Sap Women

Lab Top — 7 Questions with Kate Bos

24 Jun, 2021
Kate Bos

Highlighting women in tech: meet Kate Bos, Product Manager at SAP Litmos and Compliance wizard. With her artfully designed eLearning projects, she breaks down this extremely complex subject in easily digestible courses

 1. Please explain: what is your specific job?

As a Product Manager for SAP Litmos, I am responsible for listening to our customers’ requests to make a product roadmap that aligns with their market needs and business strategy. I work with a very talented team of product managers and instructional and digital designers to create inspiring compliance eLearning for our customers all over the world.

2. Your initial inspiration to enter this industry?

My background is actually in financial services. I worked for ten years as a Risk and Compliance Manager and part of that role was creating compliance eLearning.  In fact, I was a prospective customer of SAP Litmos before I joined the company, so I was already familiar with the product. Compliance and Risk was obviously my passion, so when I saw an opportunity to manage a compliance eLearning product, it was a natural next step for me. Although Product Management required a new skill set, the roles are quite similar – as a Compliance Manager, you need to interpret regulatory requirements in a commercially viable way that works for your business. As a Product Manager, you are the middleman (or woman) between your customer and the team making that product. You need to effectively communicate to your team what they should do to meet the market’s needs. And building compliance eLearning is about the interpretation of regulatory requirements and ensuring that the material is easy to understand for our learners. Success for the product depends on how well we do at that interpretation.

Women in Tech From Around the World! This time we have Kate Bos from Melbourne, Australia!

3. Your most exciting project to date?

I know it’s cliché to say this, but I am genuinely pretty proud of everything we do – even the less exciting compliance topics are brought to life with amazing case studies and scenarios, and through video and innovative design. The work I do to understand who the customer is and how they use our products is vital in ensuring our talented design team can build products with the customer in mind. 

If I had to pick a favorite child, though, it would be a series of three courses on risk management for which I was the subject matter expert. It’s challenging to bring these topics to life, because they can be complex and dry. Our team achieved that by weaving real-world scenarios through the entire three lessons. A bonus for me was to receive kudos from a former risk management peer, who told me that the course ‘hit the mark’. That was all the feedback I needed.  

4. Top skills that anyone who wants to work in tech needs?

Curiosity to learn – it’s a fast-paced area and you need to keep up with it. Just when you master one thing, there is something new to learn or understand.

Lateral thinking – you also need to be able to think outside the box and question what’s possible. If one solution doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t something out there that hasn’t been used in this way before.

Courage – it’s important to make mistakes or fail fast, as they say, to question what went wrong and then work hard to find a solution. Don’t be afraid of mistakes – they may not feel comfortable, but it’s during these uncomfortable periods we’re actually learning and growing. Embrace the learning!

5. What advice would you give to young professionals starting in tech?

Jobs are not always going to be exciting – you have to do a bit of the boring stuff too. If you work hard, stay curious and believe in the products you create, then you will be a formidable force in whatever area of tech you are in.

6. Your biggest role models?

I have had some amazing, inspirational managers. They have shown me how to use my strengths to my advantage and pushed me to develop new skills to overcome my weaknesses. You need to find a relationship with your superior that works well for both of you. Not all managers, even the good ones, will be the right fit for you.
One of them once gave me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever had. They remarked that I had gone as far as I could in that company, and there weren’t any roles left for me unless I wanted to get into Sales, which I didn’t. I appreciated the honesty and left within months to a better more challenging role elsewhere.

7. People or media to follow?

Product Management: https://www.pendo.io/pendo-blog/

Teresa Torres (Product Talk): https://www.producttalk.org/

SAP

This article is part of a content cooperation between FemaleOneZero (F10) and SAP SE. In the newly established “Tech Agenda” category on #F10, we aim to present interesting women from SAP Labs worldwide, publish major interviews with thought leaders and background stories on digitization and innovation.

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