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Putting it all together

Abesh Thakur

Mar 29, 2024

Stakeholder management, Cross-functional collaboration and Strategic execution may be words that look great on a management consultancy report, but implementing them as tools in the regular product management process may actually look something like this:

  • Taking notes, organizing workspaces, making plans and working through manually tracked action items on Notion

  • Sifting through emails, ignoring ones that are not urgent or actionable, and marking more relevant ones as unread to be revisited later at an undefined point in time.

  • Going through notes and action items from 5 meetings earlier that day, revisiting comments, replies and open tasks in JIRA and then putting ‘focus blocks’ on the calendar to actually get through the list

Pulling information from different sources, making sure you are working on the most impactful item requires, first and foremost, a bird's eye view and access to broader goals, context into workstreams and the need to continuously co-ordinate and keep all team members on the same page. Some of the most effective ways that, in my personal experience, matter the most are:

  • Establishing Communication Channels: Being organized and strict here is crucial to building trust, level set and keeping an eye on all moving parts. Use dedicated Slack channels for projects. Focus on clear, asynchronous updates - they're cheaper than meetings, but set up clear ways to make sure everyone's heard.

  • Reporting: Usually under the Product Manager’s purview, reporting on different workstreams is a critical part of keeping all stakeholders on the same page. Craft reports that tell a clear story, even if it means some data wrangling. Trust me, clear reports save time and build trust with everyone above you, and it isn’t just necessary to prevent launch delays.

  • Feedback Loop: Just sharing information in one direction doesn’t have the intended effect. Get feedback on direction, priorities, and roadblocks. This keeps everyone in the loop and avoids nasty surprises. While each company is different in setting protocols for establishing this feedback loop, it is critical that all impacted stakeholders are aware, and empowered, to use these loops to maximum effect.

  • Automation: Nearly all work management tools allow some level of automation (either in-built or through tools like Zapier) - from basic triggers on status swimlanes to multi layered marketing automation - that can help with moving faster and spending more time on actual processes which need manual intervention or feedback.