Become a Product Manager
In this Udacity Product Manager review, I shall be talking through my journey into online learning and eventually taking a 4 months course on Udacity.
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Table of Contents
About My Journey
I was a Project Manager in a software solutions company, and with the Covid pandemic, remote work was enforced in my company, sparing me my regular 3 – 4 hours commute time to do as I wish, so I explored the world of online learning.
It started with various relevant Udemy (still have some to complete), Product School, IBM, and most recently Udacity. The Product Manager Nanodegree course is part of my company’s effort in personnel training, and most welcomed by me as I have been meaning to transition for a while, this also came with a promotion to Product Manager.
As a graduate with a Product Manager Nanodegree, I am probably a little more well-versed than most to write this review.
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Cost and Duration
Now coming to the Cost and Duration in this Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree Review, the program was fully paid for by my company at a full price of $399, though I think it’s quite expensive, and I’m not sure that I would have been able to afford it otherwise.
Something that stood out, and might seem like some form of justification for the high price, is the added learning and career coaching that you can get from mentors and professionals.
I took advantage of the career coaching one and one, and I must say that the session was quite insightful, my questions were not only answered, but I was given a clear path on next steps to achieve that which I sought, which for now, it is getting as much visibility, and propelling myself to transition into a more international organization.
Also Read: Udacity Black Friday offers 2021
The course timeline
The course timeline is perfect for those that have to combine it with work, I however feel that people with more time can complete the degree in about a month and a half.
What are the prerequisites for this Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree?
The Product Manager Nanodegree from Udacity comes up with the most necessary requirement of having some motivation before getting enrolled.
- There is no prerequisite experience required for this course
- You should have the leadership skills
- You should have some raw idea about the know-how of a computer
In this Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree Review, I will tell you how Udacity can help you in mastering the skills of a Product Manager.
Udacity’s Product Manager Nanodegree Syllabus
Personally, I have gone through different courses online on project management, most of them for free, and it all felt quite familiar during the Nanodegree.
The differentiating factor would be the Projects at the end of each course, it was challenging and ensured that I stayed focused on what has been thought throughout the course.
A lot of concepts resonated with me and one that stood out will be “The Art of Saying No” as a Product Manager, there will be a lot of requests both internally and externally, and it only makes sense to not overwhelm the Product life cycle by saying yes to any and every change request.
However, how those requests are analyzed and decided upon will determine if the stakeholders will always be willing to share feedback when next they are asked, hence the reason to master “The Art of Saying No”. However, it started from first having a problem that we wanted to solve, which involved a lot of research to ensure that the problem was a viable one before venturing.
The design phase was a bit of a struggle, as I had thought that I do not have any design bone in me, alas I started and made a prototype I am quite proud of. It was really interesting with the “crazy 8s” from the sprint, and iterating through more than 1 prototype version.
Development was definitely challenging.
From the activity coordination process which sets the tone for all that would be done all through the development process, needed a lot of concentration to ensure that no part of the necessary phase was missed, or the right time frame wasn’t allocated, to understanding APIs and asking relevant questions that could lead to refining the solution or determine feasibility.
True to my background in Project Management, the launch stage seemed to be the easiest for me, as it entailed implementing both old and new skills that I had been using throughout my Project Management journey.
However, it was a learning journey understanding the intersection of the various teams, communicating effectively, as well as mitigating risks that could occur.
Also Read: Review of Data Scientist Nanodegree
The product strategy lesson, set the tone for what was needed in order to go through a successful product build, from the very basics of understanding your role as a PM, skills required, to effectively identifying a problem that needs solving, as most times especially in big companies, PMs would be working on feature adds as opposed to creating a whole product from scratch.
It was a refresher course, and a breath of fresh air to validate existing skills, and work on improvement areas. The course was also quite exhaustive as it covered what was needed to venture.
Pitch a Product Vision Project
The Product vision project was very interesting, and it was easily relatable to the course lesson. It required a lot of research, and the template shared to complete the project was very helpful in implementing the project’s requirements. I feel that the template was not as exhaustive compared to the actual project specifications.
The product design class was taken by the same tutor as the product strategy course, and I think he was my best tutor. He kept the lesson simple and highly relatable. The scenarios were easily understood, and I could see myself applying them, which I did during the project.
Run a Design Sprint Project
For the project itself, it was quite fun, extremely different, and nothing I had even done, though challenging going through a Product sprint that would typically involve up to 7 team members by myself, I still found a way to keep my views as diverse as possible. Also, it was quite easy for me to relate the course to the various tasks in the project.
The Product development course was a bit challenging for me, the course instructor was somewhat boring, and lingered on for too long on things that in the end I could not relate to during the project. Sadly there was an accent that also made it a bit difficult for me to understand some of her words the first time around, and the subtitles weren’t always accurate during the course, hence my struggle. Of all the courses, this took me the longest time to complete.
