Petter Johnson is a Product Manager of digital services. He is currently responsible of a difficult task of moving an old establishment towards digitalization slowly, one step at a time. During his speech, he will be talking about the importance of digitalization within the public employment services, the challenges that they are facing and how they are overcoming them. A casual conversation with Petter to know him better.
Product Managers often have varied backgrounds before becoming a Product Manager. How did you get into Product Management?
More or less I have been in different shapes of product management. I have worked as a product specialist, technical specialist, business development. Mostly in the area of Telecom and internet and then more into services. Being a product manager in a new telcom company I was in charge of building up all administrative systems within that company and change all systems based on requirements given. I have also, by chance, been involved in several projects when they were in total or almost-total crisis and have brought them back to a good positioning.
How do you view product management and use it in your daily work?
To me product management is the culture, the leadership, the resources because as a product manager I can’t do everything. I need to make all people working within my product around me understand that they can make an equal impact in the product. It is about getting energy from everyone and raising everyone around me and bringing them to their capability.
People often help along the way, has there been somebody that really helped you and how?
I have had the pleasure of working three times in my career with people that have similar personality and idea of working. We have had a constructive way of working together where people around us has asked ‘are you angry with each other?’ because we make challenges to each other which makes other people think that we are mad or pissed off with each other, where we are not.
We are doing constructive criticism all the time and that allows you to raise each other to a level that you cannot do by yourself.
What book have you read lately that has really influenced you?
I really like Gartner, they produce lots of nice insights in different things. Their report is normally 8-16 pages, but you get lots of good ideas from them.
What's your “secret sauce”?
You should always be open to different roles and other ideas. Always know your user customers so you can always come with the right benefits at the right time as long as you have the opportunity and possibility to do that. Be open, transparent and honest.
There’s a lot happening in the area of Product Management. What do you see as the most exciting development for Product Management?We need to get into a more commercial way of thinking into how you work with product management within the IT systems. And also going more and more towards an agile form of delivering - constant delivery of small things.
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