January 22

The secret to managing up with your Product Management boss

If you have a less than stellar relationship with your boss, you may be tempted to place the blame squarely on them. Truth be told, the product leader/product manager relationship is a two-way street. If you want to have a strong relationship with your product leader, you’re going to need to manage up. These resources give you some pointers on how to make sure you do your part to build a strong relationship with your boss.

What does it mean to manage up? If you’ve ever worked for a boss who is disorganized, scatterbrained or simply overworked you know how difficult it can be to figure out exactly what’s expected of you. This doesn’t mean you have a bad boss, but it could be a sign that your manager is swamped. If you find yourself in such a situation, you could grit your teeth and try to endure the uncertainty, or you could try to “manage up.” Justin Reynolds explains how you can manage up to help out your manager and cultivate a working relationship with them.

(via @TINYpulse)

A tactical guide to managing up. Managing up is a rather amorphous category, encompassing everything from developing rapport and trust, decision-making, communication style, conflict management and goal-setting with your boss and other higher-ups. To further sketch out the do’s and don’ts for managing up, the folks at First Round Review reached out to some of the sharpest folks they know for their best tips for managing up. Of the many tasks they got back, they shared the tactics that you can apply right away.

(via @firstround)

A guide to managing your manager during one-on-ones. “According to Gallup’s State of the American Manager Report, 50% of employees have left a job to get away from their manager at some point in their career.” Sometimes, bad managers are beyond repair. Hiba Amin explains that in many cases, you can proactively improve your relationship with your manager by managing up during one-on-one meetings.

(via @bonusly)

How to Train Your Hippo. In this MTP Engage Manchester talk, Ozlem Yuce provides some insight on how you can better deal with the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO) in your organizations. She explains why the HiPPO can be so damaging and what to do about it as a product person. Watch the video or read the post to see her key points.

(via @MindtheProduct)

Practical Advice for Product Managers Working With Startup Founders. You may have found your first experience working with founders a bit jarring. You may have even used a term such as “crazy” to describe the experience. But “crazy” is a label we use when we don’t understand. Shaw Li takes a look at what makes working with founders challenging and different from other executives and how you can work with founders as a product manager.

(via @shawli)

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 KBP.media 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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