Walmart

Walmart Overview
Website: walmart.com
Employees: 2300000
Headquarters: Bentonville, AR
Founded: 1962
About
Walmart Inc. is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Insights from the Walmart Product Management Team
Milena Krasteva
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management, WalmartJune 8
The two disciplines are very different, despite some intersections on go-to-market, outbound communications, and occasional blurred lines between the roles in some companies regarding strategy and customer requirements. Early on in my career I had the opportunity to simultaneously work in both functions and experience them. Product Management has very broad scope and deals directly with technology. Ultimately, for me, building (or fixing) products felt most rewarding. :)
Milena Krasteva
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management, WalmartJune 8
It seems all too easy to NOT get roadmap buy-in. Sometimes, it can feel like the default answer is always "No" at first, and despite all the work you have done, you are getting sent back to the drawing board. Some things that help, not in any particular order: * Go as wide as possible early on as pre-work to understand stakeholders' motivations and identify any possible opposition * Dig deep to identify the true source of the opposition. Listen a lot, ask questions. Treat this exercise as part of requirements gathering. * Identify dependencies early * Tie roadmap item to finan...
Milena Krasteva
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management, WalmartJune 8
I'd love to answer this in a slightly different way: The single most important skill, that cannot be rated highly enough is Communication. Many other soft skills are fundamentally still rooted in or are dependent on communication.  Nuanced aspects of communication also matter: * adapting communication to the audience and situation * timing the communication * communication in all forms: written, verbal, non-verbal/body language.
Milena Krasteva
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management, WalmartJune 8
Fairly easily potentially, compared to transitioning from other less-related fields. Product Management is as much art as it is discipline or science. Leveraging technical expertise related to the same or adjacent PM area helps. Some job descriptions will even require engineering experience or area of study. One major pitfall to avoid however, is remaining in "engineering mode" as a PM. As PMs, our focus should be on the WHAT, WHO, and the WHY, whereas Eng/Data Science's focus is more on the HOW. While some may disagree, for me all these still fall in the category of Hard skills for PMs. As...
Milena Krasteva
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management, WalmartJune 8
This reminds me of an interview question I got a very long time ago: "Is it better to have a bad team or a bad manager". In both cases, you'd rather not find yourself in either extreme. In both cases, there is no right or wrong answer and a lot depends on additional circumstances and assumptions. The answer will also depend on your value system and the experiences which have shaped your core beliefs about human aptitude and potential.  For the sake of argument, if I had to pick, I would first apply the same framework: which suboptimal option is more mitigatable.  I believe that most p...
Milena Krasteva
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management, WalmartApril 20
Many common mistakes stem from haste without deep knowledge and mindless GSDing. * Not thinking through the problem statement fully or not knowing enough about the domain and becoming married to 1 solution - often yours. * Taking it personally when told that something is missing from your solution * Resisting talking to users or stakeholders who are likely to disagree with the solution you have picked * Picking a solution because an exec imagined it is the right one is not necessarily the right thing either * Picking a solution because eng said so and it is just a little beyo...
Milena Krasteva
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management, WalmartApril 13
1:10 is what has been used as a rule of thumb in my experience. A PM wears many hats. If you don't have a program manager (pgm/tpm) 30% - 40% of the PM's time may be going into project management activities and you may need an extra PM (or your first TPM) You may be supplementing other functions in the org: marketing, sales, solution consulting, BD. The point here is to assess what are the org needs and what role PM is playing or ought to be playing. It might not be a matter of how many PMs to Eng ratio. How would an extra PM accelerate the busines? If you were the CEO how would you best in...
Milena Krasteva
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management, WalmartMarch 31
If your exec team has not articulated a credible product strategy it could be that they don't know how or they feel that they cannot invest at this time due to much bigger near term issues or constraints. Consider what that might be saying about the viability of the company either way, and a potential switch. If you are still compelled, one way is to try using the voice of the customer: ie compile direct feedback on where your customers want to see your company go to continue being customers and couple this with a competitive strategy comparison.
Milena Krasteva
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management, WalmartMarch 31
While it may be tempting to get sucked into feature by feature wars and spar through marketing communications it will not yield much for whoever (you or the competito) lacks sources of Sustainable Competitive Advantage. see related answer on what those are, not to be confused with Competitive Advantages
Milena Krasteva
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management, WalmartMarch 31
Sustainable Competitive Advantage. 1. Product attributes are insufficient and can be replicated by competitors with enough investment and determination 2. Pricing models and all their nuances can be undercut. Customers' willingness to pay may be negated by the next recession or evaporate when a new shinier, cooler competitor product arrives 3. Human capital, though harder to build up and retain, can still be hired away from you. Everybody has a price. So, what makes for sustainable competitive advantage? Leveraging economics of scale but more so economies of scope, driving flywheel type...
Walmart Product Management Leaders
Milena Krasteva
Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management