Reviewing year 2020 and creating my commitments for 2021

Reviewing 2020

Last year has definitely been a strange year for everyone. There have been tectonic changes regarding how we live, relate with each other and live.

During last year some of the most deep assumptions around work have been put to test by the new reality forced upon us by COVID pandemic.

What has definitely changed for ever for many is the daily routine of going to and back from the office each day. This habitual pattern and unbreakable way of doing things has exploded into pieces last year

With the pandemic all teams have had to adapt to this new way of work where physical interaction was totally removed from work.

Personally, this shift brought me back to the days I worked at Careershifters, where 100% remote work has been how things worked since the inception of the company.

This process of re-learning to work remotely has enabled me to clearly see that it’s not only physical encounters that matter but rather the conversations that we have during those encounters.

And if the key ingredient are conversations, then those can happen face to face or remotely.

The only ingredient that is missing is the fact that you don’t bump to colleagues, so the “bumping” exercise needs to be much more intentional. In other words, we need to “push ourselves” to have those conversations with colleagues when working on a remote environment.

My personal experience is that those conversations is what makes the difference, whether they occur in person or remotely.

Although I would like to say that 100% remote could be seen as “the holy grail of efficiency”, some human interaction is also extremely important, and in Careershifters we got together as a team every 3 to 6 months.

But going back to conversations, what kind of conversations should be have to move the needle, be it remote environments or face to face.

In the context of product, the conversations should be around how the teams collaborates and product gets build and also prioritised.

Is there opportunity for growth in the way we do things together?

Commitments for the year 2021

One of the biggest challenges for product managers is being able to align different professionals with different points of view and backgrounds and from different business areas to align to build better products for customers and the business.

Executives have very different mindsets compared to lawyers, data protection, design or technology.

All opinions and feedback from the team need to have a space in the product development process, but the obligation of a product manager is to also take into account the point of view of customers.

The way to effectively move forward is to get feedback and requests from each area, and combine this feedback with the feedback from costumers.

With all the insights from internal stakeholders and customers, a product manager needs to align developments with with company vision and goals.

This must be done by defining features that move those vision and goals forward in the form of features that improve business objectives and customer satisfaction.

This is why this year I want to work on my communication skills and also learn around data decision making.

And the first step to obtaining this goal is to enroll myself in the Data Product Management nanodegree from Udacity.

During 2021 my goal is to share regularly my learnings related with the goals stated in this post. This is, better communication and better decision making based on data.