Discover more from Product Snippets from Lane
The value of proactive prompting
Small nudges can go a long way toward addressing issues before they arise.
Back from a couple weeks of summer vacation with family, hope you’re having a great summer!
Yesterday I was in a meeting with the leads from our Core Product Team discussing a few big upcoming launches. Nathan, our PM Lead for Core Product, prompted Shishir and me to fill out a doc that looked just like the one below.
The sentence starters (as buttons) are a super clever way to nudge stakeholders to articulate any thoughts that may affect the team’s work. It’s another example of why great PMs are often proactive, not reactive in turning ambiguity into clarity. In this case, Shishir and I filled out the table which naturally led the group into a productive discussion about a concern that may not have surfaced otherwise. It also provided an opportunity to give the team kudos in an open forum.
If Nathan had come in with a standard set agenda, we likely wouldn’t have surfaced either the concern or the kudos. A small nudge today helped the team run smoother in the future. Here’s a simple template of Nathan’s discussion starters that you can customize.
Later in the meeting, we reviewed upcoming important decisions in a table that looked like the one below.
Do you see Nathan’s other clever PM trick?
In the last four columns, he gathered the level of input and involvement the team should prepare for on decisions from their stakeholders. This does two things. First, it enables the team to tailor their next steps accordingly, instead of treating every person and every decision the same. And second, it gives stakeholders their time back if they don’t need to be involved. Here’s a template of that idea.
Part of being a great PM is doing the little things well, especially those that proactively address issues before they arise. Nathan’s two small and carefully crafted rituals demonstrate a practical way to be proactive, not reactive.
I’d love to hear from you — what nudges or rituals help you address issues within your team before they arise?
👋 This little newsletter experiment is just getting started. So if you enjoyed this post, I’d love it if you subscribed and shared with a friend. Have a wonderful day! ✌️