This post is a follow up to the last one: Why is Ownership Important for Product Managers.
Today, we talk about different ways to build high ownership as a product manager, especially a new product manager.
- Be the most knowledgable person on the team. Its easier said than done. That is why you should make learning a priority when you join a new team or organization. Learn about your product, business, customers and industry. Read internal and external documents, get access to the relevant data / dashboards, and talk to those who have the most information. Every time I join a new team, I regularly meet with senior leaders from different teams to get as much knowledge as possible.
- Understand your team's and the company's goals. The direct manager and other PMs on the team are usually the best people to share the most relevant context. Talking to the engineers will always bring a different perspective. In these discussions, your main aim should be to uncover "what" is the goal and "why" is it the focus at that time.
- Strong relationships with stakeholders. If you've been reading my posts, you know that I mention building relationships in almost all my guides. And that is because building relationships is truly one of the most important things to do. I always actively work on building relationships from day one. It helps me gain more knowledge, influence the same stakeholders (if and when required), and to remove blockers in critical situations. Basically, these relations make execution seamless.
- Visibility, transparency, openness. Create processes that encourage transparency and openness to share feedback. Create visibility for others in your progress. It is a signal of strength. It conveys a simple yet powerful message: "you are doing your best. Despite that, things will go wrong. And when that happens, you are open to feedback and to learn from others' experience"
- Execution. Get shit done. There is nothing that speaks louder of a PM's ownership than her ability to ship products. Executing projects and tasks is the most tangible signal that non-technical stakeholders use to assess you. Exceptions do exist.
High ownership is sometimes confused with owning a large set of projects or an extended portfolio of products. But high ownership is more about identifying and working only on critical projects, and always delivering on them.
Get bite-sized summaries of the best product management content in your WhatsApp inbox: http://bit.ly/wajapm