Team Comms for Product Management


This post is by Giff Constable from giffconstable.com


Like many of you, I’m constantly playing with how to run and scale effective communication across multiple product managers, cross-functional teams, and a broader organization. Here’s a quick take on some of my current approaches.

Across PMs

I typically run a weekly hour-long meeting for all PMs. The agenda typically looks like this: 20 min on goals/OKRs, 30 minutes on going deeper into one or two topics, 10 min on housekeeping/other. During times of greater stress, I’ll often start with a color exercise where people just state whether they, personally, are green/yellow/red and a short explanation about why.

Goals/OKRs

Once we’re past any kickoff elements to the meeting, we have 15 minutes of silence where everyone reads through an updated, running goals slide deck. Each PM is responsible for their own slide(s) in this deck [click here for an example template]. I use the OKR quadrant from Christina Wodtke’s book Radical Focus for two reasons: it tracks forward-looking confidence and it tracks possible negative side effects. I also like each PM to keep a running, lightweight visual roadmap along with an OKR quadrant slide.

See slide deck example here

Each PM is expected to create a new, updated version of their slide for the current week, and this must be done before the meeting. The team scans through each others’ slides and asks questions inline in the doc. Putting most Q&A activity into the doc itself keeps the meeting moving and pushes 1:1 conversations offline.

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