Managing Relationships For Product Managers

Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Product Team
Product

9 July, 2018

Satyajeet Salgar

Satyajeet Salgar

Group Product Manager, Google Search and Assistant at Google

Satyajeet Salgar discusses what he has learned over the last few years about managing project managers and explains the importance of relationship building.

Problem

Over the last few years, I've gone from doing most of my own project management for projects I was put in charge of to having a team of nine project managers. This has involved figuring out what each person is good at, whether they are in the right roles, how to coach them so they can grow to the next level, and how to set up good working relationships between all of the project managers

Actions taken

Designing a culture where each of them feels likes they are on the same team is really important. I will regularly ask for them to work on projects together, due to overlap, and will set up meetings so they regularly meet as a team and one-on-one. I've tried a variety of approaches to build relationships between engineers and product managers. I used to like pairing product managers with engineering teams. However, as my projects have grown in terms of complexity, this has become increasingly difficult because PMs have to span a number of engineering teams in order to ship products.

Lessons learned

Figuring out how these interactions work and how to communicate clearly about who is doing what is really important. I under-hire PMs, but it's because I like to wait until I need to scale a product team. This prevents people from stepping on each other's toes and helps to build friendlier, more trusting relationships.


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