Scaling Operations is Product Management

Anuraag Verma
May 26, 2020

Jackson Broadbent, Director of Product at DealCloud, shares how to successfully transition from an individual contributor to a product leader, and how to guide teams and products through high growth periods.

Jackson Broadbent leads a product team at DealCloud, a platform that offers deal pipeline management and business intelligence tools.

After beginning his career in data analysis, Jack considered transitioning to engineering but ultimately decided the next natural step for him was product management.

“I looked at my specific skill sets and my unique advantages, and I recognized they were communicating with people, brainstorming high-level solutions, coming up with plans to get them done, soliciting feedback, and learning,” says Jack. “Not that those things don’t exist in engineering, but it seemed like it wasn’t necessarily where I would be able to put those skills best to use.”

He joined DealCloud as a product analyst, and he learned fairly early on how important it is to take an aggressive approach to learning new things. As DealCloud’s product management team grew, Jack asked for new projects and took on more and more responsibilities, eventually leading a product pod.

As he’s transitioned from individual contributor to product leader, he’s found an open-minded approach to problem-solving to be invaluable, particularly at high-growth companies. For example, product release and enhancement schedules, collaboration strategies, and hiring practices have all changed as the company has grown.

“Things that worked three years ago when you had 20 employees, three people on the product team, and 150 clients are certainly not going to work when you have 800 clients, a 300-person organization, and a 12-person product team,” says Jack. “The willingness to throw out the old playbook or let go of certain tactics or habits that served you in the past has been very important. Not necessarily throwing it away or ripping it up, but finding ways to incrementally change it or be willing to question it at all times is very important.”

In this episode, you’ll learn a lot about career advancement, product growth strategies, and leadership.

Here are the highlights: 

  • How Jack’s career trajectory evolved from individual contributor to product manager (7:10)
  • What are the biggest challenges facing product teams at high-growth companies (15:20)
  • Ways to be a more effective product leader (22:05)
  • How to approach becoming a client and internal-facing representative of teams (26:45)

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