Did you know Winston Churchill was a closet product manager when it came to big product launches He’s quoted as saying:
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Ok, I lied. 😉 While he was a famous leader, he wasn’t a PM as far as I know. But I did use his quote above in a team all-hands last week. Why? To give people some perspective.
You see, the team is working on a big product launch that’s just around the corner. And product launches are hard! They take a lot of energy. Finishing features, fixing bugs, making hard cuts, stabilizing, perf testing, marketing, PR…
And when a launch happens, it can feel exhilarating! 🚀 Finally, the world can use what the team worked so hard on! Tweets, press releases, and news articles galore!
But as Churchill states, that’s just the end of the beginning. After you launch a product you can finally:
Get usage data
Run A/B tests
Get feedback from a much wider audience
Build those fast follows you had to cut for launch
Embark on a longer-term product strategy
A launch is a great milestone for a team and a product, but it’s just the end of the beginning. After launch, the real work begins. 💪
A framework I keep coming back to for prioritizing my time as a product manager is the Eisenhower matrix for prioritizing one’s work.
The framework is simple. There are two dimensions to the work on your plate: urgency and importance. And there are two values for each dimension: urgent and not, important and not.
As tasks are added to your plate, or as you get asked to do things by others, consider where they fall in the matrix.
Then, you can take action based on what cell they are in.
– Important + urgent tasks need to be done now. Go do them! – Important + not urgent tasks need to be done, but not right now. Schedule a time to do them! – Urgent but not important tasks aren’t important to you but are important to someone else. Find the right person who can help, or give out the information that someone can use to address the task on their own. – Finally, don’t do things that are neither important nor urgent.
I’ve seen people spend a lot of time on tasks that aren’t important or aren’t urgent, to the detriment of their products.
It feels good to turn the crank and get stuff done, but make sure you’re focused on the right things first!
I received a small, visual reminder to spread hope, love, and positivity in 2022 from my local coffee shop this morning, in the form of this decoration on my drink.
Does the above sound like just a cheese-ball cliché sentiment? Maybe. But this behavior has an impact.
First, simply the act of giving thanks can make you happier.
When their week’s assignment was to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude…participants immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores…greater than that from any other intervention…
Next, positive thoughts rewire your brain to see more possibilities in life and can drive skill-building because you become more outgoing and try more things.
Fredrickson refers to this as the “broaden and build” theory because positive emotions broaden your sense of possibilities and open your mind, which in turn allows you to build new skills and resources that can provide value in other areas of your life.
These are some of the reasons I’m committing some of my time in 2022 to give back to the product management community. I will do so by creating and sharing content to help others, especially those early in their careers or trying to get into the discipline.
But regardless of what you do or how you do it, I hope you’re able to spread some positive energy this year. Chances are, it won’t just benefit those around you. It will also benefit you.
And yes, this post is a way for me to spread positivity. I feel better already! 😉