Hot Tips is a constantly growing, curated collection of candid advice by and for product people.
Think of it as a precious piece of advice you wish you had received when you started building products. It’s a short snippet of wisdom that helps you do things differently.
Contributing a Hot Tip it the fastest way to reach 3,000+ makers from all over Europe. Your daily grind might be their ‘aha moment’!
1. Write your Tip following the guidelines below.👇
2. Submit the Tip through Typeform.
3. Wait patiently! The Tip will undergo some scrutiny by our Hot Tip Catcher, who will then decide whether to publish it (we may tweak the content for clarity).
4. Watch out! Every week we’ll pick the best Hot Tips and share them with the community in the JAM newsletter. Look out for yours! 👀
Your Tip can belong to one of the three categories.
📖 Be as open as you can: share insider knowledge, something people won’t have come across before. A Hot Tip reveals how you do things.
🎨 Show, don’t (just) tell: talking about your roadmapping process? How about including a screenshot of the tool you use? There’s nothing better than seeing your ‘behind-the-scenes’.
💌 Keep it short and personal: aim for 200 words max, and word it like you’re helping a friend out.
🔧 Share tools: offer readers an opportunity to explore the topic. Link to at least one helpful ebook or article that helped you in the past.
Rallying your team around the product is not an easy task, especially when some people are skeptical about what you're building. How do you get them on board?
Making the product easy to understand is the quickest way to get my team and stakeholders—even the skeptical ones!—excited.
Using visual flows or even cheap and dirty wireframes can make all the difference.
The visuals allow the team to create an idea or opinion about the product and, once you have their engagement, that's the first step to excitement! Giving the team an understanding and a voice is the most important thing for me and for the product.
Embracing the unknown is all part of the product discovery process. Asking the team to be open to having their minds changed is no small request, but it's important in order to build the right thing.
Prioritising exploring opportunities is a beneficial mindset for pivoting away from solutionising.
Tell the story from the users' perspective. Get video of interviews, do surveys, get quantitative data. If that doesn't convince the team, question whether it's the right thing to build.
The first thing would be talk to them to understand why they don't believe the product makes sense, and see if you were missing something important, or you'd not communicated the customer data sufficiently.
If the former, you may need to change the product, if the latter you may need to set a session to talk through what customers are experiencing and feeling with the team, and then make sure this gets back them on a regular basis thereafter. Perhaps even get some of your dev or design team to meet with customers so they can verify the need for the product first hand.
I think the first thing to tackle is the reason why your team isn't on board by listening to their concerns. Ask yourself:
In my experience at The Guardian and Made by Many, bringing the team along for the ride is a sure-fire way of getting them on board. Encouraging them to be involved in the end-to-end process of discovering and delivering a great product has worked well for me. You can start by running a goal-setting workshop before any work begin. It's a great way to get started on the right foot with everyone understanding the direction of travel and the reasons for it.
Ideation, prototyping and user interviews are all things that the whole team should be invited to participate in as they help everyone gain an understanding of user needs and the kinds of problems their work will be solving.
If you're already part-way through a delivery phase and the team isn't on board I have found that reminding people of what we’ve learned (show them the evidence!) and what we're trying to achieve and why can be helpful. I often display that information on a physical board so that it can be referred to at any time if my team is feeling nervous about the work we’re doing.
All of this assumes that as a Product Manager, you have made sound decisions. It's worth remembering that you're only human and sometimes your team has good reason to question what you're doing, and that is no bad thing!
If your dad doesn’t want to try kitesurfing, you need to understand his fears. His fears might not be what you might expect. You think he is afraid of breaking his back, but he simply doesn’t want to look fat in a surfing one piece.
To be able to encourage others, you need to first understand their objections.
Figure out what exactly your team sees as problematic. They might fear the deadline is too soon, and feel stressed. They might not see the connection between the plan and the product vision. Or, they just don’t understand the plan.
Remember: each person might have a different objection. To prevent crowd think, it could be a good idea to elicit their arguments individually, rather than in a bigger meeting.
Once you know all the problems, it’s easier to address them.
At any point of this process it can turn out the team really has more wisdom than you do. After all, you work with clever people. Be ready to exercise humility and to adjust your original plan.