It may sound obvious but Product Managers must use their products constantly. You can’t be an effective Product Manager if you don’t know what it’s like to use your product.

The questions below will help Product Managers make better decisions and improve the efficiency of their processes

Customer First

  • Check the community mailing list and Slack every day and make sure your team answers questions.
  • Review feature requests from the community every week and consider them for your roadmap.
  • Meet with customers every week to deeply understand their problems.
  • Constantly think about ways to grow the community and keep statistics such as mailing list activity, Github stars/forks to measure success.

Team Always

  • You must attend your project team meetings.
  • Use the product every week and look for bugs and improvements.
  • Share customer data with your team every week.
  • Bring team members along on customer calls/meetings.

Strategy & Prioritization

Ask yourself these questions when you’re making prioritization decisions (from Des Traynor):

  • Does it fit our vision?
  • Is Reward > Effort?
  • Does it benefit all of our customers?
  • Will it grow the business?
  • Will it matter in 5 years?
  • Is this a forward step?
  • Will it generate new engagement?
  • If it succeeds, can we support it?


  • Has the problem been clearly defined?
  • Have we got feedback on this project from all of the team?
  • Have we completed customer research and used it to inform our design?
  • Have we talked to our partners who might have a solution already?
  • Gove we done research on open source software we can leverage instead of building ourselves?
  • Have we validated a prototype with users?Β SeeΒ User Research for how to do this.
  • How will the user interact with the feature? How do they achieve the outcome?
  • Have we defined the end-to-end user flow and thought about edge cases?
  • Have we determined if technical research is needed?
  • Have we determined if product metrics need to be tracked to measure our success?
  • Have we decided which aspects are paid features?
  • Have we considered impacts on other teams, and planned a way to sync with them?
  • How can we dogfood an early version of this?
  • Do we know how we’ll validate with customers?


  • Have we completed the Discovery checklist?
  • Have we completed the requirements doc and confirmed the units of work?
  • Have we completed a design doc and got sign off? See Product Principles for details on the design review process.
  • How will we communicate customer feedback to the team, and the company?
  • Do you have a launch checklist?
  • How are we going to do marketing on this (see launch checklist)?
  • Which customers are going to get early access and give us feedback?


  • Did you/your team write a blog post?Β 
  • Post on Hackernews and get team members/friends/community to upvote. Every release of our OSS projects should make it to the front page!
  • For big launches, ping the PR team three months before.Β 
  • Work with the DC/OS community team to promote the product at events.
  • Are all documents updated? (docs, website, support, KB?)
  • Have we noted down all the constraints for the release? What is exactly supported - scale, caveats etc.?
  • Are release notes done?
  • Have we engaged Product Marketing?
  • Have we created Technical Enablement for the field team?
  • Have we trained the field team?
  • Are limitations clearly documented in the release notes, docs, and the product itself?
  • Are alpha/beta features marked as such?


  • Will this feature be supported by Mesosphere or the community?
  • Did we create documentation and troubleshooting guides for support?
  • Did the support team get trained?