A framework for management

Leaders across disciplines are often tasked with creating or running specific systems to deliver outcomes that accrue value to the business. Pattern matching across few such systems shows common themes for a management framework:

Goals that define what needs to be achieved
Processes that outline how to go about achieving them
People with the right skills that drive the processes
Tools that help these people and processes
A language of the domain that everyone communicates through
Culture that provides that smell to the domain & system
Reviews to ensure things are moving towards defined goals

Let’s look at this framework through two examples in tech firms:

1. Product management
Goal: Ship an MVP or improve user retention for a live product
Processes: Research and understand user needs, formulate a hypothesis of addressable needs, validate hypothesis, create a product strategy, validate it with design prototypes, create PRDs, prioritize features, groom backlog, publish milestones, coordinate with marketing/sales/partnerships, track metrics and feedback to determine what needs to improve, publish roadmaps
People: Leaders who understand product making, team members who can dive into details, get stuff done, storytellers, influence without authority, handle customer interactions, present to execs
Tools: PRD authoring, project tracking, PM mock creation, documentation, presentation
Language: Persona, mocks, specs, demos, features, user stories
Culture: User empathy, know thy customer, understanding of the business landscape
Reviews: Are milestones on track, is the research validating our hypotheses, is investment required in a particular area, decisions or help required to unblock progress towards goals

2. Live site management
Goal: Maintain reliability/uptime of site (or app) at 99.999%
Processes: Continuous monitoring through alerts, audits to make sure such alerts are in place, what happens when an alert is raised, dry runs to ensure alert handling works, innovation to improve them
People: Leaders experiences in managing the domain, team members that have assigned accountabilities, skills, training and aligned incentives.
Tools: Monitoring dashboards, alert routing to directly responsible individual’s devices, alert systems
Language: Severity levels, SLAs, time to mitigation
Culture: One of emergency response, first responders
Reviews: That look at scorecards daily/weekly/monthly, discuss anomalies and deviation from goals, investment proposals to improve, decision or help required to unblock

Leadership is about creating clarity and dependable systems. Management frameworks can help leaders think through the details as they architect such systems.

Originally published on LinkedIn

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Leader, mentor and writer — product management and careers

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Vineet Taneja

Vineet Taneja

Leader, mentor and writer — product management and careers

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