Just landed a job as a product manager? Awesome. Whether you have decades of experience or your strategy is to fake it ’til you make it, the first few weeks at your new gig will be key in forming relationships and gaining a holistic understanding of your new organization.
Having crashed and burned a few times myself in those first few weeks, I’ve put together this playbook to help set you and your product up for success from the get-go. Though this reflects my own experience working at agencies across multiple products, there’s something in here for everyone, whether you’ve just joined a startup or mega-corporation.
1. Embark on a listening tour
When you’re new to the job, get comfortable with introducing yourself around the office. Sit down with different stakeholders — in-person if possible — and have an open conversation about how things are going. In smaller organizations, you may be able to meet with every individual, which is ideal. At the least, spend some time with team leads or managers.
Use this time to learn about how your new organization makes decisions and gets work done on its product(s). Take advantage of your newness to gather unvarnished feedback from different teams and lookout for areas of disagreement or misunderstanding.
This is a great time to dig into your organization’s product vision and strategy. Does everyone share the same view of where things are headed or are there unclear differences? By putting an ear to the ground, you can start to identify where you can make an impact.