Top Hacks from a PM Behind Two of Tech's Hottest Products - Deepstash

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Top Hacks from a PM Behind Two of Tech's Hottest Products

Top Hacks from a PM Behind Two of Tech's Hottest Products

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Being A Product Manager

Pushing a new feature or changing a product is a huge balancing act for the product manager.

Having the team trust you to speak on their behalf is rule number one. 

Always know the current status and context: You should always know where key people in the company stan...

Jump from small details to the big picture: You should be able to articulate the highest level strategy behind a product but also be ready to explain why a particular UI element is placed the way it is.

Compliments should always go to the team. Credit should be ha...

Obviously, you have no authority over the founders or cross-functional stakeholders you’re presenting to — you also probably don’t have authority over the engineers you work with. You have to be a good communicator and make things easy for people.

QA a new feature, write the first blog pos...

Getting Decisions Made

You may not be the decider at the table, but it’s your responsibility to make sure a decision gets made. Half of this is getting the right information in front of them. The other half is getting the right people behind them.

The Slide Deck

Keep the presentations short, 10 to 15 slides max. Most of the time, they can just be sent to the team over email unless there’s something really controversial. You should try to eliminate as many meetings as you can.

Distilling a product review down to 10 slides can be a challenge, but it'...

Concrete Decisions

If derailments crystallize into serious decisions, it is a good idea to pin founders down to brass tacks. Ask them directly: ‘So is that a decision? Then make your next actions clear: We’ll follow up on that point and come back to you.

More importantly, only agree to decisions in a...

Use the decisions made by founders to get things done. Use them to motivate your team and the teams you need to support you. Employees are usually at a company because they respect the founder.

For all these reasons, positively relaying what happened in product review meetings, and very clo...

Motivating Your Team

If fielding founder requests and concerns are a major part of a PM’s job, an even bigger part is motivating and coordinating designers and engineers to reach company goals. This comes with its own share of personalities, land mines and mind tricks.

To inspire a team, tell a good st...

The Milestones Of The Goal

Work with short milestones, ideally two weeks. It’s impossible for an engineering team to have a detailed six-month roadmap. It will never be accurate. In two weeks, people understand what they can get done this week and next week, and they can keep it all in their heads. It’s also enough time to...

Short And Focused Meetings

There are two types of meetings — decision-making meetings and status update meetings. Both should be kept short and only include the relevant people. Status meetings should be based around what people have accomplished. Demos are the best.

Culturally, you should set a low bar for demos no...

You have to be protective of your time and your team’s time. As a PM, you’re in meetings all the time where executives are very blunt and say that things aren’t working at all and the team needs to do a better job at X, Y or Z.

You have to develop a thick skin, and then you need to learn h...

Engineers usually take it upon themselves to think through all the edge cases to any scenario, but they really appreciate it when PMs and designers beat them to it.

Engineers want to be inspired by the vision, see a plan for the tactics, and then see how the latter will add up to the forme...

Big technology companies are now known for deploying new products and features internally before testing them or releasing them to the public. It gives product managers and engineers a chance to work out the bugs and safely gather feedback.

It gives them a glimpse of what their friends and...

Survival Tips For Product Managers

  • You need a team task list that transcends a simple bug system. It should be big, ideally on a whiteboard that everyone can see and consult.
  • You have to be a ninja-quality expert at email. Being responsive is mission-critical. It’s okay if engineers and designers are bad at email, but...

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The traditional profile of a Product Manager can be frustratingly narrow. However, when organisations look beyond superficial subject knowledge, they are more open to considering the core skills that make a great Product Manager.

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