6 Crucial Steps for Onboarding Product Managers


So, you’re scaling your product administration staff. Congratulations! Your organization is clearly doing one thing proper if you have to carry in additional professionals to supervise your merchandise. However hiring product managers takes time. And most significantly, you wish to give these new product managers a profitable transition to your organization and get them contributing as rapidly as doable. On this submit, we’ll talk about some dos and don’ts for onboarding product managers.

First, although, let’s assessment a couple of trade statistics. This analysis illustrates why it’s so essential to have an onboarding course of in your product managers (or any new staff, for that matter).

Why a Product Administration Onboarding Plan is Essential

As the next knowledge factors on new staff present, a strategic onboarding plan for brand new product managers is a must have in your product staff.

  • As much as 20% of worker turnover takes locations inside the first 45 days.
  • Inside six months after beginning a brand new job, nearly one-third of staff search for one other job.
  • It sometimes takes six to eight months for a brand new worker to succeed in full productiveness.
  • Staff at firms with longer onboarding applications achieve full proficiency 34% sooner than these with the shortest applications.
  • Supervisor satisfaction will increase 20% when their staff undergo a proper onboarding program.

There are many sources to assist new staff onboard themselves. ProductPlan’s Annie Dunham, for instance, affords an inventory of 12 issues each product supervisor ought to do of their first 30 days at a brand new firm. When you’ve employed the proper product managers, true self-starters, they could monitor down self-onboarding sources like these themselves. However you’ll be able to’t depend on this as your technique for product administration onboarding. You could take a proactive method and develop a wise, strategic plan for bringing your new product managers in control. Listed below are some dos and don’ts.

6 Essential Steps for Onboarding New Product Managers

1. Talk about brief and long-term expectations together with your new product supervisor on day one.

Take into account one other trade stat: 60% of companies fail to set milestones or targets for brand new hires. Your new product managers is not going to stroll within the door on day one realizing your organization’s priorities or what you count on from them.

As PivotalLabs’ Heddy Stern factors out, product administration isn’t a totally outlined place. The position can imply various things at completely different firms.

One technique to make onboarding simpler is to sit down down together with your new product managers instantly and provides them some concrete expectations and metrics to intention for. Clearly, this implies a part of your onboarding course of will likely be to develop particular targets for brand new product managers—and to have them prepared earlier than these product managers begin their first day.

2. Give your new product supervisor each individuals and product context instantly.

One other essential element of product administration onboarding is getting your new product managers conversant in each your staff and your product.

For product context, it would be best to give your new rent speedy entry to all related info and instruments. This consists of the product itself, which your new product supervisor ought to begin enjoying round with on day one, if doable. Nevertheless it must also embody entry to product analysis, utilization info, earlier advertising campaigns, and naturally the product roadmap and backlog.

Creating individuals context at your organization is simply as essential in your new product managers as growing an understanding of your merchandise. Product managers must cope with groups and departments throughout the group. The earlier your new product supervisor can meet everybody and be taught who does what, the higher.

three. Pair your new product supervisor with an current one (if relevant).

If you have already got a product staff in place, one technique to velocity up the onboarding course of is to let your new rent shadow one in all your present product managers.

This can give the brand new product supervisor an opportunity to see how issues actually work at your organization—how conferences run, how your cross-functional groups work collectively, how strategic selections are made, and many others.

four. Let your new product supervisor shadow different departments, too.

You’ll be able to sit down with a brand new rent and clarify how gross sales sells the product, how the event staff works, and the way your dash standups run. However nothing beats really seeing these items occur firsthand.

So, if you are able to do this with out upsetting any of your groups’ workflows, expose your new product managers to those areas of the corporate as early as doable. Allow them to sit in on gross sales calls, “stand” in in your every day standups, and spend a while watching the event staff function.

5. Get your new product supervisor to make use of together with your product on day one.

Giving your new hires a while together with your merchandise instantly can assist velocity the onboarding course of for a number of causes.

On their first day, new product managers are most likely eager about your organization and product solely within the summary. This may make all the pieces else concerning the job really feel hazy. So if you may get them really utilizing your merchandise instantly, that can give them a way more concrete sense of issues.

Additionally, enjoying round together with your merchandise earlier than they’ve an opportunity to speak to everybody else about them can provide your new product managers an unbiased view. So a second a part of this technique needs to be to ask them to document their first ideas concerning the merchandise as they use them. This can assist your new product managers achieve a clearer image of what they’ll have to do, over time, to enhance your merchandise.

6. Be there in your new product supervisor—all the time.

Lastly, every time you onboard a product supervisor, it is best to plan to be accessible throughout these first few weeks and even months to reply questions and assist information your new product supervisor by means of tough conditions.

You must also put aside a while every day at first to debate your new rent’s observations, impressions, insights, issues—no matter. This may really make it easier to each. Your new product supervisor could have somebody to bounce concepts and ideas off of, and you’ll achieve the contemporary perspective of somebody new viewing your merchandise and your corporation.

Frequent Errors When Onboarding Product Managers

Now that we’ve walked by means of some finest practices for product administration onboarding, let’s rapidly assessment some pitfalls to keep away from. Missteps like these are a part of the rationale so many new staff begin on the lookout for a job inside a couple of months of beginning a brand new position.

Getting tactical too quickly.

Your newly employed product supervisor wants time to course of a whole lot of details about your product, your market, and your organization. Don’t rush in with a guidelines of product supervisor duties.

Attempting to “wing” the onboarding course of.

You’ll be able to’t stroll a brand new product supervisor across the workplace making introductions after which say, “Good luck.” You want a documented course of that you need to use repeatedly with new hires. Begin with the steps we instructed above, and customise the method in your firm. However don’t attempt to wing it or go away your new product managers to determine all the pieces out themselves.

Failing to periodically assessment and tweak your product administration onboarding course of.

Onboarding isn’t an actual science. It is best to make it as systematic as doable, however then it is best to re-examine your course of every so often to see what works and what you can enhance. When you’re taking product administration onboarding severely—and it is best to—bringing in your fifth product supervisor needs to be much more environment friendly than bringing in your first was.

Leaving your entire onboarding course of to at least one individual.

Your new product managers might want to work carefully with many individuals throughout the corporate. Plus, the product administration position strategically impacts your entire group. For these causes, you don’t wish to restrict your product administration onboarding to a single individual. As an alternative, once you carry on new product supervisor, create a shared set of tasks among the many applicable groups and departments, the place everybody has a task in getting this new product supervisor in control.

Deal with Product Administration Onboarding because the Strategically Essential Course of it’s

Bringing a brand new product supervisor on board is an enormous step. It would have an effect on the dynamic of your product staff and, when you do it proper, it should make it easier to make your current and future merchandise extra profitable. However your new product managers’ eventual success will rely quite a bit on how effectively you introduce them to the corporate and to their new roles.

So, earlier than you rent your subsequent product supervisor, take the time to develop a wise, systematic plan for product administration onboarding.

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