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Simple effective communication for product managers

When I discuss communication as a big part of PM, I often see the smallest things make the biggest difference. Here are somethings you can do if you’re often told communication isn’t your strong suit, especially in a remote setting.

Slack rules:

If you’re a PM it’s unlikely that you’ve more than three projects going on. Some projects are big and some not so. You’ll see senior folks only pop in and out on some of these channels and mimic them a lot. Don’t do it. Some projects need your attention more.

  1. They might be your main focus kpi for the quarter. So respond immediately on that. Share regular updates.
  2. On bigger projects your role is still not decided probably so fill gaps where needed. Someone says a meeting should be done to make a decision, take control of that.
  3. If you’ve a channel to report bugs, always report and make sure it’s solved for your projects. Make note, develop a system and close it. If you cannot close it, make sure it’s faced by very few ppl. Test the scenario often because of the title you think you’ve to talk everywhere. You don’t. Resist the urge and talk when necessary, make notes if need be and add suggestions if you see nothing is moving and you’d like to help.
  4. When you ship something always thank the team. YOU shipped because of them. Celebrate that. Always. Cheer them on. I see a lot of PMs feeling like they’re better than everyone and crediting work to themselves first. Pls stop.
  5. If someone asks you for something and it’s taking time to solve it, it’s ok. They’re happy you’re trying but keep them looped. Go back and constantly update them till you close. They know you’ve not forgotten.
  6. Project manage well. Coordinate, take meetings, add notes, send emails, remember slack messages. Unite the forces. That’s all on slack.

    Next document.

    1. Don’t blindly copy a way someone does something and introduce it at work..I see this when someone reads the PRD article and just wants to copy it to their workplace. It won’t ever work.
    2. Introduce a culture of writing. Don’t have one!? Start it yourself… Write what you’ve to your teams. When someone collabs with you write with them.
    3. Ask feedback.
    4. Write your version and ask people to make changes. Eventually they’ll see the value.
    5. Some words of PM aren’t understood across the table, so don’t use them. Use what your collaborator will understand. Write their language. Remember if you want a habit to stick when you’ve no authority, you’ve to work their way not force fit your way.

      Next email.

    In big orgs email culture is strong too, slack is a starting point. In smaller places unless working with externals it’s not as big, so adjust accordingly. Work with the culture not create a new one on day 1.

Published 21 May 2021

Always looking for learning opportunities in product and life.
Vindhya C on Twitter