It’s me again – your favourite product manager! You haven’t from me in a while. The past few years have been….interesting, but all is well. I am writing to let you know that I’ve been very good this year. I have been completely focused on my users, talking to them regularly and not pretending that I am them. I have made a concerted effort to be data-informed over data-driven, and have been focused on outcomes over outputs. All. Year. Round.
Of course, we can’t forget that time earlier in the year when I ended up overengineering my product by making features too complex for our users, but that’s all water under the bridge….if you’re not winning, you’re learning…am I right or am I right?!
So in the hope that I have done enough to find my name on the Nice List, here is my wish list for this Christmas:
- Knowing when my OKRs don’t suck, this year I’ve fallen into the trap of cargo-cult OKRs, where I’ve expected the rituals to solve their problems while losing sight of my thinking. Anything to understand how to use them well would be GREAT.
- A lesson in communication with Software Engineers. Like me, engineers need long periods of uninterrupted work to be effective. I don’t know when to interrupt them, and whether it’s worth small talking about the weather. Sometimes I would love to have a step-by-step guide on what to do more of, and what to avoid.
- Understand what product manager role best works for me. As much as I’ve loved seeing the role grow, when I go to a talk or event with so many different types of product managers around, I see myself regurgitating a similar question “what exactly is it, that you do?” it would be desirable for you to expand on product operations is as well. Thanks in advance…
- For my sanity, please provide me with a list of measuring the right metrics. For Christmas I’d like to know what to measure to build successful products, I want to be efficient with my data and not be overloaded with spreadsheets. Please help me to keep things simple and straightforward.
- And finally on my list (as it always is…) is to master the art of saying no. This might be a big ask, but even when I want to say no, I somehow end up saying yes? Teach me the ways of the no’s. Feel free to say no to this request though…
I haven’t got around to finding the best stocking yet, it’s somewhere on my to-do list. But I promise it will be in the same place as always, next to the whiteboard and on top of my pile of sticky notes. I have the finest milk and cookies on arrival. Looking forward to seeing what Christmas brings!
Overstretched Product Manager