Kathy Pham Photo

Kathy Pham

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy


No experience in software, product management, or design necessary. Intended for those interested in understanding the critical role of a product manager to build technology services in the public sector or in mission focused private sector.

Delivering critical services to the public requires building technology that works for people. In environments like the public, non-profit, and mission-oriented private sectors, this is can be a challenge, but it is possible and necessary to build thriving societies. This course will focus on the role of the product manager in leading cross-functional teams across engineering, design, users, policy, marketing, analytics, vendors, and stakeholders when building technology products. Students will learn how to think like a product manager and how to partner with product managers. Students will learn how product managers set strategy, define products, advocate for the user, manage stakeholders, and understand market or policy factors in order to ship technology services and products that benefit people.

This class complements other technology focused classes at HKS: Designing Government (Dana Chisnell); Tech and Innovation in Government (Nick Sinai); Cybersecurity: Technology, Policy, and Law (Bruce Schneier); Technology, Privacy, and the trans-national nature of the Internet (James Waldo); Digital Government: Technology, Policy, and Public Service Innovation (David Eaves); Preventing Digital Disaster: Why Digital Implementations So Often Go Badly (David Eaves, Steven Kelman); Disrupting Bureaucracy: Understanding Recent Efforts in Digital Government (David Eaves).  It also complements the Product Managemnet 101 class at the Harvard Business School (Julia Austin).