Back to resources

Temptation to Be a Reactive Instead of Proactive Product Manager

Mission / Vision / Charter
Product Team
Product
Internal Communication
Career Path
Performance

23 December, 2021

Sumesh Narayanan

Sumesh Narayanan

Head of Product at Thoughtexchange

Sumesh Narayanan, Head of Product at Thoughtexchange, shares how he faced speed bumps as a new manager at a startup and overcame those challenges by fostering a culture of creativity.

Communicate and Stay Focused

I brought in a lot of the processes around defining requirements and focusing on the use cases. Furthermore, I ensured that we stayed in the problem space instead of jumping into the solutions. One of the keys is that when you are talking to your team, ensure that you are communicating to them about the problems. In order to foster creativity, I gave them the problem and a timeline to work towards without necessarily talking about possible solutions, which in turn helped them think it through and come up with a solution.

When it came to working with the design team, it was even more crucial. Design teams are on a mission to put an image to the ideas in your head through UI/UX. Trying to make them understand exactly what I had in my mind, I sketched a rough idea on a piece of paper to communicate my thought processes. They had the autonomy to come up with different alternatives, but I wanted them to stay on the same page as I was.

Be Empathetic and Up To The Speed

  • Identify and develop the top talents in your team early on. I was fortunate enough to manage a team full of potential and I had the chance to help a young ambitious woman grow in her career. Not always would they have the credentials of a well-recognized degree from a top-tier university, but if they excel at their job, support them to the core.
  • Over-communicate as much as possible. Instead of assuming that others know and understand you well, talk about what you have in mind, and be transparent and zealous about it.
  • Don’t make false promises. Whether it’s a feature or a deadline, if you think something is unachievable, communicate that with everyone and let them know ahead of time. Avoid last-minute surprises.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

How to measure Engineering Productivity?

30 November

When you grow fast, its normal to focus on Value delivery aka "Feature Releases". Too many releases too soon will inevitably lead to piling tech debts and before you know, inefficiencies creep in, performances goes down, and ultimately any new release takes too long. Sounds familiar? Then read on..

Productivity
Prioritization
Performance
Ramkumar Sundarakalatharan

Ramkumar Sundarakalatharan

VP - Engineering at ITILITE Technologies

Mindsets of High Performance team

14 October

Teams have tremendous impact on the products on they build. T.E.A.M definition - Together Everybody Achieves More is true. A collaborative and empowered team builds great product versus the good ones.

Innovation / Experiment
Mission / Vision / Charter
Building A Team
Productivity
Feedback
Motivation
Praveen Cheruvu

Praveen Cheruvu

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Anaplan

How I failed at my startup

14 October

There are nine specific building blocks and functional areas every org/company need to work to launch the product and provide services to customers. How effectively founders tackle them determine the destiny of the company.

Mission / Vision / Charter
Scaling Team
Building A Team
Impact
Strategy
Prioritization
Praveen Cheruvu

Praveen Cheruvu

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Anaplan

Developing an Early Career Program in Technology Organizations

12 October

Why companies should invest in early career programs ?

Building A Team
Hiring
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Juniors
Career Path
Praveen Cheruvu

Praveen Cheruvu

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Anaplan

Assessing the Performance of Your Team

20 August

Parallels between Work and Sport.

Goal Setting
Different Skillsets
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Performance
Ron Pragides

Ron Pragides

SVP Engineering at Trustly Group AB