Guest Blog – John Jay, Former Product Manager
Now that everyone knows about my passion for Straightaway and working in the post-acute care space, I think it would be well-served to talk a little bit about what I do as a product manager. As I mentioned before, our CNA Edge: SUPPORT product suite consists of several components: Leadership training, a CNA check-in program, a mentor program, a reach-out messaging feature, and a dashboard displaying vital information collected from the product. Executing on developing these features was the byproduct of all the hard work we did as a company to determine the best way to help organizations support new CNAs in the field, and that’s where my role as a product manager comes into play.
What it means to be a Product Manager
The best quote I’ve heard summing up what it means to be a product manager (PM) is “a product manager is the CEO of the product.” This essentially means product managers are responsible for the decisions that go into product development and are vital in determining the direction of a product. My approach to the role is all about discovery – essentially spending a lot of time with experts in the field, talking with CNAs, researching best-practices, and digging in on what problems or issues exist in the market. Once we determine what the market problems are, we can design tools that aim to ease the burden, if not solve, those problems.
Over the course of a six-month period I spoke with hundreds of people – nurses, CNAs, facility administrators, directors of nursing, front-office staff, management, and everyone in between. I read more research papers than I can count. I visited ten facilities over the course of a three-week period and spent time shadowing staff in their day-to-day lives. All this hard work gave me valuable insight into what the most pressing challenges are in supporting new CNAs. I also learned tried and true strategies to combat these challenges.
Rooted in research
The knowledge gained from my discovery process helped me shape the direction of our product and led to the development of our CNA Edge: SUPPORT suite, each feature specifically designed to address common problems organizations face in supporting newly-hired CNAs. There is a method to the madness with tons of thought behind what we’ve done, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.
In the remainder of this series, I will be digging deeper into each of the SUPPORT components with you. See you next week!