Brainmates talked to Kate Ryan who is a digital product management professional with extensive experience in content strategy and project management of digital products. She is passionate about producing and delivering products that offer the audience the best user experience and content that is most appealing to them. Kate is currently the Internet Broadcasting Project Manager at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), primarily responsible for the iView platform and formulating strategies and projects for streaming and download VODcasting solutions for video appearing on the ABC TV portal.
Tell us more about your role as Internet Broadcasting Project Manager at the ABC?
A big part of my role is an operational one. The nature of the medium means that useful websites are hardly ever completed. Therefore my job is to build-in site maintenance workflows to any new releases.
I lead a team of about 10 people. The entire team get involved in project scoping, as they are all specialists in one way or another. The team all have operational tasks and are responsible for making choices about adding and archiving site content.
What sort of challenges do you face in your role as a Project Manager in Product Management?
Keeping up with the audience interests and demands, innovations in the Internet Broadcasting space, IT costs of developing and hosting. Finding and licensing brilliant long-form, high quality content.
What do you enjoy most about being a Project Manager at the ABC?
When you work at the ABC it’s fundamentally about listening to the audience and being audience focused. Which is perfect because web is all about understanding the audience. ABC’s charter focuses on distributing content commissioned or acquired by the corporation to as broad an audience as possible. Therefore publishing ABC TV and original content in a quality online player isn’t something anyone within the organisation objects to.
What qualities do the best Project Managers in Product Management have?
Organisational qualities, focus on the required outcome, communication skills, choosing your battles. Knowing who your stakeholders really are and letting them know their responsibilities – ie. when feedback is expected and when it’s too late. Most messy stakeholder situations arise when those parameters aren’t obvious.
Delegating and spending time listening to team’s issues and requests. Giving team members the ability to become specialists within the platform or project.
What do you think the future of Project Management in Product Management involves?
In the immediate future it’s about educating organisations in the full digital project development and operational workflow. It’s up to the project/product manager to give project team members time and room to contribute to the project as specialists. To get this to work project/product managers need to manage up.