The New Product Manager’s Survival Guide

product manager survival guide

I was in the throes of first-week jitters. It was early in my career and I was starting out as a product manager. Did I even belong in the new job? I was confident I had the work ethic, the ambition, the team spirit… but I did not yet have the tactical know-how. Each new day brought new stress.

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Just Launched! — Visualize Status on the Aha! Starter Roadmap

Aha! starter roadmap showing status

Life as a product manager moves fast. You need to craft strategic roadmaps that outline your goals and initiatives but also track the daily details of features and releases. You must be able to see both at all times. And everyone on the team must be kept in sync along the way.

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Do Your Company’s Core Values Mirror Your Own Values?

Aha! product management software remote company

What are your core values? I am not referring to the aspirational traits that you want to strive towards. Or the bare minimum morals you require of yourself and others. I mean the beliefs that are deeply personal to you. They are part of your DNA. These core values are the fundamentals that guide your actions and choices every day — especially when no one is looking.

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Hey Product Manager: Do These 4 Things in 2018

busy product manager

Most product managers I know are optimistic realists. I am both — a former product manager and an optimistic realist. So call me biased. You could say it is their nature, but I think it comes from the job. Product managers plan thoroughly and vigorously for a future that is better than today. But getting there requires a certain confidence.

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This Is Why You Dread Going to Work

dread going to work

It wakes you up in the middle of the night. Your palms sweat and your mind races. Toss, turn. Toss, turn. Until finally the alarm goes “bing!” and you face the source of this anxiety. What is filling you with dread? I know. The anticipation of going to work.

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My Name Is Tim Davis — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Tim Davis Aha! product management

I am obsessed with baseball.* Anyone who knows me can vouch for this. Unfortunately, I blew out my arm throwing when I was 18, which made playing the sport impossible. So I started watching and following professional games. Soon after, my love for our national pastime merged with my love of numbers. I started developing advanced algorithms for my college team. I still do this for fun today — mainly for the Cubs.

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Just Launched! — Aha! Mockups Now Have Version History

We have all been there. You are working closely with the team. Defining requirements, iterating quickly on designs. Everyone is pushing hard to get the feature definitions completed. But now you need to revert to an earlier version of your mockups. But where are those designs? Did someone save over them?

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The One Way Remote Workers Let the Team Down

remote team fail

I was getting a bit annoyed. I had sent an urgent task to a colleague and heard nothing back. It was funny since I had just seen this person in the hallway. So I sent an email and then a chat message. Nothing. I stopped by their desk, but it was empty. The next afternoon I found out the urgent task had been completed. It took a day and a half. But there was never an acknowledgment that my request was even received or that it was completed.

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Can You Be Perfect Every Day?

perfect moment Aha! product management team

There are moments in all of our lives when we experience a deep sense of satisfaction. When we have worked incredibly hard and realized our true best. Instant flashes of mental and emotional euphoria. Masterpieces that no one else needs to appreciate. But you know that what you just accomplished means everything. And guess what? These moments can happen at work too.

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The Product Plan vs. the Release Plan

product plan vs. release plan

Do you like to focus on the big picture — or get down in the details? It is true that our brains tend to favor one side or the other. But if you are a product manager your answer to this question should be “both.” Growing a successful product requires both top-down and bottom-up planning. 

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The Future of Product Management

future of product management

I care about product managers. A lot. This should not be a surprise. If you have been reading this blog for some time, then you know that I once was one. Product managers are special because they sit at the epicenter of everything. They communicate ideas, set strategy, and lead cross-functional teams to create products that delight customers. But there is something else that may be a surprise.

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Just Launched! — Visual Roadmap for Portfolio Planning

Managing one product is a big job. Managing multiple products? Even bigger. The truth is that, as the size of your product portfolio increases, so too does the complexity. You want to be able to quickly showcase how each product is contributing to the overall goals of the business. We might not be able to magically streamline your product portfolio, but we can give you the visibility you need.

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No Authority? No Problem. Here’s How to Get Respect at Work

no respect at work

We called him “Rodney.” It may have been cruel but this guy got no respect at work. Loud and rude and always asking for a special favor or seeking a shortcut to get something he wanted. He made more noise in his cube than a rowdy heckler at a comedy club. You can probably guess where the nickname came from — this former co-worker sounded a lot like late comedian Rodney Dangerfield. 

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15 Best Product Management Blogs of 2017

best product management blogs 2017

Woosh. 2017 was intense. So much happened in current events and business and everywhere else. We saw product managers take on a more critical role within companies than ever before. Yet amid all the topsy-turvy there was one thing that did not waver — the power of the written word.

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What This CEO Learned After Writing More Than 100 Blogs in 2017

2017 Brian de Haaff blog

I have a hard time slowing down. A voice in my head always says, “Why wait? Keep going.” So, I almost never stop. I quickly move forward from finishing one project to starting the next. Always focused on the next big goal, the next big step for our company. It has worked for us so far. Aha! is one of the fastest growing software companies in the U.S. — and yet…

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