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Your team is anyone working directly on the
product (or an area of the product).
- Designers, engineers, QA, documentation, marketing
- Assigned colleagues from team members from adjunct
teams including business development, support, legal
WHO’S ON THE TEAM?
YOUR ROLE ON THE TEAM
You are not a “CEO of the product.”
You are a team leader.
- SET THE CADENCE
- BRAINSTORM EFFECTIVELY
- MANAGE PRODUCT OPERATIONS
SET THE CADENCE
- Build the roadmap with brainstorm meetings
- Articulate the roadmap clearly and consistently
- Hold regular product operations meetings
- “Act Solid” (more on this shortly)
- Take and share clear meeting notes
- Everyone pitches ideas to drive biggest impact
(No ideas are bad!)
- Q&A where people pitch or describe ideas
- Everyone votes for their top 3
- Discussion of why and how people voted
- You now have top-3 roadmap plan. More or less.
MANAGE PRODUCT OPERATIONS
- Share company news relevant for team
- Gut check for features getting launched ASAP
- Learnings and analysis of recent features
- Roadmap check-in on new development
- 1-2 key topics for brainstorm/discussion
or guest speaker
AH, THE LIFE OF A
GLORIFIED NOTE TAKER
Some people think the job of product
manager is glorious.
In reality the most important thing
you do is document decisions.
Follow-up notes usually take longer
than actual meetings.
Involve people from extended team to get
feedback, share plans.
THE COMPANY FOCUS
IS YOUR FOCUS
Understand and communicate the
company’s overall goals and objectives.
Remind the team of the founders’ vision.
Attach incentives to company goals.
Bonus Hiring Tip: When interviewing product
managers, look for how often candidates refer
to the bigger vision of the company.
HELP YOUR TEAM
SHIPPING > PERFECTION
Helping your team only matters if you can ship
the product to users
- Providing clear criteria for launch readiness
- Make the difficult tradeoffs
- Prioritize ruthlessly
Great product managers
understand the very tricky balance
between getting it right and
getting it out the door.
HELP YOUR TEAM
SHIP THE RIGHT
Start with your team’s most creative solutions.
Improve your ideas with:
- Feedback from testers and active users
- Criticism from non-users
- Input from founders and leaders
- Ideas from anywhere you can get them
BELIEVE BUT LISTEN
Have a theory of the impact you want to have.
Identify metrics to demonstrate that impact.
Generate data: what works and what doesn’t.
Keep an eye out for unexpected learnings.
HELP YOUR TEAM
SHIP THE RIGHT
Photo: Josue Goge/Flickr
FOR THE USER
A Core Use Case tells the story of who should
use the product and why
- Articulating the core use case is the hardest
part of building a new product
A good product manager advocates for users
every step of the way:
- By understanding the challenges/issues of
- By understanding how the product can deliver
the value target users are looking for
- By continuously listening to feedback
(usability tests, meetings, tweets, etc.)
THE “DO’S” FOR
- Coordinate key decisions based on team
- Negotiate disagreements and maintain progress
- Develop consensus from team factions,
(disagree but commit)
THE “DON’TS” FOR
- Don’t try to build what you think is right
- Don’t expect that the team will execute
- Don’t forget where credit is always due
As a product goes to market, you should be
game-planning the next iteration:
- Plan for improvement (with entire team)
- Additional testing
- Brainstorming solutions based on data
IS NEVER DONE
There is no right product... but there is a right
way to be a Product Manager.
Effective Product Managers simply help their
team move forward.
THE PRODUCT IS
No product will ever quite be right for
everyone; it’s an ongoing process of
continued development and iteration to
make it better.