assistant vice president, Product Development Process

The Product Management Team has been a long-standing committee. The team is the filter, the organizer, the prioritization group that manages all the projects as they relate to the product development process. This is middle management folks, these are not the people who are rolling up their sleeves and attending the project team meetings. Our project managers – one for life and one for annuity – facilitate and lead the Product Management Team. We have representation from Operations: the life administration areas and the annuity administration areas. We have each of the marketing groups attend these with key representation from Career Sales and Services Division, Independent Marketing Group and Multiple Line. We also have the project manager and a market intel analyst who help to facilitate some of the discussions around the early phases of the product development process. Corporate Technology Services is represented on life and annuity projects for the programming and the business analyst. The implementation team of Product Development Actuarial partners with the CTS folks to create a fast, efficient process.

The responsibilities associated with those individuals are to vet the ideas that are coming through the pipeline, and to propose any anticipated challenges or other ideas that may enhance or improve upon the ideas. Those folks are there to also make sure that as we keep stacking and adding that there is enough work that they are allocating their resources in an appropriate manner and that they are not overextended. If they are overextended, they’ve got to raise their hand and basically say “Can’t do it, something else has to give.” That group will then weigh in – “Let’s talk about that. Let’s make a recommendation to the Product Review Committee to modify or adjust timelines or prioritization of those projects.”

PMT is the in-between layer, always. We never let actuarial or marketing or other teams go directly to the Product Review Committee. We always make it from the PMT. PMT communicates to the PRC. The committees are comprised of the same kind of people. It also helps to communicate appropriately. It helps build that communication upline to the different areas that are not embedded in this product development process like we are. They have to please customers, make sales, create marketing brochures and so on. We build products here.