CHAPTER 8The Assessment

In this chapter, I will describe a coaching tool for helping managers of product people raise the level of performance of the people that report to them.

I want every product leader to feel considerable urgency and importance around this need.

Empowered product teams depend on competent product people, and if you don't develop your people and provide growth opportunities, there are usually other companies that will. I have always been a big believer in the old adage that “people join a company but leave their manager.”

This chapter explores the technique that I use and advocate for assessing a product manager. It is easily adjusted for product designers or tech leads.

It is the foundation for then coaching the person to success (the coaching plan, which we'll discuss next).

This assessment is structured in the form of a gap analysis. The purpose is to assess the product person's current level of competence along each of several necessary dimensions, and then compare that with the level of competence that's expected for this particular role.

This format acknowledges that not all skills are equally important, not all gaps are equally significant, and expectations change with the level of responsibility. This tool is intended to help focus the attention where it is most needed.

People, Process, and Product

As readers of INSPIRED know, the taxonomy I like to use when talking about product is the three pillars: people, process, and product.

For purposes ...

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