On project management
Project management is only a small part of product management. But it’s crucial to be able to manage a project effectively. Hence, this shortlist.
Project management is only a small part of product management. But it’s crucial to be able to manage a project effectively. Hence, this shortlist:
The project should always have a clear intent. Break down the problem clearly and align the desired result for the users and the product. Write it down.
Always have one Direct Responsible Individual. The DRI will be the person who drives and is ultimately responsible for the project. Without a clear DRI, your team will fall into a consensus that can slow you down.
Understand how the project fits the broader strategy. Ask yourself this question: “How does this project support the organization’s KPI or OKR?” If there’s no clear answer, perhaps that’s not the most important project.
Have a cadence with a specific purpose. Some of my favorite cadences now:
Sync up. The cross-function members share the progress and align their priorities. It’s where the team shares their blocker too. I usually have this at the end of Friday to set the focus for the next week.
Discovery playback. The team shares any insights from the user interview, desk research, or experiments. What have we learned? How should we move forward? I like to have this on Friday morning.
Brainstorming session. A cross-function member will gather to sharpen the problem or brainstorm the solution. I like to keep this session around Thursday.
Take your task seriously and set a clear ETA for your team. Communicate when the ETA needs to be adjusted, especially if it blocks other people.
Have a dedicated Slack channel for the project. All of the discussion should be discussed there, not in the personal message or in the smaller group. Make the discussion visible so people are aware of the discussion and can catch up.
Take the project seriously, but be playful and keep it fun too. If the team’s morale is good, the work is enjoyable.
Set clear success criteria. How do you know if you have solved the problem? Often time, you can always measure it. But, sometimes, you gain signal qualitatively.
Appreciate and praise others’ efforts. When a crisis arises, don’t blame people. Instead, use the energy and the time to tackle the crisis.
Always share the digest and the focus every Monday with the broader audience. Share what’s your team’s priority for this week.
Wrap it up. Celebrate. But take time to identify what worked and what didn’t. You’ll need it for the next project.
What’s your favorite best practice for project management? Please let me know in the comment section.
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