Articles by Brandon Chu
- Managing and Developing Product Managers
Brandon covers 3 frameworks for managing product managers: 1) A mental model for managing PMs that adopts an investor's mindset. Give PMs the freedom to make decisions, but hold them accountable and coach them toward the end result. 2) Developing PMs by constructing the appropriate scope for them 3) Assessing PM performance in a balanced and repeatable way
While deadlines are often debated in product development, Brandon argues they can be effective tools when used properly. Deadlines force prioritization and ensure teams work backwards from a clear launch date. They also combat human tendencies to procrastinate or dream of perfection. However, deadlines only work if the team genuinely cares about achieving the goal, even if missing the date has few real consequences. Brandon advises celebrating milestones to acknowledge hard work, while also taking responsibility if deadlines are missed and never shipping a flawed product just to meet a deadline. An interesting suggestion is setting deadlines around public events to motivate teams and showcase their work.
- The First Principles of Product Management
Brandon describes the two primary first principles of product management: 1) maximize impact to the mission and 2) accomplish everything through others. These two principles can then be combined together to drive product strategy.
- Ruthless Prioritization
Brandon's prioritization framework focuses on the I and E in RICE - impact and effort, which can be divided by one another to produce ROI. After ROI is calculated, constraints like dependencies, timelines, and team composition can be applied. Brandon also describes how small items (like bugs) are too high in volume to run a rigorous process, so they should receive quick and sometimes chaotic analyses.