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Centercode Podcast

From Printers to Spas: New Product Intros with Mike

Posted on
December 13, 2023

Managing programs for hardware companies is tough, so in this episode, we bring in a seasoned professional to help. We're joined by Mike Marrs, a program manager at Watkins Wellness and formerly Hewlett-Packard, to talk about his experience taking new products from concept to market.

During our conversation, Mike shares his experiences and strategies in navigating the complexities of cross-functional teamwork and effective communication. Delving into the differences between beta testing at HP and Watkins Wellness, this episode offers a unique glimpse into the art of incorporating customer feedback and beta testing in product development regardless of your company size.

In This Episode:

(00:00) - Intro

(01:22) - Mike's role at Watkins Wellness

(03:44) - Handling communication between teams in a hybrid work environment

(09:05) - Deliverables to keep team members and stakeholders up to date

(11:51) - Status updates in a stage gate environment

(16:25) - When do stakeholders get to see working and testable hardware?

(20:36) - New Product Introductions at Hewlett-Packard

(29:20) - Collecting feedback from vendors and dealers

(32:42) - Recruiting beta users to test a wide variety of devices

(37:16) - Getting the product outside of the lab and into the wild

(44:53) - Using dogfooding to breakdown internal silos

(50:08) - Remember past beta programs and an unsolicited Centercode endorsement

(59:24) - Mike's advice to his younger self

About Our Guest:

Mike Marrs has over 20 years of experience in quality and program management. He led the HP Consumer Print Beta program, working with hardware, software, and mobile apps. Now, he's a Senior Program Manager at Watkins Wellness, focusing on launching new products. Mike's career showcases his knack for handling tech projects and bringing new ideas to life.

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Download the transcript here.

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