Productivity and the Product Manager

By January 6, 2014Product Management, Skills

Being a product manager in todays crazy environment can be like juggling a chainsaw, a bowling ball, and a sword. It’s crazy at best. Marketing wants those new release features, engineering wants more detail on a requirement, the UX team can’t agree on a design, management wants a development checkpoint presentation and you are speaking at a conference next week. How in the world can you keep everything moving forward?

I have found that I needed a system to keep track of everything. As a product manager, it’s important to be action oriented, so I needed a system to keep track of my actions.  After reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen, I began for formulate my system. What I like about his book is that it doesn’t prescribe a tool, but rather it describes a system.  And after you get a system in place, you can revise and improve that system. I have been improving my system for several years now. It is amazing how having a personal system that is tailored to your needs helps you in so many ways.

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” 
― David Allen

Now I capture these ideas and formulate a plan for accomplishing the tasks related to the idea. Having a system that captures all the actions required in the role of a product manager is essential. It’s also something you have to continually revise and improve. There are always new tools on the market to help you with your system. I typically set aside some time twice a year to see if there are any new tools that I can leverage. The most important thing is your system, often there are many tools that can assist in your system.

For more of the latest from David Allen visit http://www.gtdtimes.com/

And finally, here is a little humor from Rob Cottingham on the subject of getting things done.

RobCottinghamSequels1