What does Product Management

look like at Neo?

See what it takes and why it's important.

Product Management

is a creative role

Product Management is a creative role

Our product managers live to create something of value and see it exist in the real world. They love to work across disciplines and make an entire team successful. They believe in process, and value pragmatism over theory. They understand qualitative and quantitative inputs merge with product intuition to create something awesome. Most importantly, they ship.

  • Find the sweet spot.

    Product managers at Neo are exceptionally good at defining the moment where user needs and business objectives come together. They understand the macro forces creating an opportunity as well as the micro forces that drive customer value, competitive environment, and business model.

  • Leading and serving at the same time.

    The best product managers know when to lead and when to enable. Sometimes they drive the vision, but they are equally happy helping someone else own the vision, all in the service of shipping something great. They view every teammate as a creative partner and they relish pulling the client into the team.

  • Prioritization is an art.

    Product managers act as wranglers-in-chief, helping both the client and the team make sense of options and determine the right path forward. They help the team and client focus on outcomes, rather than outputs, and drive towards informed and effective decisions.

Give 100%. 110% is impossible.

Only idiots recommend that.

— Ron Swanson

Skills Matrix

Keep it on the level

We created a skills matrix because we think transparent expectations and a clear growth path are an essential part of our people’s careers. It serves as an assessment tool for you and for us. Neo is looking for people who want to grow across these roles.

Product Design (incl UX)

Junior

Can effectively communicate product design problems and facilitate product discussions with teammates and clients.

Mid

In addition, can identify user needs and define features.

Senior

Can support, and in some cases lead, product design for early and mid-stage product development.

Pattern Awareness

Junior

Researches UI and UX patterns in advance of feature conversations with clients and teammates.

Mid

Understands a range of UI and UX patterns for a broad spectrum of use cases and can communicate possibilities to clients and teammates.

Senior

In addition, based on experience implementing patterns on previous projects, has measured effectiveness of a range of UI and UX patterns. Facilitates decision-making.

Analytics

Junior

Familiarity with analytics packages like Google Analytics, MixPanel, and Omniture, and produces reports for team and for clients. Regularly cites analytics to help broker product decisions.

Mid

Partners with designers and developers to set up instrumentation strategically. Can synthesize and interpret data.

Senior

Connects desired product outcomes with key performance metrics (KPI). Uses metrics to create data-driven narratives that focus the team.

Copy/Content Strategy

Junior

Can write clear and effective copy for products and product marketing. Starting to think about measurement and conversion, with respect to copy and content strategy.

Mid

Understands that copy and content strategy can be a fundamental part of user experience and product design. Prioritizes/measures the effectiveness of copy and content strategy.

Senior

Can devise and execute on a content strategy on behalf the team and client. Connects content strategy and copy with relevant conversion goals.

Usability Testing

Junior

Able to participate effectively in qualitative user research and usability testing.

Mid

Able to lead interviews with users. Able to draft an effective interview guide.

Senior

Able to design and implement an effective qualitative research program.

Agile management

Junior

Familiarity with agile software development processes and has experience working within proceses such as XP, Kanban, and Scrum. Learning to write effective user stories and plan iterations.

Mid

Has led agile processes. Can work with engineering and design partners to evolve agile approach to fit team and project needs. Can write developer-ready user stories. Partners with functional leads on interation planning.

Senior

Experience with a variety of agile processes and can bring to bear the right processes and tools as necessary based on project context.

Lean (experiment design, customer development)

Junior

Familiarity with lean process and has partcipated in experiments and customer development.

Mid

Can design an effective lean experiment and conduct customer development based on knowledge of best practices.

Senior

Can design an effective lean experiment, analyze results, and help client interpret data and make decisions. Synthesizes customer development and makes feedback actionable for team.

Tools and Tactics

Junior

Has basic judgement on which tool to use and when. Willing and able to learn new tools.

Mid

Has excellent judgement on choice of tool / method for the task at hand. Willing and able to learn new tools.

Senior

In addition, can recommend tools to clients that encourage collaboration and make projects more efficient.

Technical Capability

Junior

Has the aptitude to learn Git and HTML/CSS. Desire to learn to work in production environment.

Mid

Tracks commits in github. Able to make direct edits to HTML/CSS and has basic comfort with github.

Senior

Same

Teamwork and Leadership

Junior

Leads without formal authority. Can facilitate cross-functional conversations between design, development, and business.

Mid

Can reconcile disagreements between team members to broker consensus. Fills gaps as necessary to ensure success of the product and team.

Senior

In addition, provides client management leadership and support.

Business Model Design

Junior

Aware of common business models and the basic levers that contribute to their respective success/failure.

Mid

Can design a business model, and prioritize user stories and iterations to test business model hypotheses. Has pattern awareness.

Senior

Well versed in business models paradigms and related case studies. Informs client and team decision-making.

Financial Modeling

Junior

Aware of the value of financial models. Has an aptitude to learn Excel and how to put together financial models.

Mid

Can put together a basic financial model. Can identify business problems that can ideally be solved with financial models on behalf of a client.

Senior

Can put together more sophisticated financial models as necessary.

Customer Acquisition (incl. sales and marketing awareness)

Junior

Aware of basic customer acquisition strategies, e.g. SEO/SEM, email marketing, content marketing, social media, et al)

Mid

Has experience developing various customer acquisition strategies and prioritizing user stories and iterations against customer acquisition goals.

Senior

Has deep experience with customer acquisition, and possibly has vertical domain knowledge and expertise in at least 1-3 forms of acquisition.

Competitive Analysis

Junior

Researches competitors in advance of product conversations with clients and teammates.

Mid

Can conduct general competitive analysis as part of product planning and market research. Familiar with basic competitive analysis frameworks (e.g. SWOT)

Senior

In addition, can present competitive analysis to clients, and shape overall product strategy by informing business assumptions.

Communication Skills (incl. facilitation and presentation)

Junior

Solid written and verbal communicaton skills. Can facilitate cross-functional communication skills. Working on faciliation and presentation skills with clients.

Mid

Starting to develop strategic communication skills, vs. tactial communication. Can effectively faciliate and present to smaller groups.

Senior

A strategic communicator. Can effectively facilitate and present to groups of any size, across all levels of seniority.

Client Management

Junior

Can provide basic project and client management support. Understands how to craft client communications.

Mid

Can lead project and client management for a project as necessary. Can think strategically about client/project management.

Senior

Effectively leads client and project management (unless otherwise delegated).

Project Problem Solving

Junior

Identifies problems that arise during the course of a project. Can effectively articulate the problem to stakeholders.

Mid

Effectively escalates to project lead and/or client as necessary. Can effectively brainstorm potential solutions.

Senior

Can broker solutions with the client at the highest levels of seniority. Can broker deeply technical / complex design solutions in partnership with design and engineering partners.