product College hosted Maria Olekheyko, Senior Product Supervisor at Microsoft, for a particular #AskMeAnything session. Maria has plenty of knowledge on what makes an amazing PM, together with values, abilities, and problem-solving abilities.

Meet Maria

Maria Olekheyko, Senior Product Manager at Microsoft

Maria Olekheyko is a Microsoft Senior Product Supervisor with over 15 years of managing groups the world over. She is presently main Microsoft’s Be taught Cloud Video games. She began with Microsoft in 2018 as a Program Supervisor for the Minecraft Schooling Studying Applications.Earlier than becoming a member of Microsoft, she labored as a PM for Studying and Improvement at EF Schooling First. All through her time with the corporate, she labored on the event framework for hundreds of staff throughout completely different world markets and re-evaluated and improved the client expertise after intensive market analysis.

By way of onerous abilities and tender abilities what are high qualities that separate a mean PM from an amazing PM based on you?

Mushy abilities are a should. I’d say an amazing PM is listening very intently to the whole lot that stakeholders must say and is aware of how you can navigate this suggestions.

What are the highest values a PM wants?

a closeup of a cat on the grass looking at a butterfly

High values are:

  • Intense curiosity
  • Potential to work with information & insights
  • Being snug with ambiguity

Need assistance defining your skilled values? Try Product Templates: PM Profession Imaginative and prescient Planner

What do you would like you had recognized earlier than taking over a PM position?

I want I had recognized how you can have more durable pores and skin :cara_ligeramente_sonriente: Product Supervisor is the one who doesn’t handle individuals immediately, nevertheless receives all types of suggestions from all of the stakeholders.

If you end up hiring a Product Supervisor, what do you search for in a stand-out candidate?

I feel I wish to see the way in which the candidate thinks by means of the issue, what questions they must ask me and approaches to options.

What does your everyday seem like?

My days are busy: full of conferences with engineering, producers, clients. A variety of time is spent prioritizing options/backlog/suggestions, plenty of time is spent listening or watching clients work with the product + blocked focus time.

What ought to a PM do each day?

What I do each day is take a look at the product information, speak to clients or watch focus teams & speak to manufacturing staff.

One other nice learn: 10 Weekly Habits of Product Managers That Make a Large Distinction

close up of a lined spiral notebook with the word

Has the Product Manger position or positions reached saturation?

Thanks in your query! In case you are speaking about Product Supervisor position inside Microsoft – I’d say that we’re within the interval of transition proper now. Microsoft began dividing Program Administration & Product Administration tracks not so way back and we now have very clear distinctions proper now.

Any recommendation for a new graduate who is beginning on the PM journey?

I feel previous to becoming a member of Microsoft, I joined a neighborhood library and browse the whole lot that I might discover on Product Administration. A few of my favorites are Excessive Possession, Hooked, and others. I feel being curious and studying about what’s new in the marketplace is fairly necessary and can at all times be my suggestion.

Any recommendations on how you can develop from PM to Senior PM?

I’ve this precept, at any time when I’m within the position I’m on the lookout for necessities for the subsequent degree position and browse them very rigorously. I attempt to strategize on how I can get to the subsequent degree even being in my present position. Acting on the extent that’s increased than yours exhibits the administration that you could develop into the position.

Try this Product Podcast episode: Expertise to Take You From PM to CSuite by Fb VP of Product

The way you run discovery and comply with up supply? Any suggestions for brand spanking new PMs do an amazing discovery and actually ship worth for purchasers?

Discovery is figuring out gaps {that a} new product can cowl. I take a look at what the corporate has right now, what opponents are doing on this house, what clients need and do by means of jobs achieved course of after which make a guess on a product. I hope we delivered on that hole with the brand new product that simply obtained launched. Try Cloud Video games with Microsoft Be taught, that is my product.

person carrying 2 cardboard packages in an indoor space

Simply checked out Cloud Video games. Seems like a tremendous product. Is that this built-in with the recruitment course of at Microsoft, the place the staff screens the actions of a participant and use their efficiency and scores to find out their ability degree?