Manage the Product Development Process Project
The project in the same vein as the course was a bit of a challenge, as the template absolutely did not match a lot of the project specifications. Something else was how some of the specifications were not explicitly explained during the lessons, were only lightly touched on, and during the project, they requested for a more in-depth activity on what was highly minimized during the course, lastly, some of the links that were shared and to be used for the project were broken, this however required more research, and eventually was completed.
The product launch lesson was very concise and precise, the short 2-3 mins lessons delivered all that was needed in that short time, the course instructor also was quite exhaustive in painting scenarios of an actual product’s product launch.
Deliver a Product to Market Project
This was my shortest project to complete, and I would say it was largely because other projects were a build-up to it, as well as how relatable it was to everyday project management activity which is communication. A bulk of it was sharing communication notes with different departments in the company, as well the public. I thoroughly enjoyed completing the project and finished with extra 2 weeks to spare in the month’s subscription.
How was my Project Experience?
The Projects were definitely quite challenging, and they pushed me to explore other skills necessary for successful Product Management. They encapsulated the course outline and even more, and I think it gives a perfect reference to real-life products. The reviews were also quite detailed, taking time to point out any areas of improvement with relevant further readings. I personally have implemented some of the points that I used in the course of the Project into a real-life product that I am currently managing.
Some of the available features on Udacity
I am yet to properly take advantage of the mentorship program, however, I had a technical question during my course that was answered in under 30 minutes, which was highly laudable, as I wasn’t expecting such a prompt response
I think that those charged with reviewing projects are very detailed, especially with their feedback, and this helps the student to learn and grow. Having someone point out what is needed and even in the right direction is sure to be a very valuable future.
The career services were highly professional and detailed. With actionable next steps to the questions asked, actually this review is one of the next steps I was advised to take in becoming more visible in the Product Management community.
Also Read: Complete Analysis of Udacity Nanodegree
In this review of Udacity’s Product Manager Nanodegree, I have also shared some of the pros and cons of the course. Have a look:
Product managers are highly paid professionals. It is estimated that the product managers earn $109, 000 in the United States of America in a year.
The demand for product managers is increasing like alone from 2017 till 2019 the demand has increased 32 times more than before.
The job is based on planning, executing, guiding, and implementing the ideas of the team that can be transborder.
Best Part of my Udacity Journey
What I liked the most would have to be the shortness of the learning videos, hence making it as interesting as possible, because too much can get boring. Something that also stood out for me would be the scenarios that were used, how real and relatable they were.
You get professional support for building up your CV and the professional account on LinkedIn and GitHub. Udacity itself sends the CV of its fresh graduates to their partner companies.
Not so Great Part of my Udacity Journey:
For me would be the incorrectness of some of the transcripts, and a difficult accent to understand by one of the instructors. I also definitely think the course is quite pricey, and might not have been able to afford the whole thing if it wasn’t fully paid for by my company.
I will recommend it to those that can afford it, and those that can’t afford could try a cheaper alternative, what is missing would be the uniqueness of the projects.
There are a number of reasons for which you can join the Udacity, the foremost of which is a recognized certificate, a personal trainer, and reviewed projects.
Udacity is offering personalized discount.
I am a Certified Project Manager from IPMP, always seeking to break new grounds, and finding new things to learn about. I adopt a lean approach towards product planning and execution, ensuring that the interests of all internal and external stakeholders are duly represented, and align with the product/project goal.
Here’s my story.
Reviews from graduates of Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree
Aye Thiri Kyaw
Digital Products and Channels | Data FinTech
I am glad that I took this course, and it is really well spent of my 4 months time since it helps to brush up my product management skill starting from analyzing & figuring out the demands to proposing and launching a solution. It contains 4 pillars and I love how it goes deep dive into each pillar such as product pitch, design sprint, development process management, and product launch. Contents are pretty much practical and assignments are good. I also receive meaningful reviews for all my assignments submitted for this course.
Digital Charging Solutions | LMU | CBS | TUM
Today I have completed my Nanodegree in Product Management at Udacity. During the last 4 months, I have studied the whole process from a product idea to a market launch.
Thank you, Kevin, for taking me on this journey and Digital Charging Solutions GmbH for enabling us to join the program.
A Business Analyst || Product Manager || Data Analyst || Product Analyst
One more milestone was achieved. One more was added to the list.
Thanks, Udacity for this amazing blended course.
Thank you so much Satya Tripathy Bhai for mentoring, guiding & motivating me for this. You are such an inspirational leader.
Successfully completed this insightful NDP.
Works full-time as a Product Manager, and part-time as an Agile Execution Facilitator for an online Tech platform in Nigeria.