Mike is a Senior Product Manager for Def Method. Mike is passionate about design, storytelling and analytical thinking and has over a decade of experience in roles across the product development spectrum. A self-taught programmer during the inception of the internet age, Mike began his technical career in the video game industry, eventually helping to scale a product that enabled users to design their own games, leveraging sophisticated visual programming and enabling computational thinking. From QA to designing large scale applications to managing product teams, Mike is experienced in and truly enjoys all aspects of the software development lifecycle. He specializes in the Pragmatic Marketing approach, emphasizing data over theory to transform ideas into creations. He has built products for the K-12 education market, automotive industry, and augmented reality space. Outside of work, Mike enjoys actual reality problem solving, typically involving escape rooms and board games with friends. Residing in Austin, Texas, he appreciates the outstanding food his hometown is known for, hiking and generally exploring outdoors with his Great Pyrenees mix, Bosley.
Utilized Cross Departmental Design Collaboration to Launch Help Desk Software Aimed at Teachers and Students
In 2017, Mike led an effort to introduce a new module for a company's K-12 software product line. This module would introduce teachers and students to a workflow previously restricted to technicians and administrators. The feature allowed users to submit data directly to the system, cutting out an administrative “middle man.”This opened up new design challenges, including single sign-on for students, sensitive data entry, integrations, and non-intrusive notifications. To solve these challenges, Mike organized and facilitated several Google Venture Design Sprints, with representatives from each department. Utilizing data from customer support, sales, marketing, development, and operations, Mike was able to develop and validate prototypes in under one week. Integrating validation and user feedback, Mike confidently developed an MVP in a few months and released it to the market. After initial release, the team continued to gather data on user feedback, continuously improving the product based on user needs.
Developed a Transparent, Data Driven Prioritization System
One of Mike’s first projects involved organizing a backlog of over 200 requests into a functioning roadmap that could be leveraged across the team’s functional disciplines and be implemented quickly. Utilizing the Pragmatic Marketing framework, Mike worked to break down each request and score it based on factors like market impact, unique request frequency, and internal risk. This methodology organized the roadmap, communicating feature priority and product direction, while still allowing the team to pivot as new information was received. Mike provided full transparency for the development team and business stakeholders, breaking down how each feature request had been analyzed and prioritized. This created an honest and productive relationship with business leaders and end users.
Connect with Mike
Charlottesville, VA (hometown)
Austin, TX (current city)
Bachelor of Computer Science, Full Sail University
Certifications: Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Scrum Master (SCM), Pragmatic Marketing (PMC-III)
Product Management: Aha!, Productboard, Google Analytics, Project Management: JIRA, Confluence, Pivotal Tracker, Trello, Visual Studio Online,
UX + Development: Invision, Zeppelin, Balsamiq, Miro, Gliffy Backlog Prioritization Product Strategy & Roadmapping Stakeholder Management
Agile Methodologies: User Story Creation Win / Loss Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Buyer/User Personas Cross Department / Cross Team Communication Wireframes / Prototyping / Google Venture Design Sprints
Senior Product Manager