First 30 Day Guide for Product Maintenance Manager
Change is hard but inevitable. I walked into a new role as product maintenance manager. Everyone will expect you to come and start scoring points. That’s not the reality. If you invest 30 days, you can yield benefits for 300 days.
Here is a guide which you can follow -
- Note down everything — If there is one single piece of advice in this article, it’s note-taking. All points, be good or bad, just note down. Meeting MOMs, a discussion summary, product knowledge, FAQs, just everything.
• Shadow the person — Whoever role you are going to take, just observe whatever he is doing. It’s not a time for judgement, rather an observation.
• Sort out the access, tools and get yourself introduced to everyone involved, like customers, stakeholders, teams.
• Follow the engineering team’s way of working and see what change you foresee to make it more efficient — Note down again!
• Plan for a plan — Have an aligned plan with your manager. Agree on goals and objectives.
• Schedule 1:1 to discuss your upcoming challenges, new findings, and gather more information. Your manager will be your guiding force.
• Schedule discussions with all key stakeholders. The atomic unit of success is not an individual, it is a team. Stakeholders play a pivotal role there.
• Know the good and pain points from their perspective.
• Listen — The easiest way to figure out the problem is by talking to your customers.
• “Don’t” Listen — For solutions. Understand the problem, and come back to the design team to understand their part. The problem needs to be analysed from both sides.
(Over) Ask questions
Yes, learn the product as well. But that can be done in the next 60 days.
More importantly, there is no one who will reject a new hire’s stupid questions.
Ask away as much as you can, because you will soon be answering most questions.
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