We’re introducing a new feature here in the community - the Product School Community Member Spotlight!
Here, we get to know our community members — how they got started, what they’ve learned along the way, and why they love what they do. We all can benefit from learning about each other’s experiences, challenges, achievements and insights.
This month’s spotlight is on @robertzalme!
You can get to know more about Robert below:
What sparked your interest in product management?
The fun thing is, I never actually made a conscious choice to start working in product management. When working as a ‘Service Manager’, I came across a PM vacancy and suddenly realized PM was what I’d already been doing most of my time. I really liked the idea of creating (digital) products loved by its users and at the same time generating a good revenue for the company.
What do you love most about this profession?
Being a PM gives you such a wide variety of tasks, you’ll never experience a dull moment. I really like the continuous balance that you, as a PM, have to keep between business and revenue interests on the one hand and offering the best solutions for your users on the other. I also love to work with data and what better fundament for adjusting or developing a features based on user data and feedback?
What do you find most challenging?
Basically, one of the most important aspects of being a PM is after all these years still challenging; stakeholder management. Especially while working in a larger organisation where you have to take into account requirements from many different departments (from legal to customer service and everything in between) your group of stakeholders and their needs could get very large and overwhelming. Keeping everyone aligned on the decisions being made for prioritizing the roadmap and features that are taking in and out of scope never bores and is not a one-size-fits-all solution for.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give or that you have received?
The best piece of advise I can give is to embrace the fact you don’t know everything and you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help and others opinions.
How has your Product School learning helped you in your career?
It still helps me to rethink my personal way of working now and then. Besides, I usually get an inspirational boost from taking in new information on the topic of PM. The Product School Webinars and the new community (Launch) are an awesome way to keep being inspired and challenged by likeminded people.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Beside spending time with my wife and kids, I’m a running addict. I try to run at least 3 times a week and constantly look for new challenges. I also love to share my passion for running via Instagram (@robertzalme) and by this try to motivate and inspire others to get the best out of themselves. Running helps me blow off steam, cleaning my head and to stay fit both mentally and physically.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
After completing my Bachelor of communications degree I moved to Ghana for several moths to work as a volunteer. During my time in this country I met a lot of beautiful people and managed to build a primary school in one of the poorest regions of the country. I would love to go back there one day to see how everyone is doing and if my efforts helped improving the lives of the people in the community I stayed.
What’s the last book you read and really enjoyed?
The last book I read and really learned a lot from was ‘Master your mindset’ from Michael Pilarczyk. The book is about personal and spiritual growth, as well as business success. It helps you understanding your own mindset and how you can effectively change it to improve the quality of your life.
Thanks for sharing with us, Robert! We appreciate you being a part of the community!