Building a Product Management Team: Interview with Active Campaign VP of Product Management

5 Introspective Questions for Jennifer Busenbark, Vice President of Product Management from ActiveCampaign

 1. What are the biggest challenges when leading a product management team?
No matter what team you are leading, you will face similar challenges — are you being a good leader? Are you fostering an environment that will enable your team to do their best work and grow? But what’s unique to product management is the added pressure of building out the company vision, and it’s the product which will ultimately determine the success of an organization.

2. If you could build the perfect product management team without constraints, what would it look like and why?
I would hire more PMs (product managers) than you typically would think is necessary. There is always so much going on and it gets really tough having to always context switch. I would love to be able to give my team endless time to do user and competitive research.

3. What do you look for when hiring product managers for your team?
I believe experience is more impressive than credentials. I want someone who has actually delivered a product, been in the thick of it and can make the touch decisions on prioritizing.

4. What makes a successful product management team leader?
The most successful leaders deliver a safe space to work, establish trust and use direct communication. They are also working tirelessly to iterate on the process, ensuring your team is as efficient as possible.

 5.  If you had one piece of advice for executives building product management teams, what would it be and why?
Don't wait for gaps to be exposed to hire. You need a PM sooner than you think. Understand your teams strengths and hire to fill in the gaps, whether on the strategic side or the execution side.

Bridget McMullan