5 New Year’s Resolutions for Product Managers in 2022

It’s the start of a brand new year, which is as good a time as any to set new intentions and decide who we want to be for the next 365 days. It’s a time to both look back on where we’ve been, and look forward to where we’re going.

That’s a very long winded way of saying…here are 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Product Managers in 2022!

2022 is going to be all about learning and teaching. These resolutions will help you to learn more about the tech industry, your users, your teams, and you might even have the opportunity to teach something along the way as well.

1. Catch Up On What You’ve Missed

2021 was a crazy year for technology! And in the tech industry, we’re all subscribed to weekly and daily newsletters like Morning Brew and TechCrunch that bring us all the news we need to catch up on. But we all know what it’s like when crunchtime hits, and your inbox is already flooded with Jira updates and things marked as urgent. Those newsletters make it to the very bottom of the priority pile.

If you’ve recently moved to a hybrid or remote working environment, chances are you’re also missing out on the typical ‘watercooler’ talk, where colleagues might discuss the various goings-on in their vertical or in the industry at large.

When your head is so deeply buried in your own work, it’s very easy to lose sight of what else is going on around you. By the time you emerge from the echochamber of your own product, the tech scene looks completely different! Crypto-what? Meta-who? NFT-why?

Whether these trends of 2021 will phase out as fads of the 2020s or whether they’ll greatly impact the way we all live and work for generations to come…that remains to be seen. But you can’t be a part of that if you don’t understand it.

So your first resolution for the new year should be to catch up on everything you wish you were more educated about.

Get started here:

Tech Trends of 2021: The Great Resignation
Tech Trends of 2021: The Metaverse

2. Read More Books

Studies show that the human attention span is ever shortening. We’re so used to scrolling through short for content and digesting bite-sized chunks of information, and our attention is forever being pulled in a thousand different directions. And this goes beyond our screens and our work lives. At home we’re being pulled into our social lives, our hobbies, exercise, cooking, cleaning, running errands, making calls, and all that general life admin.

Reading books has always been one of our biggest recommendations for Product Managers (check out top 20 favorites for Product Managers right here!) but now it offers more benefits than just what you learn.

If you’ve found yourself looking at your phone while you’re meant to be watching a movie, thinking about work when you’re supposed to be on a 10k run, or thinking about dinner when you’re supposed to be going through user data, you’ve got a concentration problem!

Reading trains your brain, and gives you an extended time to focus on just one thing. Reading can be a meditative experience when you find the right book for you.

So in 2020, we’re stopping the scroll and getting educated on the things we wish we knew more about. We’re going to get inspired, we’re going to get better at our jobs, and we’re going to become more well-rounded and focused Product People!

There’s no excuses, because we’ve got a list of 10 Free eBooks Every Product Manager Should Read. Get started with these ones:

The Product Analytics Economy

The Product Analytics Economy: Drive Growth Through Data - Product School

The world is becoming increasingly Product-Led. Across all industry verticals, organizations are waking up to the potential of Product-Led Growth to drive revenue, onboard users, increase efficiency and reduce overhead. To become Product-Led you need to be data driven. And having data alone simply isn’t enough: You also need to be able to use and apply this data to make informed decisions, improve constantly through iteration, and create a product that becomes your best sales and marketing tool. In this free guide, you’ll meet top Product Leaders from Heap, Waze, YouTube, Disney and more, and discover how they use analytics to drive growth.

Get your copy here for free.

When Coffee and Kale Compete

When Coffee and Kale Compete: Become great at making products people will  buy (English Edition) eBook : Klement, Alan: Amazon.es: Tienda Kindle

Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) might not be the most glamorous aspect of Product Management, but you’d be surprised at how interesting Alan Klement’s When Coffee and Kale Compete makes it.

But it’s about more than just JTBD. This book tells you how to build products with compelling stories that your customers actually want to buy. It’s about helping companies to reduce waste, increase profits, and make the world better with great products. Isn’t that what every Product Manager wants?

Grab your copy here for free, or buy it on Amazon.

