Product Management All-Star: 6 Questions with Katie Saindon
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Katie Saindon is passionate about solving customer problems. She currently leads the team building the core components and services that enable GE Healthcare's digital customer experience products — including the user management framework, notification service, payment engine, and more. Based in Tampa, Florida, Katie has more than 5 years of experience in software product management. When she is not building product, Katie enjoys running, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family.
When did you learn product management existed?
"I was a project manager for GE Healthcare's digital supply chain products and worked closely with the product manager on the team. As I became more familiar with his role, I fell in love with the idea of becoming a product manager too. While I was good at project management and enjoyed the challenge of managing multiple moving pieces, I craved working closer with end users and being part of the fun that is designing a product to solve user problems."
What was your first product job?
"I ended up shadowing and helping the product manager on my team whenever I could. Before long, I was doing a large part of the job. As GE Healthcare's portfolio on the digital supply chain team expanded, so did our need for additional product managers. I jumped at the opportunity. I first managed an internal product called eAndon. It enabled manufacturing shop floor operators to raise digital alerts, or Andons as they are called in the industry, to drive faster issue resolution and increase manufacturing line uptime.
Now I lead a team of product managers focused on building the core components and services of the GE Healthcare customer digital experience. Our team’s purpose is to build reusable components that accelerate our product portfolio’s time to market, while also enabling a world-class customer experience."
What is the most important trait for a product manager?
"Communication, communication, communication! As a product manager, you engage with so many different individuals in the organization — from senior leadership to engineers. You need to be able to tailor your messaging to each audience."
What would you recommend a new product manager not do?
"In wanting to do right by your company, it can be tempting to only seek input from your functional product owner or business team. But remember that your company’s success is dependent on customers wanting and buying your product. So you need to hear from your customers directly too."
If product management had a slogan, what would it be?
"The slogan would be: It is about the problem much more than it is about the solution. As product people, we love the fun that comes with finding creative solutions to challenging problems. But you need to intimately understand all facets of the problem before you can hope to effectively solve it."
What will change most about managing products in 2030?
"I think product management will become more outcome-oriented. Competition is fierce across all industries. You need to be laser-focused on delivering meaningful outcomes for your customers and the business rather than just a set of features with no real value. Today, I think that organizational barriers often prevent this way of working. But by 2030, I think we will overcome those obstacles. Product teams will be empowered to relentlessly pursue real solutions to real customer problems."
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