Design Thinking and the Product Manager Role | Davide Scalzo (II)

Davide Scalzo, Product Manager Octopus Lab, speaking at Product Leaders 2017, just got interviewed by our colleague, Steliana Moraru, Event Manager. 

Read on to discover his professional experience, lessons learned and challenges met along the way. This is the second part of the interview. Read the first part here.


Steliana: Which of the tools you use as Product Manager are your favorites?
Davide: I’m not particularly married to a specific toolset, I am more of a process person who would pick the right tool to fit the process that we need. And different teams require different processes (different tasks, different personalities and different business needs). However, there are a couple of things I couldn’t live with, filters on Gmail are a life saver, Google Spreadsheet (yes, I said spreadsheets) is one of the most flexible tools out there for pretty much any task, Fullstory to track user behaviour and Slack.
The Product manager role is first and foremost a communication role, you need to ensure that everybody is on the same page, Slack provides an awesome way to communicate and by setting up a good team structure you can manage information loads on different team members very efficiently.

Steliana: In your session at Product Leaders (un)Conference, you will share more about Design Thinking. Can you give a sneak peek into the content?
Davide: My session will be introing Design Thinking methodology, it’s not a new concept by any means and potentially will sound similar to other concepts you might have heard before. What I’d like to do is share some stories of how it helped me in the past delivering on targets or recovering from a bad decision.

Steliana: In your opinion, how does design thinking helps companies and how does it lead to innovation in the product field? 
Davide: Embracing Design Thinking allows companies to see product more as a discovery process than an execution function. Focusing on your customers/audiences, you first need to understand what their frustration and motives are and build the hypotheses on those insights. Lots of businesses or managers within businesses think in terms of solutions rather than problems, this is bad as it can (and does) lead to solutions that solve non-existing problems!

Steliana: Recommend 3 sources you find inspiration from
Davide: There are a few websites that open by default on my browser, Mindtheproduct, a great community of product managers across the world, Product Hunt, to stay up to speed with the company launches, and TechCrunch, cause industry gossips are fun!

Steliana: Is there something you would like to share and we didn’t ask? 
Davide: I could talk for hours about whiskey, and the latest business idea I thought about. But let’s keep those for the networking sessions at Product Leaders!
Want to meet Davide and ~200 tech product practitioners? Join today Product Leaders (un)Conference, 8-9 June, Bucharest, Romania!

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