The daily habits every aspirational product or project manager should be practicing
Often whenever we start a new job we are gripped by a mix of excitement, nervousness, and fear. These feelings can be especially true for new product or project managers where it can feel like from day 1, people are relying on you to make decisions and get things done. So for all the new or aspiring product and project managers out there, here are some practical steps to help you overcome these feelings, advance your career, build confidence and get you winning right from the start.
Build a Strong Foundation
To advance your career as a project or product manager, you need to develop a strong foundation of knowledge and skills and there are several practical things you can do everyday to help achieve this.
Read industry news and blogs: Stay up-to-date on the latest trends, news, and developments in your industry by reading relevant blogs, publications, and news sources. There is soooo much good content out there but three relly easy and obvious places to look for good product or project related content are
Stay organized: Good product management requires excellent organization and project management skills. Implementing a system for keeping track of tasks, deadlines, and project progress is super important. Briefmatic is a fabulous task management app that helps project and product managers keep on top of all their work and stay organized. Briefmatic helps capture and show all your tasks from all your apps so you can see, prioritise and schedule all the todos you need to focus on so you never miss a task and you’re always focused on the important jobs to be done. Check it out here.
Listen to customers: Always take a little time everyday to listen to customer feedback, understand their pain points, and use this information to inform your product or project decisions. Even if its a simple as answering a single support ticket everyday, interacting with customers is critical for making user or customer informed decisions which typically lead to better product or project outcomes.
Focus on Delivering Results
Product and project management is all about delivering results. To overcome that new job anxiety and to advance your career further you need to show that you can create and launch successful products by delivering early, and often. Focus on developing a track record of delivering results and communicate your successes to your superiors. Here are a couple of things you can do everyday to help develop your product delivery skills.
- Manage the product backlog: Keep track of the product backlog and ensure that it is regularly reviewed and updated based on changing customer needs, business goals, and technical constraints. Putting aside 15-30 minutes everyday to review even just one item in the backlog will give you a great understanding of where the business is trying to head and help you remain 100% focused on what needs to be delivered by when and how much effort its likely to take.
- Monitor product performance: Monitor product performance, including usage metrics, customer feedback, and revenue, to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions about product development and marketing strategies. A great way to stay focused on performance is to build yourself a performance dashboard for each new product or project that is implemented. Finding time to review the dashboard everyday will help keep you up to date and help you spot lots of areas for improvement.
Be a Collaborative Team Player
Product or project management is a team sport, and the most successful product managers are collaborative team players. Improving and refining your collaboration skills early on is particularly important in todays hybrid or flexible working environment and there are some things you can do everyday to improve these skills while also reducing any new job doubts. In addition to practising active listening and demonstrating empathy here are 4 things you can do during or after your product or project meetings to help drive collaboration and hone your skills.
- Clear communication: Communicate clearly and concisely, using language that is appropriate for your audience. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and can work together effectively.
- Timely follow-up: Follow up promptly on emails, phone calls, and messages, showing that you respect your colleagues' time and are committed to working together effectively. (Of course Briefmatic is a fabulous task management app that could help with this).
- Positive attitude: Maintain a positive attitude, even when facing challenges or setbacks. This will help build trust, foster a positive working environment, and keep everyone motivated and focused on achieving shared goals.
- Collaborative mindset: Foster a collaborative mindset, encouraging your team members to share ideas, feedback, and concerns openly. This will help build trust, improve communication, and promote a culture of continuous improvement.
If you're a new or aspiring Product or Project Manager then hopefully the insights and daily behaviours listed above can help you advance your career, build confidence and get you winning right from the start.