Seven years ago, Degreed’s CEO asked Kat Kennedy, their current Chief Product Officer,  if she’d be interested in switching from her software development role to a product management role. Her response?

“What exactly do product managers do and how many of them do you really need?”

As Kat explains in our free eBook, The Path to Product Excellence: Stories and Advice from the Field, her CEO was patient and explained the role, why it was a good idea, and that it would work out.

“I started my career at Degreed as a software developer and loved seeing ideas come to life by shipping code. After I moved into product management, I poured that same passion into delivering value to users by shipping great products. Now, as our Chief Product Officer, I get to effectively “ship” an organization. I’m still doing what I’ve always loved—building, just not products.”

In the eBook, Kat also explains what it takes to succeed as an executive leader and what sets it apart from succeeding in other management levels in an organization.

“As an executive, you naturally work a lot with the CEO, other C-level executives, and the board. What’s unique in these interactions is that you need to be ahead of the conversations. Have answers to questions that haven’t been asked yet and have solutions to problems that haven’t been mentioned yet.”

Kat ends her piece by mentioning that it’s pretty common to replace product executives with more seasoned veterans as companies scale. But Kat was able to grow into the role as the company grew by asking herself a simple question.

What did she ask? Find out by downloading the eBook, where you can also get more stories and advice from product experts such as Dan Olsen, Jeetu Patel, and Hiten Shah!

Monty Mitra Jan 22, 2019