Alongside my previous discussions around adopting a user-centric approach to Product Management and leveraging data to make informed decisions, my final key area of discussion is communication. In Product Management communication is fundamental to success. Here are my top tips for Junior Product Managers looking to make a difference.
Focus on what I call internal communication, meaning, with your core team. With the product team. With the engineers, designers, data scientists who are working on your product. You all play a key role in the success or failure of the product, and you should all feel the same commitment to growing the NSM.
As Marty Cagan says: "If you use a developer just to code, you are only using 50% of their potential"
This means that engineers must be included in strategy work, this is key if you want to reach your goals faster. Remember you are a team and you all work for the success of the end-users, not to develop features and to please stakeholders.
Present your user research/product discovery to the team regularly as well as the product NSM update. When creating the roadmap include the designer and (at least) the tech lead - and make sure they are actively participating in crafting the product strategy. As a PM you should empower and make the engineers and designer aware that the overall team is responsible for the roadmap and consequently the user's success. They bear as much responsibility for growing the NSM as the PM does.
Therefore, communication alone is not enough, you need to create a collaboration environment, where the strategy is crafted by the product trio (PM, designer, tech lead). (Torres: Continuous Discovery Habits, 2021)
To make sure that the team has the opportunity to participate in the strategy work, as a PM you need to know that we all have different communication and personality. When planning a strategy/ roadmap discussion, allow every team member to have enough time to prepare for it.
To understand the most efficient way to talk, work and be successful with your teammates, I suggest using the 16 personalities test. This helped me significantly to understand that the way I function, communicate, think and work, could be 180° degrees opposite to what my tech lead is, and that's why we cannot work seamlessly together. Therefore, if you want to build more trust with your team, and get more out of them, adapt your style to help the team shine even more.
This is my personality!
Picture - 16personalities.com
By learning the basics of User-centricity, Data analytics and Communication, you are going to be able to position yourself faster as a strong Product Manager. Consequently, your users will become more engaged and successful in their desired outcome, and you will become indispensable for your team.
So, to summarise my key takeaways to accelerate the path to become a strong Product Manager based on my three blog series:
Thank you to Tiziano Nessi for submitting this blog to Maxwell Bond for publication. Would you like to see your article published? Get in touch with me directly at email@example.com to ask about opportunities to feature as a Product specialist in upcoming campaigns, blogs, and events.