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Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds When we talk about something as broad as how to be really great product manager, it’s easy to get lost in platitudes and generalities that aren’t going to be very actionable for you as a product manager. In the videos and in the resources that you’ll find in the course here, I’ve used specific examples, and even some templates in some cases, to really help you anchor into the practice of these specific techniques and concepts that we’re going through. To that end, I have a fictional company that I’m going to use in a number of videos called Enable Quiz. Now let’s take a look at the positioning statement.

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 seconds Their basic idea is that, for hiring managers, they’re going to provide this lightweight quizzing solution to assess the skills of candidates that come in and interview for engineering jobs that they have. And this isn’t something that is going to give people formal certifications or even be relevant once they get hired. But it’s just a very lightweight means to make quick initial assessments on where they are for given skill set. Let’s take a look at the storyboard. Our major actors here are Helen the HR manager, who is in charge of getting candidates and doing some initial screening. Frank ,or Francine, the functional manager, who is the actual, let’s say, development lead or development manager.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 seconds And the way they interact is that when Frank or Francine needs to hire somebody, they give a job description to Helen or Hank. And then, regarding Enable Quiz, her or she then takes this and makes a little quiz. And a quiz may have several topics. So, for instance, let’s say they’re hiring a full stack web developer they might want to quiz for, let’s say, they use Ruby, JavaScript and maybe even some stuff within EXTJS, a JavaScript framework. And this may be what’s on the quiz. And they give this to Ross the Recruit, who is coming in to interview. And the outcome that they want to see for their customer is that they’re getting better hiring outcomes.

Skip to 2 minutes and 10 seconds That’s probably the most important thing, we hypothesize at this company. And before that, they’re able to do this efficiently and spend less time in the recruiting process. If we look at the specific problem area that they are approaching, what problem are they trying to solve? What job are they doing for the customer? It’s that these firms typically are needing to hire a lot of technical talent. And they don’t have a systematic way to assess the skill levels of the candidates across these different applications or different technologies that they may need to use in their job. And that may be important for people that are coming in that are not yet employees that are interviewing.

Skip to 2 minutes and 55 seconds And they may find that there’s a different modality that maybe it’s useful also inside the company, if they’re going to set up some skills development programs. Maybe they want to kind of baseline where different people are so they can just put more relevant programs in front of them, that are more relevant to where they want to go with their career. And the alternatives that these customers use, we think, are just checking references, and maybe having to ask a few kind of annoying, probing technical questions during the interviews. And we hypothesize that they’d like to do less of that, and just talk to the candidates.

Skip to 3 minutes and 27 seconds And then if they had a sort of systematic way to assess the candidates, that they would like that. They would like to get this basic, at least, skills assessment out of the way. So, that is some information about what this company is, what their core hypotheses are, about what they’re going to do that’s valuable. And I just think this’ll be helpful context for you as we apply some of these methods to Enable Quiz and see how they might approach them.

Meet Enable Quiz, our startup company

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Digital Product Management

Darden School of Business, University of Virginia