Time Management For Product Managers

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Information about Time Management For Product Managers

Published on March 12, 2009

Author: cdray

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Presentation on product management to Austin's Product Camp 2008.

Time Management for Product Managers Charlie D. Ray Broad Street Interactive Austin, Texas

Everything to Everybody Good product managers quickly become the “go-to” person in an organization. They are the “fix-it” person and develop relationships throughout an organization to get projects completed on time and on budget. That’s the good news!

Good product managers quickly become the “go-to” person in an organization. They are the “fix-it” person and develop relationships throughout an organization to get projects completed on time and on budget.

That’s the good news!

Overwhelmed! Being the person that knows how to fix what’s broken or where to find answers can mean a product manager has very little time to actually get work done. Product managers have to develop strong relationships, but have to be very protective of their time.

Being the person that knows how to fix what’s broken or where to find answers can mean a product manager has very little time to actually get work done.

Product managers have to develop strong relationships, but have to be very protective of their time.

The Road To Recovery Get organized Be protective of your time Facilitate meetings with a firm hand Manage your inbox/calendar/tasks Multi-tasking can be an enemy Don’t make promises you can’t keep Let technology work for you, not the other way around

Get organized

Be protective of your time

Facilitate meetings with a firm hand

Manage your inbox/calendar/tasks

Multi-tasking can be an enemy

Don’t make promises you can’t keep

Let technology work for you, not the other way around

Get Organized! As a product manager, you probably have several projects going at the same time. Seek out what tools work for you. Personally, I love a Gantt Chart. Gantt charts allow me to visually introduce accountability into every project I’m working on and removes ambiguity.

As a product manager, you probably have several projects going at the same time.

Seek out what tools work for you. Personally, I love a Gantt Chart.

Gantt charts allow me to visually introduce accountability into every project I’m working on and removes ambiguity.

Tasks Responsible Party Duration Dependent Tasks Milestone Timeline

Be Protective Of Your Time Eliminate unnecessary meetings Have no-email hours Work from an action task list Prioritize! Don’t get distracted Set boundaries on your time

Eliminate unnecessary meetings

Have no-email hours

Work from an action task list

Prioritize!

Don’t get distracted

Set boundaries on your time

Eliminate unnecessary meetings If a meeting doesn’t have an agenda or specific goal/decision to be made…you aren’t ready for a meeting. Don’t go. If a group of people that regularly meet do not accomplish anything in the meeting…don’t go. Ask if the meeting really requires your presence. It doesn’t? Don’t go.

Eliminate unnecessary meetings

If a meeting doesn’t have an agenda or specific goal/decision to be made…you aren’t ready for a meeting. Don’t go.

If a group of people that regularly meet do not accomplish anything in the meeting…don’t go.

Ask if the meeting really requires your presence. It doesn’t? Don’t go.

Email is not your friend Email is a “time suck” Turn off email when you are trying to concentrate on work Don’t “reply-all” If it’s more than two emails generated from your email…pick up the phone Clean out your inbox. A full inbox creates false anxiety

Email is a “time suck”

Turn off email when you are trying to concentrate on work

Don’t “reply-all”

If it’s more than two emails generated from your email…pick up the phone

Clean out your inbox. A full inbox creates false anxiety

Can I get an A.T.? “ Give me the bullet” Accept or decline action tasks Before accepting ask yourself: Is this my action task? Am I responsible? Can I meet this deadline? Does this contradict existing priorities Is the priority the same priority I would give it? Give action tasks Hold people accountable for accepting and completing action tasks on time

“ Give me the bullet”

Accept or decline action tasks

Before accepting ask yourself:

Is this my action task? Am I responsible?

Can I meet this deadline?

Does this contradict existing priorities

Is the priority the same priority I would give it?

Give action tasks

Hold people accountable for accepting and completing action tasks on time

Prioritize Not everything can be “Number 1” Not everything is urgent Get in line, take a number….

Not everything can be “Number 1”

Not everything is urgent

Get in line, take a number….

