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Wisedocs’ Brain Power: Henry Dowd, Technical Product Manager

At Wisedocs, we’re building a stellar team and we’re proud to introduce our team members over time through our monthly Wisedocs’ Brain Power series. Recently, we introduced you to Eric Pham, our Operations Supervisor. Today, we will meet Henry Dowd, our Technical Product Manager and a valuable member of the Wisedocs team!

Published on:
April 15, 2024

At Wisedocs, we’re building a stellar team and we’re proud to introduce our team members over time through our monthly Wisedocs’ Brain Power series. Recently, we introduced you to Eric Pham, our Operations Supervisor. Today, we will meet Henry Dowd, our Technical Product Manager and a valuable member of the Wisedocs team!

How did you find Wisedocs and end up in the tech and startup world?

“I did my degree in Electrical Engineering however I received a specialization in entrepreneurship where I had the opportunity to take business classes. During my second year of university, I had the chance to try starting a tech business of my own. While trying to launch this company I fell in love with the startup culture. I enjoyed the high-speed life and haven’t looked back since! A number of internships at some of Canada’s fastest growing startups lead me to Wisedocs where I found an awesome role fit at an amazing intersection of both my business and technical skills in Product Management.”

What makes you excited about Wisedocs? What are the challenges?

“A number of things make me excited about Wisedocs and the product. I'm excited about the company because of our current position in the industry. We’re in an extremely resilient sector that is seeing a boom in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).”  

The use of AI in the claims industry is quickly growing - and we have the numbers to prove it.  87% of carriers are investing more than $5M+ per year in AI-related technologies. This number will continue to grow as new technologies emerge for the industry and other use cases are developed, such as leveraging generative AI for Medical Record Summaries.  

“Beyond the business I’m excited about Wisedocs because of the challenging AI problems we get to solve together. My most fulfilling moments are working with our engineering team to solve complex problems and keep me excited to come to work every single day.”

In any growing industry or startup we are not immune to challenges. We are seeing an increasingly competitive market as companies move laterally within their product to account for our industry's needs. As a business, our challenges are constantly evolving with the industry, I’m excited about the new and growing challenges we face, since I know we’re heading in the right direction.”

Can you describe your role as a Technical Product Manager at Wisedocs? What are your primary responsibilities and areas of focus?

“Being a technical product manager means being able to work cross-functionally with ease. My primary responsibility is keeping tabs on everything within the business and having a deep understanding of it all. This includes leading our engineering team on a day-to-day basis, ensuring their work lines up with our sprint plan and product roadmap. I manage the diverse competing priorities from all departments and customers, creating a plan and timeline for solving them.

Much of my work revolves around a sprint, which is a two-week development cycle, with the goal of delivering product features to customers.  I make crucial decisions on when and how products are built based off competing priorities; I like to think of it as a challenging and exhilarating balancing act.

Each day begins with standups with all our scrum teams so I can understand each team’s tasks and what I can expect to see finished by the end of the day. Beyond managing the product roadmap and meetings, I often spend my day empowering engineers with the necessary direction and information to complete their work. Towards the end of the day, I compile the completed tasks and approve them for release. Here at Wisedocs we move fast, which means we push to production almost every day. This adds up to a lot of approvals, but I love the quality control and design iterations.”

What’s your stack as a Technical Product Manager? Share your favourite tools:

“If you were to ask me honestly what my stack is I would say my brain and my notepad. My brain is keeping track of everything, and my notepad is filled with mountains of illegible scribbles that I’ve used to keep track of everything.  

To translate this for everyone else however, my favorite place to live is in Jira, which is a major part of my tech stack. Jira has become an excellent tool for us to track the development team and manage the extremely complex web of competing priorities, track products from the idea stage to development, and release and manage the performance of the team.

I also find myself doing plenty of data analysis coding in SQL, and data analysis in excel.”  

What part of the Wisedocs product are you most proud to have worked on, to date?

“I think the proudest accomplishment I’ve had at Wisedocs is likely a specific portion of our Insights Product offering, List View. I’m extremely proud of it because of the complex problem solving required to get ourselves to the point of completion. I worked tirelessly with our engineers to identify the problems and find clear solutions. It wasn’t until working with one of our Engineering Leads, Jonathan Enders, that we found a solution and we could take a sigh of relief.  

I was extremely proud of this product development because it highlighted cross functional business and technical skills of identifying and defining the problem and following through to its complete technical solution. Finding this solution was exciting, challenging, but a huge relief!”

Outside of work, what are some of your hobbies or interests?

“I’m a serious road bike racer. Outside of work, you’ll often find me training anywhere from 2-5hrs per day and using my vacation days to go all over North America racing. My managers and co-workers encourage me to continue taking my sport seriously and celebrate all my accomplishments inside and outside the office. After a weekend of racing, I’m always greeted with messages asking how my races went.”

Wisedocs is very passionate about supporting a comfortable work-life balance in our organization. Leisure activities outside of work have been shown to help build self-efficacy and ultimately lead to higher confidence levels. In psychology studies, people with hobbies they consider an important part of their identity reported a higher personal and career-related self-efficacy.  As a certified Great Place to Work, Wisedocs encourages our employees to seek out activities that promote personal growth, foster collaboration, and contribute to a positive work environment.  

In your opinion, what are some of the key qualities or skills that make a successful technical product manager?

“I believe that to be a great product manager you need excellent mental organization skills. Mental organization skills are the foundation of practical organizational skills and being a great product manager. As a product manager you’re always challenged and often given extremely open-ended ideas to find a solution. Being willing to take on a challenge, and having the tools to do so, is a core part of being in a product management setting.

Another extremely important part of being a great product manager, especially in the early stages of your career, is being confident in yourself and learning how to say “no.”. In this role, you’re managing competing priorities from many different channels, however an engineer’s capacity is not infinite. Learning how to say no to individuals you don’t manage or individuals more senior than you is an extremely delicate art. This requires confidence in your decision-making abilities and great communication to create good understanding and look out for your team.”

Lastly, what excites you most about the future of product management in the tech industry?

“I’m extremely excited for more technical individuals like myself to step into product management roles. We are beginning to see the product management industry celebrating technical product managers. I’m excited for the industry to continue celebrating those PMs who can combine both technical and non-technical skill sets to build the right products for customers. With the massive boom of ML and AI and new product opportunities that come with it, technical product managers are important to understanding the technical AI product problems to identify possible engineering solutions. As a technical product manager, I’m excited to see more engineers, product managers, programmers, and more, step into technical product management roles.”

Amy Mingopoulos
Marketing Coordinator

Amy Mingopoulos is the marketing coordinator at Wisedocs based in Toronto. She has worked in a wide variety of companies in the fields of healthcare, fitness, and technology. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and visiting new restaurants in the city.

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