This course equips students with the skills required to hit the ground running as a product manager for a software product. These skills are as relevant to the management of a feature within a larger product, as they are to the management of the entire product surface area at a young startup.
The class covers:
- Lean principles in customer development
- Lean product development through rapid iteration of MVPs. Pivoting in real life
- The modern cloud ecosystem and how software is architected on it today
- A UX development workshop and usability testing
- Agile software development via Scrum
- Learning through experimentation and A/B testing
- A practitioner career retrospective on going from CEO-of-the-product to CEO
A number of these class sessions will be co-led by well-regarded practitioners. Recitations will focus on learning the use of tools (such as Balsamiq, Confluence, Jira, and Google Cloud Console) that complement some of the above sessions. In emphasizing that becoming a successful PM requires a great deal of learning by doing, students will work in fixed teams of 3 – 4 students over the six weeks of class to:
- Identify a customer problem
- Build a lightweight (3-4 page) market requirement document (MRD) for the product
- Build a lightweight (3-4 page) product requirement document (PRD) for the product
- Release a PR/FAQ for the product
Cross-functional teams (e.g. MBAs, MBAns, SFMBAs) are encouraged but not required.
PM-Lab is partnered with the Product Management Club, one of the largest clubs at MIT Sloan. The lab portion of the course starts in January during IAP, and is 6 credits. Students enrolled in the lab are required to take the 15.786 Product Management course portion in H3, which is an additional 6 credits. Students who are matched with a project will automatically be enrolled in the H3 course. Students taking PM-Lab do not have to bid for the course portion.