First time as Product
Manager
Shobhit Chugh
VP Product, High Start Group
@shobhitchugh shobhitchugh@gmail.com
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/47850814760834849/
About Me
Congratulations!
You got your first time PM Job
It might feel like this at times
It might feel like this at times
It might feel like this at times
It might feel like this at times
But sometimes
The 4 Rs of Product Management
success
Clarify your Role
Establish Relationships
Build your Reputation
Deliver Results
The 4 Rs of Product Management
success
Clarify your Role
Establish Relationships
Build your Reputation
Deliver Results
Welcome to your first product
management role
http://www.mindtheproduct.com/2011/10/what-exactly-is-a-product-manager/
Three Primary Product
Management Roles
1. ADVOCATE for the Voice of the Customer in the company
2. ORCHESTRATOR who coordi...
Clarify your role!
Varies by company
Do not accept vague descriptions. Ask questions. LOTS of
questions
What are the deliv...
The 4 Rs of Product Management
success
Clarify your Role
Establish Relationships
Build your Reputation
Deliver Results
Relationships
Stakeholders
Customers
Manager(s)
Stakeholder Relationships
Establish early – first 30 days
Take all stakeholders out to lunch.
Do NOT talk about product
Ge...
Customers
Insist that you have personal relationships with top customers
Type of relationships matter! Customers are not f...
http://www.pinterest.com/jefflash/product-management-comics/
Manager
Guide
How does work actually get done at the company?
What processes are important?
What meetings and decisions ar...
The 4 Rs of Product Management
success
Clarify your Role
Establish Relationships
Build your Reputation
Deliver Results
Reputation
Establish your personal brand
Earn your seat at the table
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/480055641500953367/
Personal Brand
What do you want to be known as?
What activities promote it?
What activities detract from it?
Example personal brand - Strategic
What helps?
Lay out vision and communicate endlessly
Outlines how do we get there
Get t...
Earn your seat at the table
Everyone else is responsible for something concrete
You have a vague objective – ensure the su...
The 4 Rs of Product Management
success
Clarify your Role
Establish Relationships
Build your Reputation
Deliver Results
Results
Deliverables
Decisions
Difference
Deliverables
There is an LONG list of things you could be doing at
any point in time
All of these are NOT required
Again, ...
Decisions
What decisions can you make?
Does it tie with strategy? Vision?
What you should avoid making?
Tactical e.g., wha...
Meetings!!
4 types
Share Information
Make decision
Generate ideas
Get Feedback
Meetings!!
Prepare
ONE Objective
Agenda
Slides
Assume they know less than you and have forgotten
EVERYTHING you spoke abou...
Difference
Making a difference comes down to one thing –
FOCUS
In the beginning there is a temptation to do
EVERYTHING and...
The 4 Rs of Product Management
success
Clarify your Role
Establish Relationships
Build your Reputation
Deliver Results
Thank you so much for the
standing ovation!
Shobhit Chugh
@shobhitchugh
shobhitchugh@gmail.com
What do engineers want?
Vision
Less thrashing + more clear specs
Want to know that it matters
They get blame when things g...
Other advice
Have a set of advisors
Within the company
Outside the company
Senior + peers
Guide to first 90 days
30 days – observe, learn
60 days – participate
90 days – act, change
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How to succeed as a first time Product Manager (Shobhit Chugh) ProductCamp Boston 2014

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I have done several things that worked well as a first time product manager. And done several things that failed spectacularly.

This is a set of reflections on those things, and my advice for people starting their Product Management Careers.

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How to succeed as a first time Product Manager (Shobhit Chugh) ProductCamp Boston 2014

