How to Solve Distributed Team Communications to Grow Sales

The principal problem that remote product teams face is effective communications and systems in order to work well and deliver top value to customers which grows sales.

It is not uncommon for a remote Product Manager (PM) to join a team, not be trusted, and have to look for another opportunity. I recently came to know of such a case.

Experience has taught me that the solution for effective communications and winning trust from a cross-functional team in order to deliver top value to customers and grow sales is the following:

  1. Be likable, transparent and ask questions to learn how to best work with your team
  2. Ask questions regarding the team history, how decisions are made, why it is organized in a certain way
  3. With regards to the product, take time to use the product, write-out any questions that you may have, and direct these questions to the Tech Lead
  4. With regards to the technical architecture, ask the Tech Lead for details. Study the architecture and ask him questions to ensure a clear understanding
  5. With regards to the customers, study user research information and ask questions of senior team members to clearly understand the problem
  6. With regards to the domain, learn from the top 1% — again formulation questions that you can ask senior team members
  7. Lead the development of a Social Contract with contributions from all team members to outline the expected behaviors for positive collaborations
  8. Lead the discussion with the team on the tools that are going to be used to complement the Social Contract
  9. Use a tool like MURAL to enable visual communication and full-team participation during the vision and strategy phases of development
  10. Ask questions of the team during these sessions such as: “are you aligned on x?” to make sure that there is no ambiguity.
  11. Follow-up the MURAL session with a Google doc, or similar, outlining the points everyone agreed-upon and areas that still require validation or agreement.
  12. Involve the whole team (devs and designers) during the requirements and design phases to make quality decisions
  13. Use Success Sliders during the prioritization and estimation phases to provide everyone with a high-level view of trade-offs between cost, scope, quality, and time which will enable better decision-making
  14. Ensure everyone “sees” the decisions that have been made via tools like JIRA and MURAL. Always remember: quality estimations require the input devs and designers — they cannot be made independently!

Hope the above is of assistance to you.

Please contact me with any questions: juan@juanbarberis.com

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Sr. Product Manager | Converting IoT products into fast-to-market global competitors

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