Learning to be a Product Manager | Day 11

Today is the first day of work after the short 3-day vacation— Tomb Sweeping Day in China. I didn’t feel productive at all, maybe it’s because I haven’t fully adjusted to the deep thinking and working mode.

I ran performance data for last week and all group of data are dropping. It’s very obvious that our users’ learning enthusiasm were affected during the holiday. They spent less time on our product to learn, and maybe more time to hang out with family. It’s actually predictable and makes sense.

But still, I kept thinking what if our product had been an “addiction” to our users, that even when it’s holiday, they’ll use it no matter what. I guess it’s hard, and needs some extra effort, like operation events. But if any product can fight against the holiday effect and keep a steady retention rate, then it’s really something.

Besides, I was also involved in a couple technical problems. I feel I’m improving, or at least trying to improve in this aspect. I’m starting to know that the most important thing is COMMUNICATION. Communication is key. Communication is everything. Actually I always kinda knew this, but I wasn’t careful and experienced enough to do it through the whole process, especially in the middle of the project. As a rookie PM, I couldn’t ask more from the engineers, instead, I should try to clarify more, communicate more proactively and frequently.

I talked to one of our Algorithm Engineers about the occurring issue, how we should solve it and how we should create a more effective workflow. It’s necessary that we had this conversation, because sometimes we’re all too busy with our tasks and forget to stay on the same page. I feel that as a PM, I should really take the responsibility to be a leader.

It’s quite common that engineers and PMs have different way of thinking and putting things. And it’s really a core skill for PM to overcome this and make it aligned and efficient.

I created a spreadsheet to document the pitfalls I encountered and also to track the bugs and feedbacks. I hope this helps me get a better understanding of how things evolved and how I can do better next time.

Keep thinking, writing and doing like a motherfucker.