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30-Day Plan for New Product Managers by Sr PM at Newsela

Main takeaways:
- When to start talking to customers and what questions to be asking
- How to approach conversations with stakeholders
- Strategies for learning existing processes and informing product discovery

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30-Day Plan for New Product Managers by Sr PM at Newsela

  1. 1. www.productschool.com 30-Day Plan for New Product Managers by Sr PM at Newsela
  2. 2. Join 40,000+ Product Managers on Free Resources Discover great job opportunities Job Portal prdct.school/PSJobPortalprdct.school/events-slack
  3. 3. CERTIFICATES Your Product Management Certificate Path Product Leadership Certificate™ Full Stack Product Management Certificate™ Product Management Certificate™ 20 HOURS40 HOURS40 HOURS
  4. 4. Corporate Training Level up your team’s Product Management skills
  5. 5. Nikil Ramanathan T O N I G H T ’ S S P E A K E R
  6. 6. Background ● Currently Senior Product Manager at Newsela ● Newsela is an instructional content platform for teachers and students ● Focused on a Reporting and Insights product for Districts and Teachers
  7. 7. Background ● Prior to Newsela, I was a PM at WeWork ● Also worked at Amazon as both a PM and a Product Analyst
  8. 8. Background ● How many PMs/aspiring PMs do we have today?
  9. 9. Agenda ● Common Pitfalls ● How to Avoid Pitfalls ● Questions to Ask ● Outcomes for First 30 Days ● Key Takeaways
  10. 10. Common Pitfalls for New PMs ● Trying to learn everything about the company and product through documentation ● Trying to make big decisions too quickly without full context
  11. 11. Common Pitfalls for New PMs ● Building roadmap around your ideas rather than the customer’s ● Doing too much of your previous job and not focusing on being a PM
  12. 12. How to Avoid these Pitfalls ● Trying to learn everything about the company and product through documentation INSTEAD ● Set up 1-1s and meet everyone on your team ● Talk to stakeholders across the organization ● Talk to customers
  13. 13. How to Avoid these Pitfalls ● Trying to make big decisions too quickly without full context INSTEAD ● Learn about your team’s process, problems, and priorities ● Understand intention of team ● Reserve making judgments. Understand the context first.
  14. 14. How to Avoid these Pitfalls ● Building roadmap around your ideas rather than the customer’s INSTEAD ● Talk directly to customers as soon as possible (internal and external) ● Build a high-level roadmap to avoid biases setting in too quickly ● Talk to proxies for customers (customer success, other PMs, user researchers) to validate hypotheses
  15. 15. How to Avoid these Pitfalls ● Doing too much of your previous job and not focusing on being a PM INSTEAD ● Set goals that are product-focused and measurable ● Partner with teammates and become an ally ● Learn from other PMs what success means
  16. 16. Who should I be speaking to? ● Customers ● Manager ● Customer Success ● PM that previously had your job ● Leadership ● Other PMs ● Other Business Stakeholders ● Sales
  17. 17. What questions should I be asking? ● Understand their background, their role, their team, and their experience ● What has been working well? ● What can be improved?
  18. 18. What questions should I be asking? ● Key projects they’ve worked on ● How do product processes work here? (e.g. getting buy-in, running sprints, writing user stories) ● What goals/metrics does your team have?
  19. 19. What questions should I be asking? ● What is working/not working with the product I am owning? ● What existing documentation exists around your team? ● Who else would you recommend I speak to?
  20. 20. Why ask these questions? ● Now is the time to ask questions while you’re still new. Ask as many whys as possible. Dive deep. ● The purpose of meeting a wide variety of people and asking a lot of questions is to understand what isn’t working well and get ideas on how to solve these pain points
  21. 21. How to Structure First Week ● Set up daily 1-1s with your manager ● Work with manager to create an individualized 30-day plan with measurable goals and outcomes
  22. 22. Outcomes of 30-Day Plan ● Meet with customers and key stakeholders ● List of 3-5 biggest pain points with existing product ● List of 3-5 most important metrics to measure for product ● Ideas for quick win solutions to pain points ● Begin roadmap/vision doc for product for big rocks
  23. 23. Key Takeaways ● 1) Talk to customers as soon as possible. This allows you to get feedback before any biases set in. ● 2) Meet as many stakeholders as you can. Ask questions to get high level context and to figure out what's working and what can be improved ● 3) Be Patient. Learn the process before jumping in and changing things.
  24. 24. THANK YOU! Questions?
  25. 25. www.productschool.com Part-time Product Management Training Courses and Corporate Training

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