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Alok Mohindra

The one word every PM should internalize

Product1 min read

Alignment

Clarity - the one word PMs should internalize

When I think about everything involved in being a product manager it’s hard to imagine just one thing to focus on. I have found one word captures the essence of what a product manager must do to succeed - Clarity.

At it’s core, the role of the PM is to bring clarity to the team. PM’s define the vision, the goals and the expected outcomes of product development and it is up to the PM to ensure that everyone on the team can articulate these three project variables (vision, goals, expected outcomes).

As a leader it is the responsibility of the PM to evangelize the vision, define the goals and expected results of an initiative. This should be overdone to the point where every member of the team internalizes these variables.

Every product decision made by the PM should be supported by evidence and it is up to the PM to provide this evidence and clarify the interpretation and so control the narrative. Controlling the narrative by providing clarity allows the PM to ensure that the whole team of internal and external stakeholders are aligned on a unified vision and story about how the product is expected to develop and why.

Product Managers should aim to follow an 80/20 rule with their time, spending 80% of their time investing in developing an understanding of the highest priority needs of users and strategies to address these needs. The remaining 20% of PM time should be spent with the designers and developers who are building the product - helping to clarify requirements, make clear decisions and deal with edge-cases.

As you can see Clarity is the single word that transcends all aspects of the Product Manager’s job. By providing clarity at the high level to start and adding clarity to details where necessary, PM’s can help unblock teams so they can operate with better velocity, greater confidence and a higher likelihood of success. Clarity drives alignment across the entire team and while alignment can never be perfect, a strong team that is well-aligned toward achieving a common goal is well positioned to succeed.

Product Managers who drive clarity deliver results.