The Product Review Bible: How to crush the scariest meeting in product
Insights from 15+ Product Leaders
If there’s anything that strikes fear into a Product Manager, it’s the “product review” meeting. One of you wrote to me a few days ago with this message:
Help! I have my first product review at my new job in a week, and I don’t know how to make sure it goes well.
Where’s the content?
I can understand why the reader reached out: there’s basically nothing on the web to help you with product reviews. These Google results literally have nothing to do with product review meetings:
That’s quite a gap in the content out there. It’s pretty crazy, because, if there’s a single meeting type that you can rock to increase the chances of your next promotion, it’s product reviews.
The content isn’t just lacking on the web. It’s also lacking internally. When I asked the reader above what guidance they had internally, they said they had none.
This is not an uncommon pattern. I asked one VP of Product with 22 years of experience how they learned to get good at product reviews:
It has been trial by fire. Learn by failure. I find that even Directors of Product I hire have never had any formal training. Often, they bomb early reviews. There’s a huge gap in instruction in this space.
Whether it’s online or within companies, there is a complete dearth of instruction on product reviews.
I once had a PM on my team who, by my account, was excellent:
His engineering, design, and analytics counterparts liked him.
He was great at crafting product vision.
The features his team was shipping were having a great impact.
But, when I put him up for promotion, it didn’t go through. I was surprised, to say the least.
The problem? His product review performance.
Product reviews are one of the few places where other senior product leaders have a chance to interact with you and see you in action. As a result, it tends to be an incredibly high leverage point with which to increase your profile.
This is as true for PMs as it is for everyone associated with the product team: designers, engineers, marketers, and executives. So, I’ve spent the past week reaching out to 15+ product leaders at the top product companies in the world.
And I’ve created THE guide I wish I would’ve had when I was an IC PM. If you’re a product leader, this is the guide you are going to want to send to your PMs.
Read on for…
The best templates for your next review
How to prepare for the review
How to answer the hardest questions
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