Onboarding

Key Questions to Ask Your Product Development Team

questions-prod-squad

If you haven’t read The Prod Squad article that introduces you to the key stakeholders that you will be working with as a Product Manager, please check it out before continuing.

Already familiar with who you will be working with and just want advice on what questions to ask? Continue!

Note: This list will be updated on a regular basis

Design

  1. What tools do designers use to show off their latest work and how do I gain access to it?
  2. How involved are the designers in the product development process?
  3. When should I involve the designers in the development process?
  4. What are all of the review processes that must be completed before a design can be finalized and released to public?
  5. How long does each review process take and who are the decision makers for each review?

Engineering

  1. How can I access Alpha and Beta builds for all of the platforms in which our product is released (iPhone, Android, Desktop/Laptop)
  2. Once an engineer has submitted code, what are the steps in the approval process until the code updates are visible in the following releases:
    1. Alpha
    2. Beta
    3. Public
  3. Are there any documents which show an overview of the current technical architecture (at a high level)
  4. Is there any engineering training that I can have access to to become more familiar with the engineering architecture and architectural terms. (This is for the more curious PM)
  5. What are the release schedules for alpha, beta, and public builds?
  6. What are all the codebases and which one do our changes belong to?

User Experience Research

  1. When must user research requests be submitted for a project?
  2. How long does it take to set up a user research session?
  3. What is my role for each user research session?
  4. What information do you need from me in order to set up a user research session?
  5. When should I involve you in the product development process?

Marketing and Communications

  1. How do you determine which features get their own campaigns?
  2. How far in advance would you need to be made of an upcoming feature?
  3. Are you involved in determining the wording/messaging used in the various aspects of our products (dialog boxes, call-to-action buttons)?  If so, how much time do you need to approve wording requests?

Data Science

  1. What tools do you use to track metrics (global metrics) of released products?
  2. How do you set up feature-specific metrics to be tracked during development? (ie If I have a button whose clicks need to be tracked, how do we implement this?).
  3. What A/B testing tool do you have in place?  How do I access it?  How do I set up experiments?

Other Product Managers on your team

  1. What does a typical PRD look like?
  2. What is the escalation process for cross-team collaboration issues?
  3. When releasing a product, who must we notify? How?
  4. What are general guidelines for collaborating with designers? Engineering? Legal? Marketing? Data Science?
  5. In what situations must I receive approval for product decisions?
  6. In what situations am I free to make decisions myself?

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