Very few of us went to school to be product managers. It’s no wonder why when most people end up in their first role as a product manager, feelings of “imposter syndrome” can set in. Even as one progresses in their career, understanding if you’re heading in the right direction can be frustrating and confusing. Following frameworks and using tools to help guide us can certainly help, though. Here are some helpful frameworks, tools, and strategies for navigating your way through the product management life cycle.
First things first – What is the Product Life Cycle?
Are you focused on the right part of the product life cycle with your product? Are you sure about that? Nick Caldwell asks this question — and helps you answer it — with an overview of the product life cycle and its key components. From Introduction to Growth, Maturity, and Decline — it’s important to understand where your product fits in, as the ways to evolve it are dependent on the stage.
The PURSUIT product framework
Do you have an idea for a product you and your team can launch? Great! But, what to do next? Maryanna Quigless, a Product Lead at Facebook, developed a simple framework to help you think through this. As a part of the framework, it forces you to ask 7 questions that you can essentially use as a checklist. Plus, you’ll find other resources from some INDUSTRY alumni and the Stanford D-School included as well.
(via UX Collective)
Put your toolbelt on, product people!
Once you’ve launched your product — then what? INDUSTRY alumnus, Ty Ahmad-Taylor, highlights six different lenses that you can look at your product through in order to manage your product once it’s launched.
Get ready for some chaos
Even when you’re doing everything the right way, using the right frameworks with a proper understanding of where your product fits in, overall — things will be chaotic. Of course, it’s how you manage that chaos that separates product managers who feel like they’re thriving from those who feel buried. In this talk at INDUSTRY 2019, Victoria Kennedy, Product Manager at Axios, has a discussion with Michael Sacca, Co-Host of Rocketship.FM, on how product managers can be agile in the midst of chaos.
But beware – There’s an Empathy Gap in Tech
As you navigate your way, you should know something, though. There’s an empathy gap in tech — and it starts with diversity. Jules Walter, Product Manager at Slack, talks about living through times in his career as one of the only black people on his product team. But how can we be truly empathetic to our users when the makeup of our product teams don’t even look like our users? The short answer is that we can’t. And especially on a day like today — Juneteenth — a day that is so important, especially to black Americans, symbolizing true freedom… we ought to be thinking about how a lack of diversity on our product teams can actually be hurting our users.