For some people, product management is still an uncommon things. In this article, we will talk about introduction to product management.
What makes a great Product culture?
- Experimentation could be done even on a smallest scale
- To do experimentation, team should be equipped with proper tools, including the tools to measure the result of experiments
- Most of the experiments fail (but not a failure), and it’s ok
- On most cases, smallest unit can solve / finish their own problem without needing help from others
- Unit has to be multidiscipline
- Unit should have their own vision and mission, which is aligned to company’s
- No finger pointing
- Being responsible actively
- No relation between fails & assessments
- Data is a king
- Jangan baper, lihat data
- Always start from users’ pain point
- Customer experience team is involved in product development
- Also include features to help customer experience team.
- Speak with facts and data, not assumption, let alone accusation
- Aligned with blameless culture. People not penalized (even “rewarded”) by speaking up
Disagree & Commit
- Express disagreement, especially on decision making (related with speak up).
- However, when decision is made. It must be committed fully as if the decision is made by people disagreeing.
Focus on Core
- Focus is very important, don’t build everything on our own (yet).
- To be able to get focus, support to focus must be very high (resource, priority, budget, etc).
What is the role of a Product Manager?
Conductor and champion that solves problems and creates value for users while also achieving business goals and enabling cross-functional teams to succeed together
What does the day to day of a PM look like?
- Managing the now
Sprint cadences (retrospectives, backlog grooming sessions, etc.)
- Championing the team
1 on 1s with team and stakeholders (starts with active listening)
- Communicating effectively
Regular cadences with team (PM weeklies) and stakeholders (monthly stakeholder syncs)
- Planning for the future
OKR planning, roadmap discussions, design workshops, foundational user research planning
- Analyzing, synthesizing, and knowledge-building
a. PMO meetings
b. OKR achievement retro and analyses
c. Individual, deep work
What should you expect from a PM on your team?
Do not expect them to run a waterfall, feature-factory based on business goals.
Do expect them to champion the users needs, challenge you with facts, and create a solution that works for the customers, business, and the team.
Do not expect them to be communicate reactively in fire-fighting mode or like a 24/7 call
Do expect them to communicate with you in a proactive and reliable way through
centralized documentations and regular cadences.
Do not expect them to be an assembly line manager that reliably do as-they-are-told based on top-down directives.
Do expect them to be a conductor and leader that executes reliably while practicing critical thinking and that inspires bottoms-up innovation and ownership across their teams.
Do not expect them to commit a detailed roadmap of x, y, z set of features way in advance.
Do expect them to commit to long-term visions and achieving certain output or OKRs but
take an iterative approach to roadmap creation and feature prioritization.
What makes a great Product Manager?
Understands the product in-and-out and promotes data-driven decision making.
“Good product managers know the market, the product, the product line and the competition extremely well and operate from a strong basis of knowledge and confidence.”
Good product managers understand the customers, their business, and the market
dynamics and they spread this understanding to their teams.
They then encourage data-driven decision making based on these facts and insights.
“Good product managers take written positions on important issues (competitive silver bullets, tough architectural choices, tough product decisions, markets to attack or yield).”
Communication tactics should be tailored to the objective and audience (just like product! Know your audience).
In today’s remote work environment during covid, asynchronous, centralized, written communication is even more important.
When in doubt, always over-communicate. The cost of under-communicating is much higher.
Focuses on the why and what while enabling the team to decide and execute the how
“Good product managers crisply define the target, the “what” (as opposed to the how) and manage the delivery of the “what.” Bad product managers feel best about themselves when they figure out “how”.”
A product manager should always focus on articulating the why first.
Then once the team understands the why, they should be self-sufficient and able to figure out the how. Align, inspire, and then trust and delegate
the rest to the team.
Amplifies collaboration and agency
Good product managers create an environment where each team member understands their value and role and is marching towards a collective end-goal.
“Great PMs know that buy-in isn’t enough; you need passion & ownership to build great products. Great PMs facilitate discussions that get the entire team to come up with creative product ideas.”
“Every successful product manager has high agency:
finding a way to get what you want, without waiting for conditions to be perfect or otherwise blaming the circumstances. High Agency People either push through
in the face of adverse conditions or manage to reverse the adverse conditions to achieve goals.”