3. Be a Mentor

A mentor can be one of the most important and influential people in a person’s professional life. The best way to learn Product Management is from other Product Managers, because they’ve already forged their path in the industry. If you’ve got valuable lessons to share, 2022 is the year to do that.

Now, you don’t have to join a formal mentorship program to be a mentor. It can start by intentionally trying to guide and teach the teams who report to you. Gibson Biddle, former VP of Product at Netflix, stated on our podcast that he took the time to intentionally teach his team something new.

“I did something called topic de Semaine – which is my bad French for the topic of the week. And every Friday morning at nine, I would consciously teach something to my team. It turned out that that act of hustling on a Thursday night to figure out what the hell I would say about designing, executing and analyzing AB tests, for instance, forced me to learn.”

Mentorship is a two-way street. Your mentees learn something from you,

If you’re pressed for time, or spending half an hour essentially teaching a class wouldn’t really fit your team dynamic, you can start by implementing a ‘show-not-tell’ approach. Instead of doing something for your teams and just telling them that it’s done, offer to show them how it’s done.

For example, if someone who isn’t particularly data-literate asks you for some data, instead of just fetching it for them, offer to show them how your suite works. Let them know that they can always come to you for help. But should they wish to be more empowered to do things for themselves you’re happy to show them the way.

If you run one-to-ones as someone’s direct manager, don’t be afraid to ask them about their career goals and how they feel their career path is going. You can be the person to help them find their way.

The next generation of Product Managers is in your hands! (No pressure.)

4. Spend More Time With Your Users

The most important thing any Product Manager can be is user-focused. Because if you’re not building for your users…who are you building for? It’s the most sure-fire way to have a product that doesn’t find product-market fit, and which totally flops.

Even if you’ve moved up the career ladder, and it’s technically no longer your responsibility to sift through user survey answers or to conduct user interviews, find the time to do it anyway. Really get into your users mind’s and stalk them on levels Joe Goldberg would be proud of (minus the violence of course). 

Think about the points of contact you’ve had with your customers in the past that really worked for you, and try to loop them back into your week.

There could also be something that you’re overlooking, like what people are saying about your product on forums like Reddit, or what they say in App store reviews. Listening to what your users say directly to you is important (that’s what Customer Service is all about) but it’s just as important to know what they’re saying when you’re not around.

In 2022 make sure, no matter which step of the career ladder you’re on, that you spend more time getting back in touch with your users.

5. Make a Commitment to Learning

All of these are small resolutions that basically lead up to one big thing…your commitment to learning. We often talk about how Product Managers are lifelong learners. But what does that actually look like?

It starts with recognizing the things that you don’t know much about, and identifying the knowledge gaps that you’d most benefit from filling. Perhaps there’s been something you’ve been avoiding learning about because you don’t particularly like it. Or maybe you’re just apprehensive about finding the time.

That brings us to the next part…finding that time! Product Managers are already up there with some of the hardest working people in the industry, so it’s normal that you might feel a bit stretched thin. Too thin to take the time to learn new skills.

However, you’ve always got 15 minutes somewhere, and it’s amazing how much learning you can fit into your day when you commit to it. You could be listening to a podcast while you wash the dishes, you could spend the last 15 minutes of the day reading a book instead of scrolling on your phone, or you could block off 15 minutes between your morning meetings for ‘research time’.

You’ve then got to set some kind of goal for yourself. The best motivator for learning is being able to apply your new skills in real life. Think of what you want to achieve by learning, and find a way to test your skills. For example, if you’re learning a new language, set a goal of being able to have a conversation with a native by the end of the year.

If you’re serious about carving out time for your education, taking a course is a fantastic way to commit to your learning.

Our online Product Management certifications are made to fit around your busy work life. They offer live online classes that push you to make the time to learn, without completely taking over your schedule! With classes catering for all levels of Product Managers, you’ll get a 360 Product education, leaving you more confident, and more well-rounded Product Manager!

Here’s to a more educated 2022! 🎉🎉🎉

Earn Your Product Management Certification

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