A day in the life of a productboard product manager
Product management is a discipline that is wide in scope. In a typical day, a product manager might go from a meeting about high-level strategic planning straight to a chat with a developer about a granular issue, then hop on a call with a major customer immediately after.
In a previous post, we outlined the day-to-day responsibilities of product managers. Today, we chat with Geda, product manager extraordinaire based out of our Prague office, about what a day as a productboard product manager looks like, and to see some of these typical product management tasks IRL (in real life).
Here is a sample of her schedule, in her own words.
What does a productboard product manager do? A day in the life
9:00AM – 10:00AM Wake up and commute to work. I like to listen to podcasts on my way to work. Some of my favorites include This is Product Management from Alpha, Inside Intercom, and my ultimate favorite, 99% Invisible.
10:00AM – 11:30AM Work block. We don’t start our mornings very early at the productboard office in Prague because we stay late to bridge the time difference with the US team. When I get into the office, I like to get up-to-date on communications coming in from different channels. I respond to all my emails, answer all inquiries from productboard’s US team, and catch up on my Slack messages. My various inboxes usually include questions and requests on features that are in the delivery process.
Today I collaborated with Winston (productboard’s product marketing whiz) to update documentation for some features we are building. I reviewed some features that are being built and provided feedback on progress. I also made sure that my tasks are up-to-date in productboard, where I track all my feature-specific tasks.
11:30AM – 12PM Daily team sync. Each morning, my team — which includes me, a handful of developers, QA, and a designer — gets together to discuss delivery-focused tasks for the features that we are building or features currently in the pipeline. These include updating release plans, adding new insights to our productboard, and making sure that there are no blockers preventing someone from getting their work done.
To make our day as efficient as possible, we sync up on what we worked on the day before, what we will focus on today, and resolve any blockers that may be preventing someone from getting work done.
12:00PM – 1:00PM Lunch. I don’t do much work during lunch, but I try to use the time to sync up with people I don’t usually talk to so I can learn about what they are working on. Occasionally we’ll do a big team lunch. The Prague office started providing catered lunches recently — free food, yay!
1:00PM – 3:00PM Meetings. My time after lunch is usually dedicated to meetings. On Mondays, we have a product team meeting. Some days I have one-on-ones with my manager and other teammates. These meetings are a great time to align cross-functional teams and learn about anything new that popped up.
3:00PM – 5:00PM Deep focus time. I usually spend this two hour “deep focus” block on discovery-related tasks, though this shifts from time-to-time. Right now, I am focused on the early stages of discovery for a feature, which means we are identifying problems we can potentially solve, analyzing the problem, and researching solutions.
Tasks at this stage revolve around mapping opportunities, reviewing insights, monitoring competitors, conceptually building how features will work, and identifying any gaps. We are hosting a workshop this week with product marketing, sales, customer success, and support to collectively identify the biggest gaps and pain points that we can improve.
During later stages of discovery, I work closely with our designers and developers to prototype solutions, validate solutions with our users, and prepare features for delivery.
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM US team wakes up — more meetings! Depending on the day, I attend company-wide product meetings, all-hands meetings, or strategy meetings that the product team must participate in. For newly-released features, I’ll do a demo for the sales, customer success, and support teams.
7:00 PM Prepare tasks for the next day and log takeaways from meetings attended throughout the day. I try to spend 20 minutes processing insights at the end of each day. I log into productboard’s productboard (things get a little meta here) and search for different keywords that are relevant to what I’m currently working on. I’m keeping my eye out for any feedback or piece of information that helps me stay on top of everything pertaining to my work.
After work: Gym and socialize! The productboard team is awesome so we hang out together quite a bit. Other than that, I use the time for personal activities like cooking, spending time with my boyfriend, reading, watching movies, or meeting friends.
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To all you product managers out there — were you able to relate to Geda’s day? Where do you see overlap and how do your days differ? We’d love to hear from you! Shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag @productboard on social media to start a conversation.