Watch the video to see her talk in full. Or read on for an overview of her key points:
- How d you know if you’re a good manager?
- The right questions to ask
- The Socratic method
How do you know if you’re a good product manager?
For Sandhya, every other role she had in her career from engineer to venture capitalist, she was able to tell whether she was good or not. When she was a product manager, it was a lot more difficult to tell.
The right questions to ask
As a product manager, it is better to be problem-oriented rather than solution-oriented. The job is to identify the right problems to solve. Are you multitasking vs focusing? Try separating your mind from your to-do list and focus.
Avoid turning your team into a feature factory by focusing on learning and testing hypotheses rather than constantly shipping. Always think bottom up to avoid being overly constrained and have a measurable definition of impact. Learn when to ask questions to get better clarity before saying no, instead of pushing every task to the backlog blackhole. Focus on doing the right thing and not just staying on schedule, learn to take calculated risks and develop a strong culture that helps drive strategy.
The Socratic Method
As a product manager, your role will require you to empower others to make decisions. It also requires critical reasoning and cooperative dialogue. Ask the right questions to learn the underlying beliefs behind others’ statements and seek to arrive at a logical conclusion.
The key takeaways from this talk are that many times a product manager is seen as the CEO of the product. While it is a product manager’s job to see the product to completion, the roles and benefits are not the same. Instead, product managers should be seen as midwives, helping the team to conceive, birth and grow ideas.