August 8

Continuing to Learn

Darius Rucker perhaps said it best, “You gotta live and learn so you can learn to live”. If you want to be an effective product manager, you need to constantly reflect on your experiences and the experiences of others. Here are some ways that product management practitioners continuously learn from experience (their own and others) in order to refine their approach to product management.

How to consider context when learning from others. Context has a huge influence on how you address a problem. What works in some situations may not even have a chance to work in others. The best way to learn how to deal with context is through experience, whether it’s yours or others. You’d be foolish not to take advantage of what others have learned through sometimes painful experience to solve a problem you face. So how do you go about learning from others while factoring in the differences that context brings about? Kent McDonald shares five steps that help him consider context when trying to learn from others.

(via @kbpmedia)

What I learned from my 7 years in product management. Avinash Bajaj has worked in product management for 7 years. When he started he found it difficult to get into product management, mainly because not too many people knew what a PM did, especially outside of the Bay Area in the US. Things are different now that product management roles are more prevalent. As more people gain experience with product management and share that experience, it helps others get into the field. Avinash shares 11 things he’s learned about product management from his 7 plus years of experience.

(via @AvinashBajajS)

5 Ways new product managers learn on the job. “There is no shortcut to becoming a successful product manager. Like any major accomplishment, it takes time and practice. If you are a new product manager or just joined a new company, you may feel overwhelmed.” Don’t get discouraged. All great product managers had to start somewhere. To help you go from novice to pro, Brian de Haaf shares five ways to kick-start your product management career starting your first day on the job.

(via @bdehaaff)

8 Ways to accelerate your product manager growth.  To be successful as a product manager, you need to develop strong ownership of the product you work on and your professional growth. Product management is a discipline this is as deep as it is broad, so there are always new things to learn. If you’re not actively honing your craft, you’re falling behind. One way Joanna Beltowska has found to hone her craft is to seek out others’ experiences. Here are a few avenues that Joanna follows to supplement her own product management experience with the experience of others.

(via @jbeltowska)

7 Brilliant little skills to master your role as a product manager. Janna Bastow has found that the hardest thing about being a product manager is managing people. “People are hard. People are unpredictable. They have office politics, opinions and expectations. They’re biased. They’re wrong more than they want to be.” When things go wrong it’s not your roadmap, it how you’re dealing with people. One aspect of product management that you need to continuously learn about is how to deal with people. In this video, Janna shares 7 tactics she uses to improve her ability to deal with people as a product manager.

(via @simplybastow)

Kent J McDonald

About the author

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent practices his craft with a variety of product teams and provides just in time resources for product people at and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.


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