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University System of Maryland

Modern Product Leadership

University System of Maryland and University of Maryland, College Park via edX


Product Managers are masters at internal sales, team building, delegation, and empowerment. They also know that great product management careers are not built alone. From envisioning a product strategy to correctly portraying the product roadmap, the process must be inclusive, interactive, and motivating with modern leadership techniques. As your products grow, you’ll also need to skills to manage teams of teams. This course will enable you to align product teams, product designs, and product development for speed and innovation at scale.

Product Managers have one of the toughest, most demanding positions in the modern product organization. They must be both visionaries and evangelists, as well as facilitators and coaches. Often they must communicate clearly and effectively across a wide range of audiences. To do this well means being the expert in a number of key competencies of leadership.

Modern leadership principles emphasize empowerment and ownership. Meanwhile products require teams to work together at scale. This course will starts by resetting on what is good leadership based on actual data and studies. Not half-proven theories or intuition. Drawing on actual research and met studies we’ll cover the key elements of what makes a good product leader based on work by Jim Collins John Maxwell, Peter Northouse, Melissa Perri, and more. One of the key findings is that a leader’s success is driven by their team, and how well that team aligns with the mission. Understanding this, we’ll show you how to maximize the team’s effect on the leader and vice versa.

Next we’ll dive into how to build the team. This is essential if you want to move the culture and practices of your organization to truly thrive. We’ll also go over principles of encouraging ownership and continuously replenish your leadership pipeline.

In the third week, we’ll look at the core influential competencies of a product evangelist. This means vision setting, roadmapping problems, setting goals and objectives, demoing effectively and more. We’ll also discuss the art of negotiating across departments and interests, and how to manage conflicts to resolution quickly through good leadership and problem solving.

Finally we’ll turn to frameworks for organizing teams at multiple scales of product development. Whether an aspiring product manager or Head of Product, this will enable better understanding of how leaders align teams. Starting with basic Agile processes we’ll move on to scaling techniques for integrating hardware and software teams of teams. We’ll also discuss how to deploy influence and guide the work with discovery frameworks and techniques at scale. Understanding core processes and trade-offs at scale is critical to leading products to success.


Module 1: Modern Leadership for Product Organizations

Module 2: Building and Motivating the Product Team

Module 3: Influencing Product Stakeholders for Greater Outcomes

Module 4: Organizing Product Discovery and Delivery for Speed at Scale

Taught by

John Johnson


4.6 rating, based on 80 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Modern Product Leadership

  • This is the last course of the Certificate Program in Product Management. Modern Product Leadership is an excellent guideline to lead product teams that want to have the resolve to achieve great results. I studied the nature of product organizations, how to build product teams, how to engage in negotiations, and how to win as a product leader. Now I feel equipped with the required skills to build a winning startup. I won't stop learning.
  • Anonymous
    One of the best courses that covers all from Agile principles to Conflict Models. All support materials are mindfully structured and will be helpful in future work.
  • Anonymous
    The "Modern Product Leadership" course provided by the University System of Maryland via edX is an excellent online course for individuals who are interested in the field of product management. The course is well-structured, covering topics such as product...
  • Anonymous
    This course was a fantastic refresher for my knowledge on project management, while also providing valuable insights into the world of product management. The course was well-structured and engaging, with informative videos and helpful resources to support my learning. I particularly appreciated the practical applications of the concepts taught, which allowed me to apply the knowledge to real-world scenarios. The instructors were knowledgeable and passionate, and their enthusiasm for the subject matter was infectious. Overall, I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to improve their project management skills and gain a solid foundation in product management.
  • Anonymous
    Some of the concepts are outdated. It's not a truly "digital" product management course. Some of the courses are focused on very outdated concepts and examples. The course is also more project management focused vs. product management. I would highly recommend the course owners to update / revise the course "Product Design, Prototyping, and Testing". This course is just lectures with unhelpful examples. I could take something away from most classes but, this one was truly not connecting for me.

    I like how some courses had written notes and follow-up quizzes because it reinforced what you learned. I also enjoyed the fundamentals course. The instructor is really easy to follow and understand.
  • Anonymous
    This course is rich when it comes to knowledge of how to build up great product leadership within an organization, it covers management/leadership topics and evolves to cover product discovery/delivery methods, dealing with stakeholders, and providing a path forward for product people to learn how to control all the product development at scale.

    What I personally find challenging in this course is the fact that the course relies on short videos and short descriptions to convey any concept. There is no people interaction, workshops, or exercises to implement during the course to ensure that attendees are learning what they should. I would recommend having more real-life examples and exercises to reflect on the learnings.
  • Anonymous
    . Modern Product Leadership is an excellent guideline to lead product teams that want to have the resolve to achieve great results. I studied the nature of product organizations, how to build product teams, how to engage in negotiations, and how to win as a product leader. Now I feel equipped with the required skills to build a winning startup. I won't stop learning.
  • Anonymous
    The class covers A LOT, however it it’s well organized and applicable to more than products. I work in the public sector and took this class to learn methodologies for supporting teamwork and efficiency. I highly recommend taking this class and spending time pondering how to embody its core teachings.
  • Anonymous
    This course provides good insights to become a strong leader. It also emphasise on the importance of communication. Sometime, as an individual we don't like to communicate same thing again and again. However, It can help to achieve major paradigm shifts.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed the mix of video, review and quizzes to reinforce the material and facilitate learning.

    Unfortunately for me, my job changed when I was in the middle of the course so the materials are not as applicable as they previously were.
  • Anonymous
    If you are an experienced product manager, this course can let you fill in any gaps you might have in your knowledge. If you are a new product manager, this is really essential and fundamental, all-encompassing and a must to enroll in.
  • Profile image for Milagros Ovejero Solá
    Milagros Ovejero Solá
    I really enjoyed the course. However, there are too many concepts that I found to own and incorporate. In my opinion, despite there are many planning strategies and key elements, which I find hard to remember and apply in real life, I think some of them will be practical.

    Be aware of the spelling mistakes there are in the quizzes.

    Thank you very much!

  • Anonymous
    The class is very good, wish the sections were smaller or atleast show the time in the syllabus for the videos. It was tough to plan around but other than that it was a good course and I would recommend it.
  • David Schult
    The course gives a good background to further studies in subject matter.
    I left this course with practical knowledge that can be put to immediate use in my daily work and future career in product management.
  • Anonymous
    The course is so useful with respect to knowledge, skills and practical experience along with deep insights and examples to realize and gain the maximum of the course.

    I like it

    Sincerely Yours;
  • Anonymous
    Great course! Will recommend it to my colleagues and definitely continue education via the portal. Was a little bit challenging to combine with work
  • Profile image for Václav Štěch
    Václav Štěch
    A great course that broadened my horizons and wasn't just filled with shallow information. I recommend it to anyone interested in PM.
  • Anonymous
    John Johnson did it again with Modern Product Leadership! His incredibly clear and concise delivery of leadership techniques you can apply immediately are invaluable. This is a must have course for anyone in a product leadership role or on a career path leading into product leadership.
  • Anonymous
    Good practical insights blended into theory for using day to day product manager's job role. Very helpful in modern day context.
  • Anonymous
    Very helpful for managers of any kind. I learned a lot about leadership in modern companies. I'm happy I took this course.

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