Why a guide? The first product manager (PM1) is a pivotal role for early stage companies. Many companies struggle with this hire because they don't know what they need, or they don't know how to find it.
Whether you've got a CEO acting in the role currently or not, many early stage companies struggle to find a great PM1 fit because they only see the need that's right in front of them. A great PM1 is more than a backlog wrangler, or a person who does UX research. A great PM1 helps your organization shift into another gear so the company can go further, faster, more efficiently.
What's included? Our guide includes exercises, templates, and other resources to help you assess your PM1 needs, write a compelling job description, and create an interview plan.
- Self Assessment Review the current state of your product function by answering questions about how decisions are made, how priorities are set, and the team's satisfaction with development quality and velocity.
- Personas Learn about the different types of companies that are hiring their first product manager to determine where you fit, and what types of skills are most commonly needed.
- Red flags See what types of warning signs turn good candidates away so you can address any of them before you begin hiring.
- Prioritization Complete an exercise with your team to understand how "this or that" decisions are made, and what you may be missing out on.
- Scoping A second exercise to understand where your team falls on a spectrum of software sophistication, and how requirements are currently determined.
- Job description A five-part template for crafting the job description you'll use to attract candidates that fit your needs.
- Interviewing Learn how to interview product managers when you don't have any product managers on your team.
Choose how you want to get the guide
Download the guide and use it with your team on a self-serve basis. You'll get all the exercises and templates mentioned above. Once you're done, you'll have a roadmap of action items to take internally as well as the assets you need to start recruiting top-quality PM1 candidates.
Though we have tried to make the guide as intuitive as possible, it can still be daunting to work through without some coaching. We'll pair you up with a coach from our community—always someone with prior PM1 experience—to help you work through the guide. This extra coaching can help teams get the most out of each exercise.
The PM1 Guide was prepared based on the feedback and experience of over one dozen product managers who have been through this experience personally.
We've helped CEOs let go of the roadmap. We've helped engineers understand what the sales team is asking for. We've helped companies find and define product market fit. And we've done it in B2B SaaS, fintech, deep technology, consumer apps, hardware, retail, and more. Learn more about our community of talented product managers.
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