“I wish my leadership team would pick one strategy.”
“I wish my engineering team would contribute ideas to our project.”
“I wish our user experience team would ask for my input earlier.”
“I wish our sales team would stop saying yes to feature requests.”
Instead of wishing other people would change, maybe we should start by changing ourselves.
Your Leadership Doesn’t Define a Clear Strategy
If you want your leadership team to define a clear product strategy, start by defining a product strategy for your scope of work.
Run it by your peers, your boss, and other members of your leadership team.
Responding to a concrete strategy (even if it’s for a small scope of work) is much easier than creating a strategy from scratch.
Make it easy for your leadership team to respond rather than giving them a blank canvas. – Tweet This
Your Engineering Team Doesn’t Engage
If you want your engineering team to contribute ideas to your project, you need to ask yourself have you given them the necessary context to contribute.
Have you told them why what you are doing matters to the business. If you haven’t, how can you expect them to be motivated to contribute?
Have you told them the constraints under which you are working? If you haven’t, you are going to have to say no to most of their ideas which will demotivate them from suggesting ideas in the future.
Have you reassured them that they are just as likely to have a good idea as you are? If you haven’t, they are likely to think it’s their job to write code and your job to generate the ideas.
Give your engineering team the context they need to be able to contribute ideas. – Tweet This
Your User Experience Team Doesn’t Ask for Input
If you want your user experience team to ask for input earlier, you need to make sure that you are available when they need it. If you don’t, you’ll block their work and they’ll move on without you.
If they ask for your input and you criticize it without first being curious, they’ll assume you don’t respect their expertise and they’ll stop asking for your input.
Assume your user experience team had good reason to make the decisions that they did.
Be curious. Ask why before you criticize. – Tweet This
Your Sales Team Says Yes to Feature Requests
If you want your sales team to stop saying yes to feature requests, you need to share with them a compelling story of what is coming so that they can share a compelling story with their prospects.
If you don’t, they’ll do anything they can to close the sale, including saying yes to feature requests.
That’s their job.
Your job is to create a product that satisfies the market, your sales team’s job is to close the next prospect. – Tweet This
There will always be tension. But you play an equal role in managing that tension.
Start By Changing Your Behavior
We underestimate how much our behavior influences other people’s behavior. – Tweet This
It’s easy to sit back and blame somebody else. But that doesn’t get us to where we need to be.
Stop wishing other people will change and focus on what you can do differently. You’ll be surprised by how often people respond in kind.
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