Institute of Product Leadership
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First 30 days as a Product Manager

Your first day as a Product Manager at a new job can either be the first day of the rest of your life… or the first of a series of never-ending Groundhog Day experiences, where every day feels the same and your new job quickly seems just like the old job. This is indeed a honeymoon period where the best Product Managers get their reputations established, start delivering on projects, display their strengths and weaknesses, develop alliances and set expectations for coming years. The best Product Managers are those who interact with the departments they will need to work with in the future, build alliances, start to earn trust, and get to know the exact role of Product Management and where it is positioned within the company.

What you need to know during your first 30 days as a Product Manager?

Company’s vision and Business Strategy:

1. Company’s vision and business strategy 2. What are the current hypotheses? 3. What are the data points (customers, research sources, analysts, partners etc.) that have been used to arrive at the vision and business strategy?

Target market:

1. Who are our competitors?
2. Has anyone talked to competitor’s customers to understand how their solution is working for these customers? Why did they buy?

Competitive Analysis:

1. Who are we selling to?
2. What segmentation and sizing has been done?
3. Which segments are we targeting?
4. What do we know about the target market? 5. What do we not know about the target market? 6. What is our unique value proposition?

Know your product in and out

1. Take all the product training that exists
2. Read through the documentation
3. API documentation (if API exists) – this will allow you to quickly understand different aspects of the system.
4. Specs – read through as many functional specs as you can. Spend the first 30 days learning and understanding, adhere to these simple rules and stand-out in your new role as a Product Manager.


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