Update from the first conference of PDMA in Poland

by | Jul 8, 2019

On the 28 of June at the Technical University of Warsaw we held the first conference about the effective product management in companies. We discussed the subject among Directors of R&D, Product development and Product management, company owners and people leading NGO’s that use technology to make disabled people’s life easier.

 The theme of the conference was not accidental. For last half a year, the board of PDMA Central Europe has been meeting with experts to learn what their biggest challenges are. We realized that the lack of access to proven knowledge and expertise is a number one issue. Even successful companies built their processes with the method of trial and error.

Therefore, after the short introduction to PDMA, the first lecture by Wojciech Przychodzen from Rokakan Group was devoted to the PDMA Body of Knowledge (BoK). PDMA is a nonprofit association that for over 43 years has been continuously gathering and compiling product management knowledge and best practices. PDMA members who are  NPD and innovation practitioners, entrepreneurs  and scientist collated these best practices into PDMA Body of Knowledge (BoK). BoK is not a new methodology. It is a collection of various methods, tools and recommendations in the areas of:

  1. NPD Strategy
  2. Portfolio management
  3. New products process
  4. Culture, organization, and teams
  5. Tools and metrics
  6. Market research
  7. Life cycle management

Currently, we offer the third version but we are already working on the fourth that will include the latest discoveries, tools and trends. PDMA also conducts its own research that is published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management that has gone out since 1984. That is why, PDMA BoK is not only a set of practical recommendations but the knowledge that is verified in the process of scientific analysis. 

The second presentation was delivered by Marcin Kleina who is the Member of the Board and Director of Product Development in Wolters Kluwer Polska. That was a very interesting case study on how his company organizes a work on its products, what role Product Managers play in it and how other departments are involved in this work. He also shared what challenges the company faced when maturing product management and what lessons they learned.

Marcin Kleina, Product Development Director, Wolters Kluwer, picture Wojciech Przychodzeń

The presentations initiated a long discussion around the challenges we face in our work. Most participants agreed that the lack of support for the organization can be the biggest difficulty. It can manifest in the lack of understanding and support for R&D projects by the finance department (risk of innovation), the lack of differentiation between products and projects and how different the product development from product implementation skills are. The participants also pointed to cultural problems in our country – fear of failure and not sharing ideas with others.  

We are very happy as many new interesting connections were made and people talked about common projects and helping each other already. After the event, we also received encouraging comments:

“PDMA is a much-needed initiative. To build and manage a company offering is a big challenge in a rapidly changing environment. I am convinced that the knowledge and exchange of experiences which PDMA offers, will contribute to developing new, innovative products “- said Katarzyna Dorywała, Director of Product Development from Impel Group.

Konrad Myśliński, 4optima, author Adrian Zielke

Therefore, after this “baptism of fire” we double our efforts. We are proud to announce the second PDMA conference  “How to build Product and R&D Teams, which will take place in November in Gdansk. We invite companies interested in partnering with PDMA and we also request specialists to submit proposals for lectures and workshops.

Finally, we would like to invite practitioners to join our association. Membership offers many benefits:

  • access to the huge PDMA knowledge base
  • connection with over 2000 experts from all around the world
  • the subscription of Journal of Product Innovation Management
  • access local working groups where we help each other with our daily NPD problems
  • free pass to local conference
  • and much more!

Hope to see you on our events again!