What I wish I knew before becoming Product Manager!
Today, I would like to share a few key takeaways of my journey as Product Manager so far, what I wish I knew this before becoming Product Manager.
Let’s get started; I am pretty sure all the aspirant Product Manager’s out there must be working hard to acquire required core knowledge to become a seasoned Product Manager. I want to share my look back from here, which might benefit during your journey. I am narrating them more into an agile manifesto mode though I agree that there is humongous value in the traits on the right side but leaving the left traits behind will not let you become a strong Product Manager.
1.) “Technical Acumen” is as important as the core “PM knowledge.”
2.) Learn to be a “strategic thinker” than over exhausting yourself on “daily operations.”
3.) Ability to “organise your to-do list” as much as “organising backlog.”
Quickly deep-dive as what I meant by all of them:
“Technical Acumen” is as important as core “PM knowledge.”
When I was transitioning into a new role as PM, I pre-occupied myself acquiring all possible core PM knowledge which is the right thing to do, no question about that but what I left behind was making an effort to obtain required technical acumen. In the long run, it gave me endless discomfort before I decided to drill down our tech stack we were using to the point where it stopped sounding an alien language to me. At the time, it gave me confidence and a piece of deeper knowledge about the “HOW” part of the solution to the problem I was willing to solve as “Product Manager.”
Learn to be a “strategic thinker” than over exhausting yourself on “daily operations.”
Thinking outside of the box is as important as running the daily operations, which is to some extent, equally important. A couple of years ago I was doing the analysis of calculating the % of time spent to know if I am being productive and effective or thinking about optimising the solutions etc. what I found was pretty shocking 90% of my time was spent just running the daily business. Still, only 10% of the time I could spare for strategy building. I decided to take a pause and switch gears in the strategy building direction. Wherein I started to my planned some session on a set cadence where I use to sit back and only focus on strategy.
Ability to “organise your to-do list” as much as “organising backlog.”
As a PM we are so busy handling gazillions of things daily a lot of it is mostly not planned as well as unavoidable sometimes. I am not saying ignore this “NO” I know how hard it’s to do. It’s sometimes desirable to have wishy-washy schedules, but if it’s going stay longer this way I would say there is a need for retrospection to understand if what you are doing can be delegated or not. I follow the 80/20 principle to “organise my to-do list” and trust me it always worked for me. Make sure not to avoid this for longer. Apply this principle it might work for you as well.
Thanks a lot for reading till the end! I would say now is the time to take a pause and see if there is a need for you acquire certain traits not necessarily as mine, but there must be some which you want to start obtaining before it’s too late.
Here is another good read about MVP: https://medium.com/@shrutiproductmanager/mvp-doesnt-mean-the-broken-product-3e4284c3fcb