Day 23: my product management manifest (v0.1)

After 3 weeks, I finally penned down some goals for my first 3 months on the job.

Took me a while, but after aimlessly working (but absorbing, mind you) I finally decided to lay down some clearer principles and guidelines for myself. Of course there were already larger goals in mind – gaining experience and the network to eventually go it alone – but I decided it made sense to figure out what exactly I wanted. The hours sacrificed to gain clarity of my path should eventually pay off in more productive and efficient workdays. (The inspiration – an article about Asana: “If people don’t have true clarity around what they’re doing and how it fits into their organization, they’re bound to duplicate efforts, deflate morale, spend hours on unimportant tasks, and more”).

So last night, I spent about an hour reading articles on product management from svpg (and am inspired by them to keep formatting simple – efficiency!) and another half penning down this:

GOALS FOR THE FIRST THREE MONTHS:
Get a sensing of where the problems/opportunities to improve <product> are
Gain a sensing of the codebase & database schema
Gain as much background knowledge on <product> as possible – stakeholders, processes
Understand the “wheels” and “cogs” of product mgmt in <company> – where the negotiation points are
Learn as much about product management as possible
Learn about and gain buy-in/trust from stakeholders (buying team) and team (devs)
BROWNIE POINTS OR AFTER FIRST THREE MONTHS:
Product strategy – personal, then collaborative

Product manifest
Measurement framework

No fireworks or grand accolades yet, but I’m starting to feel the benefit of this approach already:

1. A sense of accomplishment. I didn’t really feel particularly purposeful during the day, but as I sat down to check this at the end of the day, I could see how different activities fit into each piece.

2. Flexibility. I’ve realised rigid objectives with measurable KPIs and timeframes aren’t necessarily the best for me – rather, guiding principles tend to energise and provide enough purpose, yet remain flexible enough.

Now I’m considering whether to go one step further – to make a note of exactly what activities have mattered. Sounds like a lot of work though.

Till the next post!

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