Career, Product Lessons

Nothing worth having comes easy

When I started this blog I didn’t know where it was going to lead or whether anyone would read it. I’m thrilled if I have one follower that gets something out of my writing!

I think the beauty of the blog as a channel is that it allows me to share a more honest story than what you might see on socials.

The reality for me over the past few weeks is that I’ve been drowning under the waves, panicking as I struggle for air. It doesn’t matter if you’re the barista at your local coffee shop or CEO of an ASX listed company, at times you’re going to experience periods of turmoil. As tough as this is, you must not give up.

I thought I’d share a few strategies over the coming days that will help you get your head back above water.

TODAY’S STRATEGY: Reset your expectations

Be honest with yourself: are you being realistic about what you can achieve with the resources and time you’ve got?

If you are anything like me then I’m guessing the answer is no! Don’t worry, we can fix that. Follow this checklist to help reset your expectations:

PRODUCT MANAGER EXAMPLE:

I joined an organisation at a time of significant change. Whilst this presents plenty of opportunity for me, it has been difficult to set my own priorities in order. Everyone around me is still in the midst of understanding their own goals & priorities.

I made the mistake of picking up multiple epics worth of work within one quarter without a solid understanding of what was involved (an epic is a large piece of work achieved over multiple sprints). It became pretty obvious this wasn’t sustainable or achievable so I had to ask myself the above question and follow the checklist to turn a bad situation around.

This resulted in a better outcome for me as I was able to:

  • Regain control over the work
  • De-prioritise an epic that wasn’t driven by a strict deadline (eg. regulatory)
  • Relieve some of the stress & anxiety I was feeling
  • Factor in the time I require to navigate a new organisation, product set & way of working
  • Articulate the exact problem statements I’m working on
  • Improve my communication with my team & stakeholders
  • Identify the very next step and action it for my two priorities – I’ve found that even if I have no idea what I’m doing, if I can achieve the first step it usually opens doors to the rest of the solution

I’d love to hear other people’s tips for setting expectations!


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