Building a relationship with every Product Manager in your team
One-on-one⁃ Plan and carry out regular (weekly) one-on-one meetings.⁃ The first stage involves collecting trouble-points, topics of things that need a change, recommendations on what can be improved, or performed in a better way. Approach this from the position of: “I’m the new guy, and I have a desire to improve, with your help, things that have long been a pain in the neck.”⁃ You can also discover some topics that can be included in future Product Talks.⁃ One-on-one meetings can be divided into several sections:
1) How is the mood and how are things in general?2) Topics from the product manager: where advice or help is needed.3) Topics from the leadership: oversight or sharing thoughts.
⁃ Have the PM record meeting notes at the end of the one-on-one. Use the aggregated notes as a log of agreements and progress.⁃ Over time, one-on-one meetings turn into 4 thematic meetings per month:
1) Reporting on the previous month and planning for the next one2) Psychological session “what hurts and how are things going?”3) Psychological session again4) Discussion of processes and people (for example, hiring new members or working with other departments).
Building the product team
General meetings and processes:⁃ Product Talk is an awesome format for product managers to communicate with each other. This is where PMs exchange content and product expertise. It should look like a mini-lecture/workshop:
1) On topics where the PM considers him/herself an expert.2) On lifehacks to solve problems in the subject or product area.
⁃ Strat-session — common practice for all Product Managers. Objective:
1) Build relationships between PMs2) Pitch quarterly or annual plans to colleagues, new processes and other changes
⁃ Quarterly plans challenge — a format where the PM “defends” his or her plans in front of other departments. Consists of the 10-minute pitch from the PM and 20-minute challenge from other teams. Allows everyone to quickly dive into the department’s plans (much faster than reading each manager’s plans.)
Planning:⁃ When coming into the new role of Lead PM, you can start things off with the message “We have been tasked by the leadership product plan by DD / MM. My goal is to help you get through this process and to guide with expertise.”⁃ A universal document with OKR metrics for everyone, so that the team understands what others are doing. In the same document, there should be a “request” from the CEO / Founder with the company’s mission.⁃ Greenlight — One of the department’s goals which all departments should support as a top priority.
Goals / Metrics:⁃ For a product manager, a goal should be set with three assessment options:1) Definitely achievable2) Above-average difficulty3) Outstanding⁃ For a new project, the goals should be formulated as a checklist of already-achieved results.⁃ The leader prioritizes the goals for the product managers — selects the primary goals.
Building relationships with stakeholders:⁃ There needs to be a synchronization of goals with stakeholders⁃ These are several types of goals:1) Metrics that the team can influence and be held responsible for;2) Processes;3) Strategic objectives or separate projects.
So,for the team works as a single unified mechanism, and for the Product to properly coordinate the process, it is important to:
1) Hold one-to-one and general meetings;
2) Identify “painful” topics, request feedback, and plan further steps to improve the product together with the team;
3) At the end of each meeting, keep notes;
4) Help the team with your expertise, prioritize tasks;
5) Synchronize company goals with the team’s and stakeholders’;
We wish you success in your projects and for you to achieve your goals!