How to Prioritize Rank your projects Does this project generate revenue? Is this a strategic imperative for the company? Is the delivery date an absolute? What are my resource restrictions? What are my obstacles? If a project gets bumped…Communicate and Educate!

Rank your projects

Does this project generate revenue?

Is this a strategic imperative for the company?

Is the delivery date an absolute?

What are my resource restrictions?

What are my obstacles?

If a project gets bumped…Communicate and Educate!

Don’t Get Distracted Besides email, there are many distractions in the office. The phone…DND The Blackberry…silence it The open door…close it The co-worker…send them away (nicely) The OMG I NEED A BREAK!...Take one.

Besides email, there are many distractions in the office.

The phone…DND

The Blackberry…silence it

The open door…close it

The co-worker…send them away (nicely)

The OMG I NEED A BREAK!...Take one.

Setting Boundaries Determine what you are going to commit to this project and stick to it. If you need additional resources, ask for them. For me, I turn off my Blackberry at 6 p.m. and on weekends. I learn to say “no” and quickly!

Determine what you are going to commit to this project and stick to it. If you need additional resources, ask for them.

For me, I turn off my Blackberry at 6 p.m. and on weekends.

I learn to say “no” and quickly!

Be a good facilitator A good facilitator keeps a meeting on time, on task and productive. A good facilitator makes sure action items are clear and reasonable A good facilitator never loses control of the meeting

A good facilitator keeps a meeting on time, on task and productive.

A good facilitator makes sure action items are clear and reasonable

A good facilitator never loses control of the meeting

Be a good facilitator Meetings have an agenda Meetings have a definite start time and definite end time Put it in the Parking Lot Keep the meeting on topic Send out notes after the meeting Repeat action tasks and their assignments along with due dates.

Meetings have an agenda

Meetings have a definite start time and definite end time

Put it in the Parking Lot

Keep the meeting on topic

Send out notes after the meeting

Repeat action tasks and their assignments along with due dates.

Manage your calendar Include “office hours” in your daily calendar as a blocked off amount of time to get work done. Losing control of your calendar is the fastest way to miss deadlines and deliverables. Don’t go to a meeting unless it’s on your calendar

Include “office hours” in your daily calendar as a blocked off amount of time to get work done.

Losing control of your calendar is the fastest way to miss deadlines and deliverables.

Don’t go to a meeting unless it’s on your calendar

Multi-Tasking…the enemy People are not processors. We are thinkers. As product managers one of the most important attributes we have is the ability to strategically think and execute for our company. Don’t let distractions and too many things pull you away from important tasks at hand. It takes time to think through issues with product management and product development, they need your focus and attention. Don’t apologize for having to think about something or focus on something.

People are not processors. We are thinkers. As product managers one of the most important attributes we have is the ability to strategically think and execute for our company.

Don’t let distractions and too many things pull you away from important tasks at hand.

It takes time to think through issues with product management and product development, they need your focus and attention. Don’t apologize for having to think about something or focus on something.

Under promise Under promise and Over deliver! It’s a sales cliché, but it fits for product managers, too. I stopped saying yes in the hallway. I only say yes via email or calendar requests now. The most important sentence I learned as a product manager was: “I don’t know, but I will find out.”

Under promise and Over deliver! It’s a sales cliché, but it fits for product managers, too.

I stopped saying yes in the hallway. I only say yes via email or calendar requests now.

The most important sentence I learned as a product manager was: “I don’t know, but I will find out.”

Technology works for you Turn off email Manage your calendar Use the Task Lists Gantt Charts Blackberry etiquette Take a break from technology

Turn off email

Manage your calendar

Use the Task Lists

Gantt Charts

Blackberry etiquette

Take a break from technology

My grandmother used to say “An education is the one thing no one can ever take away from you.” My version: “I won’t let anyone else steal my time from me.”

“An education is the one thing no one can ever take away from you.”

My version:

“I won’t let anyone else steal my time from me.”

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