Associate Spotlight - Jennifer Lyons
10.01.2020 By Availity
The Path to Product Management
Jennifer Lyons, a Product Line Director of Network Products, is what is known at Availity as a boomerang. She began a career at Availity, took an opportunity outside the company, and is now back at “home” with the organization.
Jenn started at Availity in 2006 and over the next six years held a variety of roles, including project manager, alliance manager, and strategic account manager. But it was her last role as senior product marketing manager that ignited a passion for product management. She left Availity in 2012 to join a specialty EHR vendor as vice president and general manager and later transitioned to vice president of product management.
“Product management is about asking questions, listening, solving problems and hopefully making someone’s life easier in an innovative way - whether that’s through technology or just approaching a situation differently. I like it because it’s always exploring and learning a new way to look at things,” she said.
Jenn rejoined Availity in 2018 to help lead Availity’s EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) Clearinghouse strategy. Availity has long been a market leader in clearinghouse services for high-volume trading partners but lacked a good option for lower-volume submitters. “It’s been fun to come back to see how the company has evolved.”
In developing a solution for this audience, which includes smaller hospitals, physician practices, and billing services, Jenn and her team conducted extensive research to understand their market problems and how to address them at a reasonable price point. To ensure profitability, they also needed to make sure the offering was an intuitive, self-service experience.
The team launched a pilot program with 25 providers in March of 2019 and the solution has grown to support over 3500 self-service contracts and continues to meet or exceed monthly revenue goals.
Jenn acknowledges that it hasn’t always been easy to recognize when she’s grown to her full potential in a role and needed to leave for a growth opportunity, like she did with Availity.
“Making decisions like that are hard because it’s easy to stay with what’s safe, and harder to make a leap into the unknown and trust the outcome is going to be rewarding. Taking the occasional risk, facing the potential of failure is the best way to learn,” she said.
Jenn tries to impart that advice on her mentees and was recently inspired by a colleague that was self-driven to follow his passion to become a product owner. He worked hard to learn the technical aspects of product management, and when an opportunity presented itself took a leap to join a start-up.
When she’s not performing market analysis and working on product roadmaps, Jenn enjoys riding her bike at the beach, traveling, learning to play guitar and spending time with her 11-year-old daughter and husband, Lyle, who also works for Availity as the Manager of Client Services.