Stepping into the world of digital product manager might seem daunting. A world of strategies, goals and metrics, stakeholders, and many unknowns to discover, what are the most important things to grasp in the first 90 days?
Know your customers
What’s most important to a business is the customer, the ones who pay the bills. Understanding the customers’ pain points, needs and wants and some of the things a Product Manager should start to emphasize and analyse. Talk to them by “Getting out of the building”.
Continous product discovery will help in long term to empathise with the users and motivate you to build lasting and impactful products for them. Of course, understanding WHY customers are paying the currencies (money or time) are utmost important.
Know your business
Every industry is unique. Even more unique locally at times. Knowing the basics, especially if you are not familiar with the context, is critical to manoeuvre in developing products in the industry. Just imagine you know nothing about Insurance if you are a PM at a Insurance-tech company. Today, there are more than enough channels to self-learn to pick up these fundamentals within matter of days. Taking initiative is key.
Every company has a different culture and process of how things go. Knowing your company inside out in terms of product offerings and marketing strategies are important. Do a SWOT analysis on the company or the vertical you are working on helps you to identify and analyse the gaps easily.
One of the most effective and fastest way to find these out is by talking to the colleagues and immediate teammates around you.
Know your team
Product Manager is a people-person role, so able to connect to people is a good skillset to any PM to grow. In my first 90 days as a Product Manager, I spoke to more than 20 people of different departments and roles. These fruitful conversations help me to know the customers and business better. Reach out to the sales and marketing teams, designers and engineers, operations, and even the data analysts to ask open-ended questions will help you to onboard as a effective PM. These are some questions you can start with:
- Can you share how you work with the product managers? Any process I should take note of?
- How can we work effectively to identify problems and solve them together?
- What are the top 3 problems our customers face? Tell me more.
- What are some advice you can give to me as a new PM in the team?
Hint: Asking questions will also give you a direction on why you are hired and how you can maximise your value in the team and company.