7 hacks I swear by as a Product Manager

  1. About Emails
    It is safe to say that Product Management is 80% communication. Emails being an integral (almost 80% of the 80%) part of the deal. That’s the math. To make emails an effective way of communication, whenever I send an email to a stakeholder, I follow it up with a quick call. I am ensuring two things here- 1) eliminating the turnaround time 2) transferring the accountability to the stakeholder. This is a total game-changer. Side Tip: Check out Boomerang for emails
  2. Always, I reiterate, always ask for ETA
    “I’ll get back to you”, “Let me look into it”, “I’ll discuss with the team and let you know”, “Give me some time to think about it” and the list goes on. See the problem here? We don’t know when. Ask for ETA to convert this problem from intangible to tangible.
  3. Identify Bottlenecks
    Bottlenecks are a turn-off. They creep in without you noticing it. They delay your project indefinitely. Give them the attention they demand. Before starting and ending the day, make a list of all the bottlenecks of your project and ensure that you bring it to the accountable party’s notice the following day. Pro-tip: You should never be a bottleneck.
  4. System with Less Variables
    Anyone who has studied elementary math would know that solving a one-variable equation is easy, two variables is fairly challenging and an equation in three variables would need a scientific calculator for accuracy. Apply the same concept when you’re developing a product from scratch. The lesser the variables, the simpler the system, the easier the tracking, the greater the chances of success.
  5. The 4Ds- Do it, Delegate it, Defer it or Delete it
    Remember binning from data mining? Replicate that here. Bin all your JIRA tasks. Divide (read: declutter) and conquer.
  6. No Feedback, No Progress
    Feedback is your SSOT (Single Source of Truth). Without it, your product is on a sure-shot path of failure. So, love it or hate it, but don’t ignore it!
  7. Find the Right Solution
    This is the last of the hacks and hands down, the most important one. I face problems on an everyday basis. My job is to find the solution to the right problem rather than trying to fit the solution to the problem. Read that again.

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Tanaya Yadav

Tanaya Yadav

Product Manager 2 at Microsoft 365 | Cornell University ‘22