Hello From The Other Side

I used to be a Product Manager managing two designers, a UI developer, and a Junior Product Manager. I also ran the development scrums and helped them manage their sprints.

Now I'm a Senior Product Designer. It has been so interesting to see product development from the designer's perspective.

Here are some things I wish I would have done better as a PM:

1. Product Managers juggle a ton of projects and people at once. Tools and processes can be helpful-allowing PMs to know where everything is at any given point in time. From the perspective of a developer or designer however, many tools and processes can be hard to pick up if you're not constantly monitoring those tools like the PM. This can lead to frustration on the PM's part or confusion and frustration on the developer or designer's part. I definitely remember this being a pain point in my previous role. Now it makes more sense to me.

Key learning: Only show people what they need to know and take time to learn what that may be every time you adopt a new tool or process. It'll save your team brain space and it'll prevent tool & process overload.

2. Recurring meetings are a great way to stay on track. If you're a PM at a startup however, your job may be pretty crazy and you're likely to have an ever changing schedule. You'll be late to those meetings or maybe even forget them because you have something more pressing.

Key learning: Try substituting those meetings with designer/developer driven check ins. Let them run with it and encourage them to come to you if they're stuck or if they have bandwidth. It'll be a more natural rhythm, you'll meet less, and your meetings will be more substantial.

A special thanks to my team at IdeaScale for helping me to see flaws in my management so I can continue to learn and grow.