THANK YOU! You’re giving me nice concepts! We heard that sentiment from a few clients that they wish to use it as a hiring program train. It’s not presently built-in with recruitment. We try to ability up our massive learner group.

I did my certification for PM from Product College, and now I’m working in a product distibution position. How can I place myself as a PM for a new position the place I’m really constructing the merchandise?

I speak to potential clients so much and after a few of these conversations 4 obtained employed in Microsoft, not all of them into PM roles. Nonetheless, what I’m making an attempt to spotlight is you will need to insert your self into the roles or processes that you simply wish to be part of. I feel really working facet by facet with somebody so that folks see the way you method issues will get into the position you wish to be in.

I’d love to maneuver into Product Administration at an EdTech firm. Do you may have any recommendations on how you can mix my background in training and tech to attraction to EdTech roles?

a child seated at a wooden table with a laptop and notebook open in from of them

I feel being a PM would possibly imply completely different factor for every firm, as I’ve not labored for EF in fairly a while, it’s onerous for me to advise significantly about EF PM roles. Having stated that, my background is in training and I naturally discovered myself in Product Administration. I discover although that being a PM is like being a lifelong learner, somewhat than an educator. It is advisable keep curious and that is actually what obtained me into the position. I saved speaking to the shoppers and asking them “Why? Why is that this necessary for you?” This led me to speaking about potential modifications within the product after which transitioning right into a PM position.

Do product bootcamps add important worth to an individual’s profile or would you think about an individual self-studying the ideas equally eligible to be thought-about for interviews?

I might say something that you could add to your CV provides worth – the primary screening that occurs, occurs by means of recruitment, nevertheless afterward if you find yourself speaking to the hiring supervisor, I imagine in studying books but in addition getting actual life expertise by means of connecting to the product.

With a view to construct product that solves actual life issues, what are some good assets and suggestions that you can counsel?

Speaking to individuals who use the product 🙂 They’re the very best sources of inspiration!

See our Product Supervisor Certifications

I’m beginning a Product Operations Job. How do I enhance present processes and create extra pleased moments (automate) inside the operations division?

My greatest suggestion is to stroll in your buyer sneakers and to really feel the “ache” after which interview the shoppers and see when you all are on the identical web page. I really like “strolling” in buyer sneakers after which prioritize, prioritize, prioritize and be ruthless about chopping issues that don’t work.

What are a few of your greatest methods, instruments or processes and many others in working throughout disciplines for instance with designers? E.g giving enter into their work, making requests?

group of people seated at a wooden table. All have either a laptop or a tablet device. two members of the group are seated next to each other and looking at a tablet screen together

As a PM you might be required to work throughout disciplines and you wouldn’t essentially be an knowledgeable in all these disciplines. I strongly imagine in establishing the ideas for the product between completely different disciplines and at any time when the request comes up, we at all times examine towards the ideas, then with design particularly I strongly imagine in person focus teams.

What’s subsequent? What’s Microsoft doing to remain related within the business?

Microsoft is unquestionably engaged on implementing hybrid (mesh) throughout the board: training, gaming, work and cybersecurity.

What are the important thing issues I ought to take note of as a Product Supervisor in an early stage firm?

  1. Be taught the product, be sure to totally perceive the way it features and why
  2. Have a look at the consumption information vs expectations
  3. Discuss to the shoppers that began utilizing the product, speak to the shoppers that both stopped utilizing the product or by no means began utilizing it

You may additionally be concerned about: The Distinction Between Startup PMs & Large Company PMs

The rest?

Thanks all for all of your questions! We can be on the lookout for extra great PMs in my staff within the subsequent fiscal 12 months (begins on July 1, 2022). In case you are on the lookout for a job, keep tuned to listen to extra and also you at all times can attain out to me immediately. I’m on WorldWide Studying staff (World Tech Studying).



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