How to help a new PM ramp up

You managed to get a new PM for your org. Congrats!


Now you need to face a new challenge – this person needs to ramp up. Whatโ€™s the best way to help with that?

Each role and company usually present a different set of challenges. However, some tips and tricks have worked for me (both as a PM and a leader of a PM team) across roles. I described them below.

๐Ÿ’ก 5 suggestions for helping out a PM ramp up as fast as possible (in no particular order as they are all critical):

๐Ÿญ/ ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฎ & ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐— ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐˜€ ๐Ÿ“ˆ (explain the Why)
The best product orgs keep a tidy snapshot of the metrics used to move the needle. The best PMs know those in their sleep. Make sure to start with that.

– How do you go from the top line to the bottom line? Where do the product results fit in? (company-level analytics)
– How do the customers use the product? (web analytics)
– How do you monetize/sell the product? (GtM analytics)

Explain past trends & future goals.

2/ ๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐Ÿ™‹ (explain the Who)
Most of the time PMs receive the standard org chart with reporting lines:

This is what PMs receive during onboarding.

In practice, PMs always deal with an intricate web of informal relationships:

This is what happens in reality.

Clarify who does what in reality and how each person’s work feeds into product success. Suggest 1:1 setups and encourage the PM to ask for recommendations on whom to talk to next. Check in every week to make sure you are aligned on stakeholder priority.

3/ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ โฉ & ๐—ง๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—น๐˜€ ๐Ÿ”จ (explain the How)
This is not about giving access to Hotjar and JIRA. It is much more important to explain how you do product and what tools you use.

Clarify how you stay close to your customers. You may also show some videos or feedback you have collected. Then dig deep into how you aspire to do product discovery, delivery, prioritization, and experimentation. Don’t waste time with details about the practicalities of sprint kickoffs, ticket cycle, backlog grooming, daily huddles, all-hands sessions, etc. Those could be an email.

4/ ๐—ž๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐—œ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐Ÿš€(explain the What)
Initially, it’s tough for PMs to understand the priority of the product initiatives. Much context has usually built up with time. Hidden stones may be lying around.

Initiative one-pagers are very handy here. Connect those to the roadmap and clarify how they came to be. Remember that most PMs think: “Why is this important?” and “Why should I care?”

5/ ๐—ข๐—ž๐—ฅ๐˜€ ๐Ÿ“† (visualize the Road Ahead)
Identify milestones for the first 30 – 60 – 90 day period. Don’t be too ambitious. Be very focused and clear.

SMART goals. Avoid milestones such as “positive feedback” or “become familiar with…”.