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10 things most young Product Managers need coaching
And where you should spend your time as a PM managers to get your team performing
This one goes out to all the new PM Managers or those still looking to learn the craft of managing PMs instead of managing a product. There are 10 things most PMs need coaching. This is where you should spend your time 👇
1. Product sense: PMs need to differentiate what is good product and mediocre/bad product. Coaching product sense is about showing where the magic lies in successful product decisions.
2. Stakeholder relationships: most junior PMs “use” stakeholders (because they need them) instead of building a relationship. Coaching this relationship is about showing how to make a partnership work.
3. Project management: there is a reason why most development ends up delayed. The less experienced you are the worst you’ll be at dealing with surprises, critical paths and dependencies. Coaching how to manage a project is core to delivering product.
4. Time management: the place I’ve seen most young PMs crack is by overworking themselves. A better time management can help. Coach when to do each type of task, about peak performance and when your productivity is marginally decreasing.
5. Pragmatic thinking: when you’re inexperienced you tend to build a cannon to kill a fly. This has an immense cost (complexity, noise, over engineering, time). Coach PMs to cut through the noise, build less, re-use, and even copy others before overcommitting.
6. Dreaming tomorrow: PMs tend to be overwhelmed managing “today”, so it’s no surprise they don’t spend time dreaming and designing “tomorrow”. Coach them on the power of building a vision to imagine the future.
7. Mental stiffness: I don’t know the exact numbers but burn out rates in PMs seems quite common. Most PMs aren’t taught how to manage their psychology and mental pressure. Coaching on how to handle the typical overload, mounting responsibility and unusual job breadth is key.
8. Communication clarity: 50% of good PMng is communication. Most junior PMs lack structure and clarity when communicating, especially the bad news. Coach them on how they can better storytellers, drop the bad news early and inspire through messaging.
9. Debate moderation: inexperienced PMs think they need to have the solution when in reality they need to foster discussion around the problem space. Coach them on how to reshape their role in discussions, and focus on generating more ideas and group buy-in.
10. Eigenquestioning: inspired in Shishir Mehrotra idea, young PMs generally ask a lot of questions (this is good). The next level is asking less questions and getting better answers. The utopia is asking the one question (eigenquestion) that answers most of the problem. Coach them on getting to the root cause with less questions, therefore arriving there quickly.
Spend less time on telling how to build the product and more time coaching ☝️and the product will build itself (via your amazing team).