I’m hoping for some career advice. I’m in 2nd round interviews for Product Manager role with a great company at the scale stage: hundreds of employees and it’s currently fewer than 20 product managers.
One thing I’m concerned about is if I’d be a good fit in a company that size given I have experience at smaller startups (I’m a true startup person, usually Series A).
I’m looking for any/all advice on stakeholder management skills within larger teams, could be frameworks that you know or, or examples of when you worked on projects involving lots of people where you took something to finish line that I could maybe extract great management styles from.
Thanks so much.
I made a similar transition a while back. I think the largest company I had joined in my career was 60 (though one grew to a few hundred) and I was interviewing with a 9,000 employee company. So here are some thoughts looking back
- You can definitely do this! It’ll be a stretch in some ways as you’ve pointed out but it’s a good stretch for yourself and for this new company to get fresh perspectives.
- Stakeholder management exceeds what your team directly interacts with. Your manager has peers that may have different priorities and incentives. They may be PM peers in adjacent orgs or cross-functional peers on the same team. You’ll find large projects include several other teams and sometimes those team’s leads or leads of leads need to get pulled in.
- Be extremely clear and concise on what your team is doing, why and what impact will it have. Communicate it in many ways, verbally, visually, via text, email, Slack, slide deck, 1 pager. Use the right one for the right context. “in-person” convos can be more useful for incorporating new info and feedback into your strategy. Written comms scale much better.
- Delegate comms and alignment. Messages resonate when heard from multiple people. Proactively messaging and planning ahead helps you get on other people’s roadmaps. Sometimes you’ll need to delegate to your boss. Sometimes knowing the same message from a specific person to convince the right lead or the right team can work wonders. But the basics are just leveraging people you work with to message throughout the org chart
- Meet lots of people when you first join and keep in touch. Lots of places are relationship-driven and those take a while to build.
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