How to Optimize Internal Product Team Communication?

Product managers spend a lot of time communicating with other people. This high-level communication and low-level interaction require time, efforts and communication skills.

The article posted on Foldingburritos states that the majority of our communication time is typically spent on the tactical.

The cross-functional nature of what PMs do means that they have to align and inform everyone around them.

Everyday product managers answer the questions like: “Is this fixed already?”, “What will be on the next release?”, “Why are we working on this?”, “How long will we be down for?” and so on.

Efficient product managers definitely know some of the following tactics that help optimize communication:

  • To answer as we go along, in order to save time on meetings and status updates.
  • To create internal dashboards, docs or wiki pages, only to realize that’s where information goes to die because people can’t find it.
  • To send internal email blasts with updates, but people complain that there’s too much info in them.
  • To send updates in Slack, but then people say that there’s too much going on there and they missed it.
  • To set up sync meetings to get everyone aligned, but they take time to prepare and facilitate, they’re not always useful or relevant for everybody, etc.

At the very end of the article, putting things together, the author suggested the following:

  • List all the topics we’re asked, we ask others, or that we want people to know about.
  • List everyone who’s interested in each topic.
  • Find the right timing for each topic and audience based on how often it changes and the audience’s level of interest.
  • Figure out the most effective format for the content and audience to which we’re communicating.

Working correctly with internal communication product managers can:

  • prioritize what to say to each audience, so they’re not overloaded and get updated about what’s most relevant to them.
  • prioritize the use of the time based on the effort that each topic requires and the value it provides to its audience.
  • control different variables to test what’s most effective in getting the message across.
  • be aware of the topics that are being communicated and those that aren’t.

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