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How to spend your first 90 days on your new product design job.

Day 0-30

Goal: absorb as much global context as you can on process, team and product

Meet with your teammates, and whoever they recommend - What should I know about the product / company / people? - What's the biggest challenge you face? - What’s been the biggest product hit? - What’s been the biggest product miss? - What can I do to make your life easier? - Who else should I talk to?
Align with your manager - What does success looks like in the first 90 days? - What's the process from ideation to launch? - Who vetos product decisions? - If there's a disagreement about the product, who breaks the tie? - (If company does OKRs) How do we create them? What does success look like? - Regularly share what you are learning with any follow-up questions
Map out the business equation - How does your product grow? - How does your company grow? - How does your product help the company grow? - You need to understand the levers to create business impact
Shadow key members (e.g., customer success, sales, another PM) - How do people operate?
Play with the product - What's intuitive vs. not? - Map the product experience to the business equation

Day 30-60

Goal: start getting into the local details to set yourself up for a win

Continue meeting teammates based on recommendations - Where does influence / institutional knowledge lie? - What viewpoints are shared across teammates vs. different?
Review launch history to see what features and experiments out/underperformed - What have the successes been? Were they growth or retention features, or something else? - What patterns are there between successes vs. failures? - If there's no documentation, get the download from your teammates / manager
Examine the product roadmap, and understand how past decisions were made - What's the balance between big, high-risk projects vs. small, near-guaranteed wins? - Talk to your manager about how balance has changed over time and where it's going
Work with your manager on picking & executing on a starter project - Sweet spot = impactful but low-risk, not controversial, can be done in 2-3 weeks tops - Most managers will have a starter project in mind, but you're welcome to bring ideas - Gut check: "Nobody currently owns this, and we strongly believe we need to do it" - If your starter project is big, break it into phases so you can get feedback from your manager on a (bi)weekly basis
Set up / familiarize yourself with the metrics dashboard for your area of focus - What's your primary metric? What blindspots does it have? - What does the funnel of your product look like? - What are the bottlenecks in your funnel?
Shadow / interview customers - What's the job they hire your product to do? - What are their alternatives? - What do they like vs. dislike about your product, and why? - Ideal: watch them use the product in realtime or from recordings

Day 60-90

Goal: execute on a quick win and identify a focus area for the coming months

Get at least one quick win under your belt - Doesn't have to be a product launch, can be a process change or insight - Make sure you fully understand things before you change anything - Over-index on getting feedback before making any official change - Examples of quick wins are inside the Toolkit
Do a formal check-in with manager and teammates on how you're ramping - What went well? What could've gone better? - What concerns do they have about you / your role? - How can you be more helpful?
Collaborate with manager on a roadmap of what success looks like for next X months - What area of the product makes sense for you to start with? - What's their biggest concern? - Discuss when you should start setting career goals - Working on a portfolio of experiences rounds out your skill set; working on revenue-generating products is crucial to ongoing negotiation