  1. 1. First time as Product Manager Shobhit Chugh VP Product, High Start Group @shobhitchugh shobhitchugh@gmail.com
  2. 2. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/47850814760834849/
  3. 3. About Me
  4. 4. Congratulations! You got your first time PM Job
  5. 5. It might feel like this at times
  6. 6. It might feel like this at times
  7. 7. It might feel like this at times
  8. 8. It might feel like this at times
  9. 9. But sometimes
  10. 10. The 4 Rs of Product Management success Clarify your Role Establish Relationships Build your Reputation Deliver Results
  11. 11. The 4 Rs of Product Management success Clarify your Role Establish Relationships Build your Reputation Deliver Results
  12. 12. Welcome to your first product management role http://www.mindtheproduct.com/2011/10/what-exactly-is-a-product-manager/
  13. 13. Three Primary Product Management Roles 1. ADVOCATE for the Voice of the Customer in the company 2. ORCHESTRATOR who coordinates the activities of the various resources to define, develop and deliver product that customers need and generate profit for the company 3. ENTREPRENEUR who articulates the product’s vision and manages his/ her product as a business
  14. 14. Clarify your role! Varies by company Do not accept vague descriptions. Ask questions. LOTS of questions What are the deliverables needed at each stage? How important are they? Who does them? Why should you them? Decisions What decisions can you make? What decisions do you need to drive with a set of stakeholders?
  15. 15. The 4 Rs of Product Management success Clarify your Role Establish Relationships Build your Reputation Deliver Results
  16. 16. Relationships Stakeholders Customers Manager(s)
  17. 17. Stakeholder Relationships Establish early – first 30 days Take all stakeholders out to lunch. Do NOT talk about product Get to know them Next ask them about stuff relevant to their jobs What are their top goals? What does the company need to do better? What do they need to do better? Where does product management fit in? Ask them who else you should talk to?
  18. 18. Customers Insist that you have personal relationships with top customers Type of relationships matter! Customers are not for dictating you requirements. You are peers. You are here to listen to their problems and help solve the ones that align with your company strategy First go on customer meetings (early!) Go from silent listener and observer -> contributor Then establish your own meetings Product council with customers Prospect calls One on one customer feedback sessions
  19. 19. http://www.pinterest.com/jefflash/product-management-comics/
  20. 20. Manager Guide How does work actually get done at the company? What processes are important? What meetings and decisions are important? Supporter Promote what you are doing to the executive level Help influence the right people Coach. Honest about how you are doing? Workload? Attitude? Results?
  21. 21. The 4 Rs of Product Management success Clarify your Role Establish Relationships Build your Reputation Deliver Results
  22. 22. Reputation Establish your personal brand Earn your seat at the table
  23. 23. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/480055641500953367/
  24. 24. Personal Brand What do you want to be known as? What activities promote it? What activities detract from it?
  25. 25. Example personal brand - Strategic What helps? Lay out vision and communicate endlessly Outlines how do we get there Get to the root cause of problems + solve for long term What hurts? Jumping to action and conclusions too fast without enough thought Focusing on next week vs. next year Agreeing too soon
  26. 26. Earn your seat at the table Everyone else is responsible for something concrete You have a vague objective – ensure the success of the product So you need to earn your place Market knowledge. Do you know customers better than anyone else? Competitors knowledge. Are you subscribed to their blogs? Emails? Read every announcement? Product knowledge. Do you know product in and out? Top differentiators? Challenges? Strategy knowledge. Can you articulate how things line up with the strategy of the company?
  27. 27. The 4 Rs of Product Management success Clarify your Role Establish Relationships Build your Reputation Deliver Results
  28. 28. Results Deliverables Decisions Difference
  29. 29. Deliverables There is an LONG list of things you could be doing at any point in time All of these are NOT required Again, confirm what is critical, what is good to have, and what is useless crap that just takes your time
  30. 30. Decisions What decisions can you make? Does it tie with strategy? Vision? What you should avoid making? Tactical e.g., what bugs to prioritize N = 1 Those you can set guidelines for What you need to drive?
  31. 31. Meetings!! 4 types Share Information Make decision Generate ideas Get Feedback
  32. 32. Meetings!! Prepare ONE Objective Agenda Slides Assume they know less than you and have forgotten EVERYTHING you spoke about the last time Pre-brief Manage the flow Agenda + how important is it to stick to it? Questions from beginning or presentation first? Send follow up notes
  33. 33. Difference Making a difference comes down to one thing – FOCUS In the beginning there is a temptation to do EVERYTHING and take on tons of new initiatives. Ask yourself for each initiative Is it my role? Can I make a significant difference? Is n>1?
  34. 34. The 4 Rs of Product Management success Clarify your Role Establish Relationships Build your Reputation Deliver Results
  35. 35. Thank you so much for the standing ovation! Shobhit Chugh @shobhitchugh shobhitchugh@gmail.com
  36. 36. What do engineers want? Vision Less thrashing + more clear specs Want to know that it matters They get blame when things go wrong but much less recognition. Recognize them. Individually
  37. 37. Other advice Have a set of advisors Within the company Outside the company Senior + peers
  38. 38. Guide to first 90 days 30 days – observe, learn 60 days – participate 90 days – act, change
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