Praful Poddar

Career Milestones

Organization and You

Core Competencies

Go to food for thought

Favorite Products

What accomplishment in your product management career has brought you the highest level of satisfaction and joy? Can you narrate why?

Witnessing your product being used on the ground and helping users achieve success, at times their livelihoods, has been the most gratifying part of building something. The second one has been watching folks you have worked with grow, and know that you might have played a small part in their journey.

What aspect of  product management did you struggle the most with? How did you overcome  it?

I think the biggest (and to some extent ironical one) as well is explaining what product management is - takes a while. The second one is being able to attribute impact. While we all know OKRs, KPIs etc, a lot of the work that PMs deliver is either mixed up in other business initiatives or is indirectly linked to business impact. And due to this a lot of PMs goals turn out to be output based rather than outcome based. My learnings is that if you spend enough time thinking about it, you can put a attributable impact to atleast 90% of product initiatives, you just have to think long enough - it could leading or lagging, upstream or downstream, if not a direct KPI

What's one common  myth about product management that you find common among aspiring PMs.

The most common one is that its all about building only new products. On the ground reality is very far, its about constantly refining existing products as well as spending a lot of time doing more than just PM native work.

What are some common  pitfalls that product managers must be aware of?

Don't get into the 'ship it' loop, Don't think failing fast is always good - you have to bring down your frequency of failures ( a good way to do this is to validate early), 'eat the frog', don't build in silo - collaboration is key.

If not product  management, what career would you have picked? Are there any complimentary skillsets that you see between being a PM and your alternate choice?

2 actually - either a professional sports man (cricket or squash) OR developer. Logical thinking, quick decision making - are the skills which are complimentary

What is something  about product management that you wish you knew when you started out?

Networking and 'outside in' product management is very important, I only started to practice it after a few years.

What accomplishment in your product management career has brought you the highest level of satisfaction and joy? Can you narrate why?

Witnessing your product being used on the ground and helping users achieve success, at times their livelihoods, has been the most gratifying part of building something. The second one has been watching folks you have worked with grow, and know that you might have played a small part in their journey.

What aspect of  product management did you struggle the most with? How did you overcome  it?

I think the biggest (and to some extent ironical one) as well is explaining what product management is - takes a while. The second one is being able to attribute impact. While we all know OKRs, KPIs etc, a lot of the work that PMs deliver is either mixed up in other business initiatives or is indirectly linked to business impact. And due to this a lot of PMs goals turn out to be output based rather than outcome based. My learnings is that if you spend enough time thinking about it, you can put a attributable impact to atleast 90% of product initiatives, you just have to think long enough - it could leading or lagging, upstream or downstream, if not a direct KPI

What's one common  myth about product management that you find common among aspiring PMs.

The most common one is that its all about building only new products. On the ground reality is very far, its about constantly refining existing products as well as spending a lot of time doing more than just PM native work.

What are some common  pitfalls that product managers must be aware of?

Don't get into the 'ship it' loop, Don't think failing fast is always good - you have to bring down your frequency of failures ( a good way to do this is to validate early), 'eat the frog', don't build in silo - collaboration is key.

If not product  management, what career would you have picked? Are there any complimentary skillsets that you see between being a PM and your alternate choice?

2 actually - either a professional sports man (cricket or squash) OR developer. Logical thinking, quick decision making - are the skills which are complimentary

What is something  about product management that you wish you knew when you started out?

Networking and 'outside in' product management is very important, I only started to practice it after a few years.

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