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Your first 30/60/90 days as a Product Manager (PM)
How to hit the ground running in your new role
At the end of 90 days, as Product Managers (PMs), we would like to have a launch under our belt (best case!), or be on the path to a launch or at least have a plan for one. To be there, we need to plan our first 90 days in a new organization well. This article will cover what you should be doing in your first 30/60/90 days in an organization. It is meant for entry-level and mid-level PMs joining a new company or transitioning to this role.
Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash
Day 1 - The basics: laptop, your team, buddy
For most companies, the first day would be spent with the IT team setting up your laptop or computer. Work with them to ensure that you have access to the right tools and resources. Say a quick hello to your manager and the scrum team members you will be working with.
If your manager hasn’t already found you a buddy, it would be worth asking for one. A buddy will help you understand the lay of the land. More importantly, they can introduce you to the unwritten rules in the organization.
Tip: Keep an eye out for other employees joining the company around the same time. They can be your allies in onboarding and within the organization.
Day 7 - Bird eye’s view of the business and product
Understanding the business and the product is critical for a product manager. There is no week like Week 1 to get started on this. Most companies have a formal process to provide an overview of the business and the product. If that is not the case, ask for access to your product or create a trial account.
Take this time to become familiar with your product. Also reach out to your manager to understand customer segments and state of business.
Day 14 - Gain a deeper understanding of your product area
By the end of week 2, you should have understanding of the organization. You may have started working with your immediate scrum team. Now is the time to gain a deeper understanding of your product area. Understand how the product area fits into product strategy. Review secondary sources of information - customer feedback, market reports, analytics, competitors reviews.
I prefer to get familiar with the product area, before meeting stakeholders, to have a meaningful conversation with them.
Day 21 - Meet your direct stakeholders
Now that you feel more comfortable with your product and product area, it is time to meet your other stakeholders. Your stakeholders are Head of Product, other Product Managers, Engineering Manager, Product Design Manager, Product Marketing Manager and so on. Get to know how they would prefer to collaborate with you. They can give you advice on how best to onboard and anything you should read or a person you should be reaching out to.
Get an understanding of inputs used by the product team to plan their roadmap - OKRs, customer feedback, sales feedback, business goals. This will also help you identify the other stakeholders to meet.
Find small, easy wins - UI/UX bugs and small improvements within the product you could own. Ask your manager and other Product Managers to help you identify easy wins. This gives you insights into the product development process and confidence.
Day 30 - Getting started on your product roadmap
Begin by looking through secondary sources of data already in your organization to identify the problems. Reach out to the stakeholders you have met before to understand the problems. Focus on the problems and then create your hypothesis.
At this point, it is good to share your findings with your manager and rest of the product team. It helps to confirm your direction and gives you enough time to course correct if necessary.
Day 60 - Align stakeholders on your product roadmap
By this time, you would have an initial draft of your product roadmap. Set up 1:1 with your stakeholders - Engineering, Product Design and Product Marketing. Take them through the initial draft of the roadmap and request for feedback.
Day 90 - Start executing on your roadmap
By Day 90, you would be in execution mode, working with product design and engineering to begin development.
👉 Here’s a handy checklist to help you so that you can customise it for your new role, or a new joining Product Manager. You can duplicate it and then make it your own on Notion.
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Did you learn something new?
What’s missing from this 30/60/90 day plan? Share your suggestions in the comments and they may end up in the template.