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How to Turn Chaos into Structure

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Domagoj Perišić
3 min read
02.12.2020
How to Turn Chaos into Structure

Working in a fast-paced IT environment can be really rewarding but it also has some drawbacks that Product Managers should be aware of. If you’re struggling with too many tasks, multitasking, and constant “being late” situations, have a look at some of our tips that could help you become more efficient in your daily work.

Routine

One of the common challenges while working as a Product Manager is the routine that you might be missing. Change is always hard but if you're persistent it might help you set a good structure while working with your team. For example, it’s important to keep daily standups running, why, it will give you a clear overview of the product at the beginning of the day and it will in some way shape your daily schedule.

TODO list

This is important, do not keep things in your head. It may seem like a simple task but it will keep you focused on the important things throughout the day. A simple checklist can go a long way and use any tool that works for you, even on paper if needed!

Once you solve that and routine hits in you will have a clear overview of the work that needs to be done and it will help you do a proper prioritization. 

Cool head - always take a step back

Every team will encounter issues, sooner or later, in the end, you’re the person that needs to provide answers and steer “the boat” in the right direction. Keep your head cool might sound like a cliche but it actually helps you get a full picture of the problem and decide what’s best for the product and the team in a given time.

It’s okay if you don't know all the answers

This one is really important and the sooner you realize it the better. Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know the answer at a specific moment but rather gather all the information and come back when you figure it out. Rash decisions can be very costly in the end so pay attention to it.

Shield the team

Stand in front of the team and protect them from the noise that is coming from different directions like stakeholders or even customers. It’s a fine line between too much information and too little so always balance with that and find what works best for you, you as a team. Mistakes and issues are part of the equation so embrace the failures and learn from it.

Do not push things under the rug

A really important tip, face the issues that you encounter. Things will not be solved overnight so don’t ignore them. 

While working as a product manager you will need to solve issues with the outside stakeholders and within your team. Try to isolate the problem, understand it, and follow up on it with people that are involved. This can be challenging sometimes but with a positive attitude and a good understanding of the issue, things are usually easy to solve.

Connection with the client

Last but not least, work on your connection with the client.  Build trust by being transparent and direct while dealing with expectations and wishes. We all know that everything can be done but the question is in which timeframe so use the same approach and don’t get emotionally involved, otherwise you might end up in the situation that you’ll have to break sooner or later since you won’t be able to keep up with it.

These are some of the guidelines that our Product managers in Martian and Machine are using while working with different stakeholders included in our execution process. Hopefully, you can include some of our tips and tricks into your daily routine and improve the quality of deliverables along the way.

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