How to create free time as a Product Manager (or Manager)

  1. creating team culture (the manner of doing things)

1. Create a structure for your team so they can work independently

When you create a goal, agree on which levers to pull to get there, and develop repeatable processes to catalyze execution with your team, you have created leverage and can spend time on more difficult problems to pave the way for your team to accomplish more.

2. Create culture for your team so that they can make decisions independently

Once you’ve laid out the method of what to do in step #1, your next challenge is getting your team aligned on the manner in which you want it to be done. You could call this team culture or team principles. When a decision isn’t clear, on what side of the line do you want your team to lean. For example: do you want your team to execute quickly to get to market with a few bugs here and there or is attention to detail and going a bit more slowly the right path? Is providing feedback to teammates important or is it better to keep people happy?

  1. Be transparent. Document decisions made and share those decisions widely.
  2. Invite feedback and close the loop. Take feedback in from all parts of the team and ensure that people understand why you do/don’t act on pieces of feedback.

3. Spend the rest of your time upskilling your team

If you have strong processes and a clear set of principles for how your team makes decisions, the rest of your time should be teaching people on your team. Once you transfer a skill to someone, you can spend your time on higher-leverage problems. Find the people on your team who are talented and want to learn. Figure out where their opportunity areas are with them and then jointly decide the right course to upskill them.

  1. someone you know, so you can connect them to that expert
  2. Learning content, so you connect them to the resource (a class, a book, etc)

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Chris Hatfield

Chris Hatfield

I'm a Product Manager who loves to solve problems at the intersection of how to help people get value out of complex ecosystems and how people make decisions.