The University of Arkansas Global Campus has partnered with Emergn, a leading global professional services firm, to offer a 10-week online training course focused on product management that can be customized for local businesses.
U of A Professional and Workforce Development, part of the Global Campus, worked with Emergn Learning Services Manager Steven Angelo-Eadie to deliver the course based on projects. The course was introduced to the public last year and is now available to companies that want a customized version for their employees. Engagement with JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. led to the idea of offering a customized version of the course directly to a group of Product Managers and Product Owners at JB Hunt. The Lowell-based Fortune 500 company offered the course to its employees last spring.
Participants can apply what they learn in the workplace, allowing them to bring a structured approach to product management and strategy execution. They study real industrial scenarios and the most effective strategies to establish better relationships with stakeholders: bosses, teams and customers.
“The case studies we use are applicable to the company we work with,” Angelo-Eadie said. “Employees can take what they learn and apply it to their context. From start to finish, they will have a roadmap of how to apply product management techniques to their company’s products. is a real education.”
The 10-session course includes eight one-hour, work-based classes; two one-on-one sessions with Emergn product management experts; and two to three hours per week of practical application and additional study.
In 2020, Emergn helped lead an effort to create the Northwest Arkansas Product Management Guild to support local businesses. Emergn developed the Product Management course with the U of A due to interest from companies wanting their employees to gain more job-specific knowledge.
“Product management and these new ways of working are applicable to all industries and sectors,” Angelo-Eadie said. “Software, digital services, e-commerce, finance, energy, gas, banking, it’s applicable to everyone.”
The guild’s mission is to lead the product management profession in developing and promoting vendor-neutral product management approaches, industry best practices, a body of knowledge, and educational services.
“Our industry partners are instrumental in helping us bring the skills training local businesses need to thrive to the region,” said Mark Berkowick, assistant director of workforce readiness at U of A Global Campus Bentonville. “Online training helps us deliver in-demand courses for professionals who want to improve their contribution to their business.”
Other training options are featured on the U of A Professional and Workforce Development website, operated by Global Campus.
The Product Management Training Course is a practical online course for those working in and around product management. Emerging enablers will focus on the skills and competencies needed to launch products and services as well as features that meet consumer needs.
“Understanding the latest thinking in product management via textbooks is not enough when it comes to navigating the complexity of turning an idea into a value proposition and a product that users love,” according to Emergn. “Emergn designed this course to help participants apply what they learn outside of the classroom.”
The course incorporates techniques and tools from many modern business schools, including Design Thinking and Lean and Agile, and aligns them with the outcomes of Value, Flow, Quality, which is the set of models, techniques and Emergn’s trusted tools, plus unique tips. on concepts, frameworks and methods. VFQ is used by hundreds of organizations around the world, according to Emergn.