Katie Cladis

Senior Product Manager
A Closer Look

Key Strengths

Creates an inclusive environment where all team members’ opinions, feedback and ideas are listened to and valued.

Achieves results by gracefully aligning cross functional teams to reach a shared vision.

Strong facilitator: can get a group of individuals on the same page efficiently, getting them to make important decisions together.

Keeps a meticulously organized backlog where stories are clearly connected to user and business value.

Approach to product is focused on learning and validating functionality early and often, which minimizes the chance of engineers building something that does not resonate with users.

Fields of Experience

Advertising technology
Marketing technology
Online education
eCommerce
Automobile industry

Highlighted Skills

Creation
Starts with the end in mind to understand the why - why are we building this product in the first place?

Rapidly gleans insights from the market and customers regarding their pain points through user and market research.

Obsesses about the most important problem to be solved, and works with myriad stakeholders to determine what a lean minimum viable product looks like to address said problem.

Cuts through the noise to identify the must-have features to be shipped quickly, in order to kick of the process of learning from the working software as soon as possible.

Iteration
Prototypes, tests and experiments to validate hypotheses and proposed solutions.

Identifies the highest value opportunities to pursue next based on insights from user interviews, usage patterns, and customer feedback.

Aligns the roadmap on business strategy and higher level company objectives.

Grows new users by prioritizing features that solve a wider range of problems across different types of users.

Maintenance
Laser focused on customer satisfaction to drive the overall health of the product and the business.

Uses data and customer feedback to increase customer retention and battle churn.

Assesses the product’s value proposition to support continued product-market fit.

Projects & Roles

Digital Campaign Management

Katie joined a team working on a new digital campaign management platform, which had a wide user base, competing goals and priorities across different stakeholders, and a tight timeline until launch. When Katie joined, the team was trying to make too many people happy at once, and in the process making no one happy (especially themselves!). With the launch date already set, Katie worked expeditiously with cross functional teams to cut through the noise to understand and create alignment around the key problems for which the product was trying to solve. With a more focused set of goals in mind for the near term, and a clear vision for the long term, Katie was able to work with her team of engineers and designers to prioritize needs and features and launch the platform on time. As a result, the productivity of media traders - the prioritized users - increased by 60%. This win propelled the team to proudly move forward on future priorities and features.

Ed-Tech

Katie led a strategic initiative to onboard a new online learning tool for students looking to launch new careers in technology. The existing online tool would not be able to successfully handle the amount of growth projected in the next year. Katie used the “jobs to be done” framework to deeply understand the needs of a diverse set of students and stakeholders in order to evaluate new systems. Instead of blindly incorporating old features into the new learning management system, this framework provided a fresh perspective on how we were addressing pain points by focusing on the job that the old feature was doing, rather than the feature itself. This created space for the cross functional team to quickly prioritize needs rather than features, in order to imagine a completely new student experience.

Operations

When working with a pre-college test prep company, Katie led an operational initiative to lower the costs of students taking free proctored SAT and ACT practice tests at testing centers, while reducing the amount of time to provide students with their practice test results and feedback. The existing process relied on proctors collecting test grids, sending them to the company’s home office where another team scanned the tests and emailed the results to students and parents. This took too long and was too resource intensive. Further, the longer the student had to wait for results (sometimes up to 10 days with this existing process!), the less likely they were to purchase a test prep program. In order to solve this problem, Katie worked with a team of engineers and subject matter experts to design a webgrid - a mobile responsive web application for students to enter their test answers into in order to get immediate results. The results were impressive: a significant reduction in operational costs by 30% while simultaneously creating a better student experience and business results.

About

Home Town

Austin, TX

Current Town

Brooklyn, NY

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Mathematics, Vassar College; MBA from Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder

Connect with Katie

LinkedIn

Skills

Product management software: Jira, Trello
UX software: Balsamiq

Languages: SQL, R, Python

Stakeholder management

User research

Product strategy

Agile methodologies

Product roadmapping