Are the documents that you create very hard to understand?
Do you a large part of your week just creating documentation, emails, presentations, and still don't have the perfect message?
Do you struggle to make your communication concise? Especially when you communicate with leaders and execs?
Are you unsure if your communication includes all the critical and necessary information?
Can your messages and documents be structured better so the receiver quickly understands the intended message?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you're in the right place!
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN FROM THIS TOOLKIT
This toolkit will help you do three things very well:
Create the perfect communication for 20 different use cases you face daily as a product manager.
Always know what is the required information and the right amount of detail that will ensure your communication is effective and the audience can easily comprehend it.
Create a system that will fast-track your career growth by enabling you to build credibility and visibility in the organisation.
This toolkit contains 20 ready-to-use and fully customisable templates. Each template is carefully crafted for a specific use case that product managers face daily.
With each template, you will get the following:
A list of ALL the critical sections you should include in your communication.
A detailed explanation of the content you should incorporate in each section.
A list of best practices that will make your communication 10x more effective.
Using these templates will increase your efficiency in crafting compelling messages and increase the impact of each message by at least 10x.
WHAT DOES THIS TOOLKIT INCLUDE
As part of this purchase, you will get a Notion database that has all the templates listed. Each Notion page also has links to Google Docs/Sheets which include the actual customisable version of the templates.
The toolkit includes 20 templates, which are divided into 4 categories;
1. Strategic use - communication use cases that product managers need to do once a quarter or less
2. Regular use - communication use cases that product managers need to do at least once a month
2. Day-to-day use - communication use cases that product managers must do at least once a week.
4. Other use - communication use cases that happen often but do not have a fixed cadence
Each template has a detailed module that explains the following:
Why and when to use the template
Who is the typical audience
How to use the template. What sections and content to include. What level of detail to include
Best practices that will make your communication stand out from the crowd
One of the modules that I cover in the toolkit is a set of documents that I use for my performance reviews. Here is a short video snippet of what this module includes.
The 20 templates in the toolkit are broken into 4 broad categories. Below are the details on what the templates are, and what a snapshot of how they will help you in your career as a PM
Strategic Use (once a quarter or less)
Annual product plan: a document with an overarching view of all the initiatives the company or the larger team will undertake during the year.
OKR Doc: a document that documents, structures, and measures the progress of the OKRs (Objectives and key results) for a specific product team
Product roadmap and backlog: a highly effective template that allows you to create a comprehensive roadmap that is easy to navigate and track progress on. You can use the same template irrespective of your team and org size.
Presentation to execs for investment: this template presentation gives you a clear idea of what topics to cover when presenting to execs or c-suite and pitching an idea or asking for investment. Each slide also contains details on what content to include.
Team onboarding doc: every time you or someone else joins a team, it is essential to help the new joiner ramp up and onboard to their new responsibilities. This template includes a long list of tasks the new joiner must do when joining.
Project handover doc: if you're an incoming product manager and want a comprehensive handover from the outgoing product manager, this template will be helpful. It includes a detailed list of all the tasks, information, assets, and other details that the outgoing PM should pass on to their successor.
Self-review / performance review doc: as a product manager, it is crucial to be self-aware and understand your strengths and opportunity areas. It is also vital for your manager to agree on the same. And finally, it is critical to work with your manager to create a plan that will help you grow your career. This template will help you do that in collaboration with your manager. This module consists of two templates: the first focuses on the dimensions you need to succeed, and the second focuses on your goals, aspirations and focus areas. Combined, they are a powerful tool that will help you create an aggressive and realistic growth plan.
Product launch announcement: This email template will help you understand all the essential aspects to include while sharing product launch announcements. The detailed guide will also highlight best practices that enable you to keep these announcements brief but still deliver the critical message effectively.
1:1 Meeting notes (with manager): your manager will always play the most crucial role in your career success. And it is essential to always stay on the same page, share critical information, and align on (short and long-term) action plans with them. This template gives you a very clean, structured, and concise format for doing that via 1:1 meetings.
Group meeting notes: product managers are in tens of meetings every week, and in every meeting, there are critical decisions and discussions that drive alignment and define the next steps. Participants of the meeting must be well prepared ahead of the meeting so that all discussion is well documented so everyone can refer to it in the future and align accordingly. This template gives you a straightforward but very effective template. It also shares tricks to ensure that all attendees are on the same page, to capture all relevant details, and to make it easily accessible to participants before, during, and after the meetings.
Updates on severe/critical issues - product managers often face critical issues in their products (like critical system failure, confidential information leakages, loss in revenue, etc.) In such cases, it is vital to share details and next steps about the issue with diverse stakeholders, including leadership. This template will help you craft such communication with ease.
POP (Product one-pager) / Product Proposal - product managers always envision new ideas and recommend new solutions. Typically, these solutions can be complex and extremely detailed. It is also essential that senior leaders have access to these recommendations and have all the details so they can decide to invest or not invest in the opportunity. These proposals need a large amount of detail and clarity. This template makes capturing and sharing this information easy and quick for review and approval.
Product progress updates - product managers work in a cross-functional setup which includes multiple teams. In such cases, it is very critical to help everyone stay on the same page about the details of the project. This template will help you create regular and structured updates that include all the necessary information concisely and effectively.
