5 things I wished I learned earlier about the development process
And how I PM can be successful when dealing with engineers
When I started as a PM, I made a ridiculous amount of mistakes dealing with engineering and the development process. There were 5 things that would’ve saved me SO MANY headaches 👇
But before: like most PMs, I fell into the role. I had smart PMs around me, but they too were figuring it out as they went. We relied on common sense to deal with the engineers around us.
Here’s what would’ve been transformational if I learned it earlier:
 𝐓𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤. The earlier a product stage, the less rigid you should be with the frameworks you implement. Any method or process is intended to create friction, and bring harmony among chaos. The earlier the stage, the less chaos there is. In this case friction only slows you down. Don’t go full theoretical on applying frameworks. Adjust it to the stage of the product.
 𝐒𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐏𝐌-𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲. Daily standups and sprint plannings should never be optional for PMs. You might not be the person leading them (you shouldn’t actually), but your presence can help you understand the struggles, remove blockers, and rally the team.
 𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐦𝐢𝐜𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐞, 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬. When you implement tools and ceremonies, let them show you the progress. Don’t breathe over your team’s neck. That not only distracts them, but makes them hate you.
 𝐄𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 > 𝐄𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭. It’s ok to “ship less” in order to have the entire team participating in the product process. Engineers don’t exist just to code. Designers don’t exist just to design. Nor PMs exist only to write issues. Everyone collaborating in discovery, execution, and delivery will bring the best products into the world, even if it feels you’re “shipping less”.
 𝐑𝐞𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡. 50% of a PMs job is improving the machine that builds the product. Retrospectives are research sessions on the customers of the machine: those building the product. Listen to them, and then iterate away. It will transform your team dynamic.
Every PM has a couple of stories tripping on one of the above. Even if you don’t follow these recommendations, you’ll eventually learn them the hard way. Your team will make sure of it (as they should).