9: Everything benefits from a good start in life

9: Everything benefits from a good start in life

I’m writing about one hundred things I’ve learned about being a product manager.

Don’t you find that it is always so hard to recover something that started badly?  Whether it’s a development project, a product launch, or a new starter in your team, you can be reasonably certain that each will benefit from a good start.

It’s essentially your role to be the most prepared person in the room

There is a somewhat coarse saying in the UK military that “prior preparation and planning prevents p*ss-poor performance”.  This is known as The Seven Ps.  The key to ensuring a good start is to prepare and plan ahead.  As a product manager, it’s essentially your role to be the most prepared person in the room, the one with all the answers.

So if you’re preparing for a development project, get preliminary user research sorted out in advance. Run your fledgling product strategy past a few different people and challenge them to find the holes in your case.

Make sure your new starter has what they need to do their job available to them on day one and share with them your clear plan for what you need them to achieve over the coming weeks and months and how you’ll measure their success.

In other words, use The Seven Ps to ensure everything you do starts out well.

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The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management book cover

The Practitioner’s Guide to Product Management
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“I wish this book was published when I started out in product management”

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Jock is a freelance head of product, author and conference speaker. He has spent nearly two decades working with technology companies to improve their product management practices, from startups to multinationals. His clients include the BBC, University of Cambridge, and the UK's Ministry of Justice and Government Digital Service (GDS).In 2012 Jock founded Product People Limited, a product management consultancy and training company. He is also the author of the popular book The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management and the blog I Manage Products.

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