Product managers, here’s an easy way to see if you are wasting your own time, and the time of the people around you. First, buy a watch so you don’t get distracted by screens whenever you have to know the time.
Next, ask yourself “what am I REALLY doing?” This can be harder than it sounds, but go figure it out.
Then ask …
Does [that thing you’re doing] help your team (and the individuals on your team, you included):
- Build trust and reduce fear? (see also here)
- Make it safer to experiment and move with conviction and speed?
- Achieve a flow state?
- Leverage their diverse perspectives, habits, and quirks for mutual benefit?
- Work through conflict and become stronger?
- See the impact (and feel pride) in their work?
- Continuously deliver validated value (outcomes)to your customers and organization?
- Add as little as possible to your product for the greatest validated impact?
- Learn more about your users/customers/organization/larger ecosystem?
- Accelerate the rate of meaningful feedback and the ability to act on that feedback?
- Build a rich shared understanding applicable to the challenge at hand?
- Practice their sensemaking skills?
- Discover new opportunities to deliver value as they emerge?
- Think beyond incremental changes? Think big and shoot high?
- Reflect on what is and isn’t working and continuously improve?
- Hone their craft and branch out professionally?
- Work sustainably, with fewer fire-drills?
- Eliminate unhelpful dependencies and process, especially when rooted in mistrust and fear? Dampen the musty stink of internal politics, cognitive dissonance, and “just because”ism?
- Have fun and laugh? What did you come up with?
No. None of that! Then you can stop doing that. See, that wasn’t hard! Do something else.
**Yes and No. I’m worried it has some positives, but also some undesirable side effects. **Figure that out. Take your hesitation seriously. Your behavior may not be safe.
By golly yes! Rock on. Keep it up, and reflect on whether it’s working with your team.