Hi, I'm Sachin.

I love sharing lessons learned, best practices, and insights from over a decade here in Silicon Valley as a product manager and startup founder.

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Modern Project Management for Product Managers

modern project management

One of the critical responsibilities of product managers is driving the overall execution of their product. Relentless execution will ultimately determine whether you'll be able to make your product vision a reality. Driving the execution of your product not only means doing whatever it takes to make your product win, but it also encompasses a set of core project management responsibilities. While many product managers are familiar with agile methodologies for managing a development team, I don't believe it provides a full view of how a product manager should be effectively managing their overall product process.

Today I wanted to provide a complete picture of a modern project management process for product managers. This covers a set of planning and project management activities that product managers should drive annually, quarterly, bi-weekly, and daily to effectively manage a product development process. It's rooted in the agile movement, with a deep recognition that customer needs and product requirements are ever-evolving and agility is absolutely paramount to enable you to swiftly change plans as soon as it's appropriate. At the same time, it recognizes that planning is absolutely necessary for enabling blue-sky thinking, thoughtful trade-offs of priorities, driving team alignment, and ultimately for enabling you to realize your product's long-term vision.

Understanding User Psychology: The Psychology of Persuasion

cialdini-influence

[This is the second post in my Understanding User Psychology series. If you haven't already, make sure to check out the first post: Meet Your Happy Chemicals.]

When looking to understand user psychology in order to design better product experiences, Robert Cialdini's seminal work, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, is a classic read. Robert Cialdini brings to bear his years of research on influence to detail the 6 weapons of influence leveraged by compliance practitioners (salesmen, car dealers, fund raisers) to get you to say yes to whatever they are selling. These same tactics can be leveraged in designing product experiences to help delight users as well as drive them to our desired product behaviors.

5 Paths To Your First Product Manager Role

5 Paths

The most common question I get from aspiring product managers is how to land their first product manager role. Unfortunately it's not an easy question to answer because there isn't a single straightforward path into product management, but instead a variety of paths from which product managers typically come from. I wanted to share the five most common paths that I've observed for individuals landing their first product management role and how to increase your chances of landing the job through each path.

Understanding User Psychology: Meet Your Happy Chemicals

happy-chemicals

As product designers, we aspire to build product experiences that are not only useful (solve a real pain point for our users) and usable (effortlessly allow our users to accomplish their goal), but ultimately delightful (elicit a positive emotion from users). I find product teams are usually pretty good at building useful experiences, identifying pain points through market research, industry expertise, and their own experiences. Similarly we've established a strong set of best practices around building usable experiences, through significant design methodologies and established guidelines. Yet the dimension we continue to struggle with as an industry is repeatably building delightful experiences.

The challenge with designing a delightful experience is inherent in the very nature of needing to elicit such an emotion from our users. It requires us to get into our user's head enough to deeply understand what in fact will create such an emotional response. To build this muscle, I've found it incredibly helpful to invest in learning about human psychology. And specifically there have been a few frameworks that I've found particularly insightful and applicable to understanding user psychology. In this series of posts, I will share my favorite user psychology frameworks that will help you design more delightful product experiences.

The Best Product Managers are Truth Seekers

truth

One of the personality traits I value most in successful product managers is they are inherently truth seekers. Truth seekers have a strong bias towards discovering the truth being their primary motivation and what ultimately guides their decision-making. It takes incredible humility and curiosity to embody this trait, but when it exists, the benefits are felt throughout the entire R&D team.