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Developing a "T Personality" in Product Management: Key Takeaways from Seema Bansal, PM at Microsoft

Product Unfiltered recently had the pleasure of hosting Seema Bansal, a product manager at Microsoft Teams. Seema shared her valuable insights and experiences with us, providing a fascinating glimpse into the world of product management.


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Summary:

Product Unfiltered: A Discussion with Seema Bansal, a Product Manager at Microsoft Seema discussed the importance of being a team maker rather than a gatekeeper as a product manager. She emphasized looking for how every idea might solve a customer problem and inspire new ideas. Seema also shared the two qualities she looks for in team members when hiring, potential and diversity of opinion. When it comes to prioritizing product features, she suggested using frameworks like rice scores and considering both the effort and impact of a feature.


Seema talked about the challenges faced during the pandemic and how her team at Microsoft Teams addressed them by seeking inspiration from research reports and user studies to improve collaboration and productivity in a simple and unified manner. Additionally, she shared her approach to product management, which focuses on understanding user psychology, relying on data, and knowing when to sunset certain features.


Seema also discussed the role of frameworks and data-driven insights in product management decision-making processes. She emphasized the importance of relying on data rather than intuition, particularly when designing products for diverse groups of users. Seema advised aspiring product managers to develop a "T personality" by gaining a broad understanding of the product space and diving deep into a specific market to build necessary skills. Lastly, Seema briefly touched on the future of product management and how it will shape and be shaped by disruptive technologies.


Furthermore, Seema shared how the discipline of product management teaches a lot about different areas such as marketing, legal compliance, privacy, security, accessibility, design, and more. Seema's technical background in computer science engineering also helps her establish credibility with engineering counterparts while discussing product features.


The discussion centered around the fragmented nature of the tools available to product managers today and the possibility of having one dashboard to gather all insights. The concept of an AI-powered CMS for product managers was proposed, which could act as a personal assistant, generating reports and providing insights that are currently fragmented across multiple tools. Seema emphasized the importance of having a deep understanding of customers' needs and requirements, as well as short-term goals and long-term vision in product management.


Seema encouraged aspiring product managers to stay curious about new technologies and product industry trends, and to learn from product failures. The discipline of product management teaches valuable skills that can be applied to other areas of entrepreneurship, providing a good launch pad for new projects.


We were honored to have Seema Bansal on Product Unfiltered, and we hope her insights have been helpful to our viewers. Stay tuned for more episodes featuring prominent figures in the world of product management.

 




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