Product Alchemist
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Product Alchemist

Product Manager Learnings -2021

Little late to the party but here’s what I learned

Photo by Josh Hild from Pexels

It has been more than a year since I have shifted from a position of management consultant to a product manager. Management consulting and product management are synonymous at a certain level if not the same. At the end of the day, there is one goal; we want to build a product.

In my experience, product management has added more depth and more meaning to my work. Management consulting is an extemely rewarding career from a quality of work and financial perspective, but it is my personality that is more aligned with product management which is being more detail-oriented. I like to work in detail, contemplate for long hours, conduct enormous research, discuss the minute details and build that one CTA which ends up being a game-changer.

There were a couple of things I already knew and a couple of things I learned on the go.

#1 Learnt the underlying technology

As a management consultant, I used to understand the underlying technology upon which my product is built, but the emphasis has always been on the functional side of the product. I may have stumbled upon my product architecture but never cared to comprehend the why of it. But as a PM it is not enough! It is critical to get inside the product and appreciate the product's technical aspect. You won’t believe how many insights I have derived just by understanding how my dev team has developed the product. For me understanding those inter-connected systems was an eye-opener. This does not only gave me more control over my product but helped me in conversing better with my dev team.

#2 Nicer to people

One is working with multiple stakeholders like business partners, design team, dev team, and leadership. It does become overwhelming when everyone has a conflicting point of view at the same time. You have to influence people without losing your cool. But at times, you do react a little bit more firmly and it doesn’t go well with people. Ultimately, I have learned a PM is a people person. Being nice to people will eventually bring more speed to my work only. Over time I have gained more control over my emotions and forced myself in finding out more solutions for better communication.

How will my 2022 journey as PM look like?

There are two key areas that I would like to focus on this year:

#1 Product Analytics

Currently, my product doesn’t involve working with data as I am building an internal tool for my company as there are only a handful of product users. A lot of product-related decisions are driven by business sentiments and primary research. But eventually, I would like to include data in my current product or start working with products where I get to work with data and make data-driven decisions thereby adding more information to my decisions.

# 2 Objective Key Results

They were invented at Intel and religiously followed at Google. There are numerous youtube videos and frameworks out there in the world which one can use and apply. You can talk about them all day and can highlight many examples. But it is always not that straightforward. As a Product Manager, I struggle to link back my features with the right objectives and more importantly the methods to measure those objectives. Even If I can tie my features with my objectives, I always fall short of ways to measure them. But if your features matter to you, identify ways to measure them. Something that I desire to work upon.

So far, life as a PM has been quite rewarding. Every day some new avenue opens up in this space which keeps it interesting and challenging.

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We write about the magic that goes into creating a product

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Bhramari Bisht

Bhramari Bisht

Product @Lowes | Sarcastic | Focussed | Exclusive

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