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Meet The Team



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Elise Chianelli, Director Product Management, leads the Merchandising Space & Presentation product team at Target.


She has spent the last 15 years in the product space, supporting both waterfall and agile methodologies. While new to the merchandising domain, Elise has spent the majority of her career supporting different Transportation products for companies like CH Robinson, Trimble and Target. Prior to finding her love for product, Elise spent 8 years in banking as both a banker and an accountant…she says that this experience inspired her to challenge status quo by ‘bringing the gray’ to opportunities that otherwise seem very ‘black and white.’


Elise is dedicated to fostering a fun and empowering environment, where product engineering teams can deliver value in an iterative way.

tango in harmony:

successful relationships between engineering and business



3:00 - 3:45 PM

One of the biggest reasons that most software projects get in trouble is not technical, but rather lack of alignment between the product and engineering.


In an ideal world, product owners would bring the WHAT and WHY of product development and engineering managers would bring in the HOW. They would negotiate respectfully on WHEN..... and together deliver innovative, valuable products of the highest technical quality, on time. However, rarely does this happen. Boundaries are often crossed over leading to friction. One of the biggest obstacle to this is difference in expectations of what the responsibilities of an Engineering Manager and a Product Owner are. 


It is a relationship inherently collaborative, yet inherently conflicting:

  * What strategies can be used to minimize this friction and achieve a sense of symbiosis where the product and engineering work in harmony?
  * How do you build strong relationships and draw from that fund of goodwill during the necessary conflict management?
  * Who does resource management?
  * How do you negotiate the balance between engineering tasks and feature development with mutual respect?
  * How do you negotiate deadlines?

Nidhi Sen - Senior Engineering Manager, Target (Supply Chain Technology) and a former software architect, tech lead and independent technology consultant - has been on one side of the table in many of these capers.

Elise Chianelli - Product Director, Target (Merchandising) and a former product owner & product manager with both waterfall and agile methodology experience - has been on the other.

Together Nidhi & Elise will share the battle scars and the insights they gained on what leads to friction between engineering and business, and how to circumvent it and succeed together.


The attendees will take away some practical strategies that they can use to establish collaborative product-engineering relationships within the enterprise.

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