UC Berkeley's: Product Management Training Program

Translating Market Opportunities into Profitability

"The faculty at the UC Berkeley Product Management Course had an unbelievable depth of knowledge. I'm on information overload!"

Brooke Hazard, Vice President, Marketing & Product Development, Eagle Community Credit Union

Sample Product Management Program Details

Day 1: Innovating

What do Product Managers Do?

The Haas-Berkeley Product Management Program kicks off with an interactive exercise in which Product Managers from a range of industries capture and compare what they actually do every day, and how they prioritize and manage their diverse responsibilities. This sets up the opportunity for peers to begin learning from one another - something they continue throughout the week.

Innovation: Firm Imperative

Firms need to innovate now more than ever:

In this session, you will learn about the organizational structures, behavioral incentives, cultural attributes and informal networks that are correlated with a repeatable pipeline of successful product innovation. You will learn when firms need to innovate, what makes innovation difficult, and what corporations need to do to innovate. Lastly, you will learn what role you, as a product management professional, can do to make innovation happen.

Innovation: Personal Capabilities

Why does innovation matter for product management and what is at the core of "doing innovation"? In this session you will learn how to reframe situations in order to see them differently and thus resolve them differently. You will learn how to ask why, to diverge, and to experiment.

Based on results of a pre-program survey, you will learn your individual learning style and how it is connected to innovation. This will help you understand what part of product management you are innately well-suited to manage, and how you can develop skills and approaches to excel in other areas. If you manage a product management team, you will learn which styles are important to have on your team based on where you play in the innovation cycle.

Building your Current Business Model

You will complete a Business Model Canvas for your product or product line. This new model is an innovative way to create a quick and easily updatable business plan for your product(s) or your entire company. As part of building the canvas, you will learn to ensure a strong and unique value proposition for your product. Each morning of the program, you will revisit your Business Model Canvas, applying what you have learned to your own product lines. Your talented peers and the faculty will assist you in refining coherent, practical plans to implement when you return to your office.

Business in Context: Competition and Trends

This session provides a much-needed update to the classic models of business strategy. You will learn the new "dynamic capabilities" framework for thinking about your business and product strategy. You will have an opportunity to do a hands-on analysis of how competition and trends influence your business. You will imagine alternative futures in response to competition and analyze how competitive actions and trends might affect the segments you serve, your value proposition, and the capabilities you leverage.

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Day 2: Sensing

Customer Focused Design

Learn about customer focused design from the leading expert on the topic. In this session you will get a clear understanding of how to gather user and customer needs, how to generate insights and see your customers in new ways, and how to generate alternative solutions against those insights. You will have an opportunity to learn and practice interviewing skills, to capture customer data in ways that allow you to reframe how you think about customers and how to make them feel like heroes.

Data Based Decision Making

Successful and profitable product development depends on using the right tools to ask and answer the right questions - regardless of whether research is conducted in-house or outsourced. In this session, you will learn how to:

As a result of this program, you will be better able to decide when to conduct market research, what research to conduct and how to conduct it, how to analyze the data collected, and, most importantly how to draw actionable conclusions from the analyses. You will work during the session on understanding the specific questions you need to answer (e.g., which features to prioritize, how to price a new product, etc.) and how to use market research to get meaningful input to your questions.

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Day 3: Seizing

Breakthrough Results with Pricing and Power Pricing

Pricing right is a critical component of successful product management. Customers reject otherwise good products that are priced too high. Companies risk losses when prices are too low. This session is designed to help you establish a coherent and responsive pricing strategy, yielding higher long-term profitability. Using case analysis and discussion, you will learn how to calculate economic value to the customer and use that to understand what customers should be willing to pay. You will then learn a comprehensive framework for developing a successful pricing strategy and develop tools to analyze the role of costs, customer price sensitivity, and competition.

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

In this session, you will take a fresh look at segmenting your markets, subjecting your chosen market segments to rigorous analysis. You will become more fluent in the most important metrics that define which market segments you serve, including how attractive they are, what they desire most, and how they are best reached. You will work through the ideal methods for selecting segments to target, and choosing your market positioning. And, you will translate these concepts into decisions and actions through exercises on the Business Model Canvas.

Product Life Cycle

While the above session was about a snapshot in time, this session is about how to make the right decisions about your products at each step in the product lifecycle. You will learn how innovations diffuse in the marketplace, how to bridge the gap between early adopters and larger markets, and how to determine what type of life cycle your products have so that you can make good decisions.

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Day 4: Transforming

Strategic Business Interactions: Negotiation, Power, and Influence

While you need analytical skills to discover optimal solutions to problems, you also need a broad array of negotiation and communication skills in order to get these solutions accepted and implemented. This session will enable you to manage conflict, and negotiate effectively in both collaborative and competitive situations. You will develop these skills experientially through a negotiation simulation exercise. Session topics include:

During the negotiation simulation exercise, you will get specific behavior and performance feedback, allowing you the opportunity to polish your negotiation skills.

Leading Product Teams

This session is about the emerging role of the Product Manager as the "general manager" of the product team on which they serve. The session offers several key team and leadership models for including the critical elements for creating and managing high-performance product teams. You will learn how to inspire cross-functional teams to communicate and collaborate more effectively as they work together, establish the necessary trust and respect for each other's areas of expertise, understand cross-functional challenges, and work towards a common goal. This session is taught through a fun and interactive series of exercises that make the content come alive for participants and able to be applied immediately back on the job.

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Day 5: Integrating

Product Portfolio Planning

Companies must view new product investments and their associated returns in a portfolio context. This enables you to thoughtfully allocate scarce resources, improve operational execution, and maximize overall profitability. In this session, you will use well-established portfolio modeling practices to simplify the difficult task of developing product portfolios in rapidly changing, dynamic markets. You will learn to support the portfolio management process by:

This session will also include a simulation game that models portfolio management challenges.

Implementing Your Business Model Canvas

How do you step back from the day-to-day grind, and really do things that move the needle? What do Product Managers really need to be? What attributes do you need? How should you spend your time? How do you get the organizational authority to make the decisions you need to make? This session is led by a former Product Management executive who learned how to get out of the daily barrage of fires and e-mails and make strategic decisions that made a meaningful difference—for his product and for his company. At the end of the session, you will have an opportunity to think about how you can focus your own work, and what you would like to do differently when you return to work.

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Special Offers

  • Group Discount: Fifth person from a firm is free

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