All related (35)
Vasanth Arunachalam
Director, Technical Program Management, Meta | Formerly MicrosoftAugust 9

The listening tour is what I love most while taking on a new role. I’m a social person and I love meeting people. What better than getting to know the people you are going to work closely with? I typically have a ledger that I carry with me into these 1:1 conversations with my cross functional team members and take notes diligently. This also helps me to organize those into themes. Towards the end of my 30-60-90 day ramp up, I do a share out of my perspective on what works, what doesnt and where we could do better.

Here is how my 1:1 conversations during the listening tour are structured -

  • Introducing myself and getting to know them as an individual - How long have been here at the company? Where did they work prior? If they are comfortable, getting to know where they live, their family and what they enjoy doing in their personal life etc
  • What is working well (product, team)?
  • What is not working well (product, team)?
  • Where can I and my team help the most?
  • What is the best way to partner with your function and vice versa?
Tamar Hadar
Sr. Director of Product, The Knot Worldwide | Formerly Trello (Atlassian)February 1

Speaking to your cross-functional teams is the best way to gain a deeper understanding of your company’s goals, its processes and challenges. It’s also an excellent way to get to know your new coworkers!

I like to start by telling the person a little bit about myself, the parts that don’t show up on my resume. Beyond forming a real connection with the person you’re speaking to, sharing something about yourself will lead to greater trust.

In your conversations, make sure to include members of your team as well as other teams such as Support, Marketing, Sales and Data Science.

Here are a few questions I like to ask:

  • What is your team’s biggest challenge?
  • What is our users’ biggest pain points?
  • How can I help you?
  • What is our competition doing better than us?
  • What is your preferred style of communication?
  • Who do you recommend I speak to next?
Mamuna Oyofo, MBA
VP of Product, Shopify
To be a strong product manager, you will have to learn to balance your art in the science. That is your hard and soft skills. When you are new to a team, naturally you want to show your value and start to contribute right away. However you don't take the time to understand the dynamics of the existing team, build the right relationships, understand communication styles, you may set yourself up for failture even before you start. My recommendation would be to come in, get an understanding for the team and what their needs are. Build relationships, understand what skills are best used in the ...
Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AI, Cisco
Key traits for AI PM is no different from other PM roles -- empathy for customer issues, ability craft / create / articulate problems and how we might approach the solution, industry and domain experience, and collaborative leadership to work with engineering. Willingness to learn or prior experience or understanding of AI/ML modeling challenges, and how they can be use in the context the industry / domain where it is applied is ofcourse a big plus. 
Sreenath Kizhakkedath
Uber Head of Growth Programs, Riders, Uber
Product led growth is evolving as a new principle within many organizations. The concept is to build an amazing user experience that does all the growth. You are not considering user experience and design after building the functionality. It is a key requirement to ship the experience rather than just functionality. This also means that you continuously analyze data on engagement and conversions and constantly make changes to improve all these metrics. 
Veronica Hudson
Director of Product Management, ActiveCampaign
This varies by organization. Regardless of the size of your product team, you should have the expectations for each level of product well defined and socialized throughout the organization (typically APM, PM, SPM, Group or Principle PM, Director etc). Even if you are only a team of one, it helps to have these levels defined, especially if you hope to hire new team members in the future or you want to make a case for yourself down the road for a promotion. That being said, I take a number of factors into account.  * Is this PM meeting or exceeding the expectations for their level?  * A...
Clara Lee
VP, Product & Operations (WooCommerce), Automattic
Sharp communication skills that enable proactive stakeholder management. This doesn't just mean blasting memos and updates to everyone, everywhere – it means:  * Speaking about what matters to who;  * Understanding what is the right timing; * And knowing which channels are most effective for getting your point across.  In some organizations, you may be lucky enough to have a Product Operations team to help you with that; in others, you won't. Leaning into comms and stakeholder management means:  * Risks are assessed early; * Issues requiring help are unblocked; * Expectations ar...
Tamar Hadar
Sr. Director of Product, The Knot Worldwide | Formerly Trello (Atlassian)
FIRST OFF, TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND REMEMBER, CRUSHING THOSE OKRS IS GOING TO TAKE TIME AND EFFORT. NEXT, SET CLEAR GOALS FOR EACH MILESTONE AND BUILD A PLAN AROUND IT. JUST LIKE YOU WOULD WHEN DEFINING A PROJECT, IDENTIFY SUCCESS METRICS FOR YOURSELF AND CREATE A PLAN. HERE’S AN EXAMPLE: First 30 days: Learning and Absorbing * Establish good working relationships with stakeholders: the key to being effective is having open lines of communication with your coworkers. Take the time to get to know them and learn from their experience. * Immerse yourself in data: learn where to find pe...