Draw it until it works

Here’s a quick thought about ramping up on something new as a product manager.

If I don’t understand how something works in an organization, I do two things. I ask questions, and I draw boxes and arrows based on the answers. People sometimes make fun of me for this, but hear me when I say that nothing gets people aligned like a systems diagram they can disagree with.

B2C, B2B, Platform, Internal… the industry/product type doesn’t matter. Draw the flow of information through your product, get people to disagree, adjust until they agree. That’s the moment when you become a PM that can actually be helpful to the team and the business. You cannot improve the system until you understand it.