Project pages - when product managers work with engineers on complex or large projects, it is essential to create project pages. These pages help everyone in the team and org understand the project's details, status, and progress. This template has all the relevant information that should be included on a project page.
Product Launch plans - launching a product is a complex process. It requires communication with multiple stakeholders to ensure everything goes as per plan. This template will help you make this complex process extremely easy.
Sharing experiment results - product managers run multiple a/b experiments every month, and it is essential to communicate the results of these experiments with a large audience. This template will enable you to do that with ease.
PRDs - a simple template to create a comprehensive product requirements document that you can hand over to engineers and rest assured that they will have all the relevant and critical information to build high quality features
Personal Dashboard and Task Management: a collection of all the tools and strategies I use to stay on top of things. As PMs we are always doing a 100 things every week, and that makes it very important to stay on top of things at all time. In this module I share a detailed explanation of how I manage my day-to-day
Repo of professional achievements (for career conversations) - a simple list of everything you have achieved in the quarter/year. This list becomes one of the most imp. inputs into your annual formal performance reviews. This template makes it very easy to track your achievements in one place so you can easily refer to them when needed.
Calendar etiquette - a list of tricks that help me manage my calendar. Believe it or not -- how you manage your calendar is a big reflection on how well you communicate. This list will help you become a master at managing your calendar.
I am 100% confident that this will uplevel your communication almost immediately.
If you are still trying to figure it out or have more questions, please contact me (email@example.com.) I will be more than happy to talk about the specific use cases you face in your PM life and help you understand how to use this toolkit to make you stand out as one of the best PMs in your organisation.
WHY IS COMMUNICATION IMPORTANT
Every product manager, irrespective of their career level, spend more than 70% of their communicating.
It could be as trivial as replying to messages on Slack or something as critical as crafting the product strategy that the entire team will work on.
All product managers are constantly communicating as it helps them achieve some of the most critical aspects of their jobs:
Clarify goals and priorities: As product managers, it is essential to ensure everyone (engineers, designers, sales, marketing, etc.) is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
Build trust and relationships: products are successful only if all the relevant teams work and contribute to the process. To align and motivate all the teams, building trust is critical. The most important aspect of building trust is effective communication.
Create and share knowledge: Product managers are the experts in their area. They are also the central point of contact for all critical projects. Given the complexity and criticality of the role, it is crucial to create and share essential knowledge and insights with the team and stakeholders. Effective communication is vital in conveying this information clearly and concisely.
Respond to feedback: no product, process, or person can be successful without capturing, understanding, and acting on feedback. Effective communication helps product managers acquire and share feedback promptly and appropriately.
Drive decision-making: every product manager makes 50+ decisions every week. Some of these are small decisions, while some are critical and highly impactful decisions. To ensure all stakeholders understand and buy into the decisions, product managers need to effectively document, explain, and communicate their decisions and the approach behind them.
Based on my 12+ years of experience as a product manager, a people manager, and a hiring manager, I can say with 100% confidence that communication is the no. 1 most important skill for any product manager to succeed.
A bad communicator can never be a good product manager.
Don't believe me?
Let's see some real-world data: Lenny surveyed 1000+ product managers and asked them, "What skills are most valued when hiring a PM?"
Any guesses about what was the number 1 skill?
(Source: Lennysnewsletter by Lenny Rachitsky)
Why should I use these templates as a product manager?
As a product leader, this is the exact system that I have been using for the last 5 years, and I use it even today.
I am an effective communicator, and all the communication I create is at least 10x better than my peers. I do it in less than 10% of the time it takes my peers.
As a product leader, my job includes creating 100+ messages every week that are read by 1000s of people in my company, including c-suite, senior leaders, and other product leaders.
Based on my experience, I have identified the most critical and frequent 20 communication use cases. For each, I have created a template I have used for 5+ years and gained immense appreciation for.
Every template is a product of 10+ years of experimentation, tweaking, refining, and perfecting it.
What went into creating this toolkit?
I have coached and mentored 100+ product managers over the last 5+ years. One of the most common themes of coaching -- has been the question of "How to become a better product manager?"
In further discussions, the most common theme of advice I have shared with product managers is to become better at communication.
While I have shared this advice hundreds of times, I knew there was no easy way for them to learn effective communication.
That is when I wanted to understand what makes my communication so effective, and I realised -- that I always have the perfect system to create communication for all meaningful interactions.
From there, I decided to document the entire system into templates and add the tricks I used while employing these templates as a product manager.
And after about 100 hours of work, this toolkit was born.
Strategic Use Templates
This module includes templates for documents that product managers create once a quarter or less
Annual product planning document
OKR or KPI Document
Presenetaton to Execs
Team Onboarding Doc
Project Handover Doc
Self and Performance Review Docs
Product Launch Announcement
Regular Use Templates
In this section, you will learn how to create documents to help keep your stakeholders aligned and updated
Product Proposal or a Product One Pager
Product Progress Updates
Project Wiki Pages
Product Launch Planning Doc
Sharing Experiment Results Template
Product Requirements Doc (PRDs)
Day to Day Use Templates
In this section, explore templates and documents that will help you stay on top of your work and stay organised.
1:1 Meeting Notes Template
Group Meetings Notes Template
Updates on Critical Issue Email Template
Get access to other documents, templates, and systems to help you manage your tasks, time, and performances