Practical tips for accountability in product teams

Accountability is a fascinating topic. The textbook definition is “the quality or state of being accountableespecially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions”. While a lot has been written about individuals, I’ve found in my experience, the actual mechanics of how to think about team accountability for product teams, pretty lacking. This post is an attempt to describe the framework that has been useful for me. A few of these tips are borrowed from the great executives I’ve had the pleasure to work with and a few are homegrown. Hopefully, this helps somebody who is just starting out or well into their manager/team leader journey.

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Scaling product teams the structured way

You’re the first PM at a startup. You are a small company with one product, searching for product market fit. You grind and preserve and you achieve the holy grail of product market fit. CEO walks over and says “It’s time to start scaling, give me a plan, how are you going to scale the product management team? Let’s chat in a few days”. At this moment you are probably thinking “whoa what? team? There is going to be more of me (PMs)?”

How can I do it? So many questions. Where do I start? How do I hire? What do I do?

Have no fear, read on.

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PM Personality types a.k.a Myers Briggs for PMs

The Myers Briggs Type indicator (MBTI) is used to understand your personality type. The idea behind the indicator is that if you understand your personality and default preferences then you are able to play to your strengths. In addition, by knowing your team’s preferences, you can communicate better with your teammates and thus become a high performing team.

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The ultimate guide to product management hiring, Part 2: The hiring process

This post is #2 in the series of “The ultimate guide to hiring PM’s”. Post #1 is here.

Continuing with the theme of approaching the hiring process as a product, the hiring process has two main goals:

  1. Targeting: Find the right person. Create an efficient interview process that provides a full view of the candidate.
  2. Conversion: Reduce the candidate’s friction. Once you have decided you want a person on your team, ensure you have the best method to convert the user (candidate) to a customer (full time hire).

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The ultimate guide to product management hiring, Part 1 : Strategy

So you need to hire a PM or build out a PM team. Where to begin? What are some best practices? WHAT TO DO!

Fear not, this four part series will give you a framework along with an operational guide to getting it done. These posts are a result of all the mistakes that I have made and the learnings that I have painfully gained 🙂

This four part series will cover

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Data data everywhere

Big data dilbert

In todays hyperconnected world data is often touted as a competitive advantage. A cursory google search provides a lot of self evident truths “use big data” “Analyze, insight, execute” “Big data will revolutionize your business” , what does this really mean in practice? To gain a true competitive advantage you need to have a comprehensive data strategy which consists of both a simple and relevant mental model and the associated operational structure and processes to actually make it happen. Continue reading “Data data everywhere”

How to manage your life like a product manager

I’ve been thinking a lot lately on how to be more productive than I currently am. At the beginning of each year I always write down a list of things I think I should get done this year, but never get around to actually doing all of them. I don’t even know at the end of the year which part was complete and which was not! So naturally I gravitated towards, maybe if I write everything down into a task list and just start checking it off, I might actually get more done. Off I went in search of a perfect TODO list tool. Many many tools later, still not getting stuff done 🙁 Continue reading “How to manage your life like a product manager”