Four Levels of Prioritization

Uncategorized Feb 21, 2020






In product management, I often get asked two questions:  “How do I go and become a product manager?”, “How do I get into Google as a product manager?” and “How do I prioritize features?”


In this video, I am sharing with you, not theories or frameworks, but the four levels of prioritization.  As you climb these four levels, you get more and more effective as a product manager. Do these four levels and you will soon notice that your efficiency have dramatically increased and you start doing more strategic things. 


So let’s get started.


First level: The basic level which is when you prioritize things essentially ticket by ticket.  It is where you break down the users’ story into all the engineering tasks, prioritize, sequence and categorize the tasks.


Second level: The must-have, should-have and could-have.  Here you start prioritizing by features...

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How to summon your highest energy for 2020

Uncategorized Jan 19, 2020

In this video, I am sharing this one key that made it possible for me to accomplish a lot more than ever before.  It’s learning how to get re-energized fast. This is very dear to my heart and I’m sharing it with you. Do these easy steps and you’ll be amazed at the number of tasks you can accomplish.

There are three main things that I do:

First, know how to structure your day so you are doing similar activities together.  When you transition from one activity to another that are so different in nature will cause you to lose more energy.  Start bucketing your like activities together. This step has been so critical for my success in 2019 and allowed me to deliver what’s really important for my team.

Remember, we don’t lose energy working through the day.  We lose energy from transition.

Next, transition to the activities well by setting your intention right for those activities.  Be clear on your output and why it’s...

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Setting You Up for Success in this New Decade

Uncategorized Dec 27, 2019


It’s time for 2020 and a whole new decade! If you have new year resolutions planned out - there is a high likelihood that they will fail. How about taking a strategy that will make them much more likely to succeed?

In most cases, the resolutions fail because they go against how we see ourselves.  The habits we stack in our life, which we think will contribute to our success, are not congruent with the future identity anchored in our brain. They are often at odds with each other. Here’s an example that will help illustrate this point:

Say my goal for 2020 is to coach a thousand product managers. To realize this goal, I need to think of the identity that represents one who coached a thousand product managers. I have to think of myself as a business owner or an entrepreneur. So now, my goal and the future identity that I want to assume are congruent with each other.

I want you to focus not on the goals but the identity you need to take on to succeed....

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It’s okay to doubt yourself as a Product Manager

It started on a weekend. I suddenly started worrying about a new feature we were beginning to work on Monday.

All sorts of questions started to emerge. Did enough customers need this feature to justify building it? Had we understood the requirements enough? Did we have the right support from other teams? What if we were going to do a lot of work that would be worth nothing? What if?

I wish this story were atypical. I wish that I was hit with doubt and second-guessing myself less often.

Or do I?

Doubt serves like a set of brakes. They help you from running off the road, but in excess, they can slow you down tremendously.

So seek not to eliminate doubt but to optimize it.

There are five things you must do to optimize doubt:

  1. Recognize when your sense of uncertainty causes you not to take shots that can change your life
  2. Have empathy for yourself when you doubt yourself
  3. Learn to step into roles
  4. Own your successes
  5. Build your support systems

Recognize when doubt causes you to miss...

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Habit change as a design exercise

Uncategorized Nov 17, 2019



Learn to Successfully Design Your Habits Easily

Previously, I’ve talked about building habits using pure willpower and the danger of anchoring on this alone to develop new habits.  Today is about the different ways with which you can start building really awesome habits. These tips are based on two books that truly inspired me: The Power of Habit and Atomic Habits.

First off, understand that your habits link to your identity.  How you see yourself will be reinforced by the habits that you adopt.  Full disclosure, I have for myself 8 statements that I read each morning in which I anchor my identity. The more reinforced the identity gets, the more improvement you will see over time.  This is fundamental in establishing habits.  

Make them obvious.  Implementation intention is the key here.  Identify a regular time, a place or a situation when you will do the new habits.  The easiest way is to tie a new habit with an...

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How to Get More Information by Listening Better

That One Skill Every Product Manager Should Have

We are the voice of the customer and we cannot play this role unless we understand the customer. The most vital skill at play here is our listening skills. Engaging our customers, our teammates and anyone we are talking for any purpose cannot happen unless you get deeper in to the conversation.

I am going to share with you the framework I use to listen better and have those much needed deeper conversations so I can get the information that people don’t normally share.

I call this framework SOAR.

SOAR  will help you start to get better, and start to see that momentum where you’re building up your skills as a product manager.

Full Transcript

Hey this is Shobhit, founder of International Product Manager and today we are going to talk about how do you listen in a way, how do you engage your customer, your teammate, anyone who you’re talking to in a way such that you get more information, you get deeper into...

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Six Product Development Mistakes That Slow Teams Down

Six Product Development Mistakes That Slow Teams Down

What product managers should do instead.

Image by DNA02 from Pixabay

This article is based on “The Principles of Product Development Flow” by Donald Reinertsen, and my experience following his principles.

Using Reinersten’s principles, these are what I think are six common mistakes Product Development teams make:

  1. They often do not use a useful metric for prioritizing projects (Hint: there is one that works better than most others)
  2. They do not make decision principles readily accessible by everyone
  3. They try to maximize utilization instead of optimizing outcomes
  4. They try to minimize variability without understanding the implications
  5. They minimize disruptions rather than reducing total work in progress
  6. They don’t clarify what role each person plays in product development and how to leverage them best

1. The importance of prioritizing projects

If you asked most teams what is most...

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Focus when distractions show up

focus productivity Oct 25, 2019


How do you focus even when distractions show up?

  1. Realize that it's not just the pull of distractions that causes you to move towards them, but its that the thing you are trying to work on is uncomfortable. That discomfort pushed you towards the distractions. Next time, observe and pay attention to these feelings.
  2. Note the distraction. Carry small sticky notes with you where you can note these distractions and come back to them later. Doing this activity enables your mind to compartmentalize these distractions
  3. Use curiosity. Pay more attention to that particular thing what you are working on. Try to find something unique you have not noticed before and get curious about your work. That will enable you to get deeper into the job you are doing and help you keep away from distractions.

I encourage you to use these techniques in conjunction. I am confident that within one week, you can master them and start to see significant improvements in your ability to focus.


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How to Master Difficult Conversations

A person’s success in life can be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.—Tim Ferris

Have you ever avoided a conversation that you know that you needed to have? Has a desire for comfort taken you off the direct path to achieving your goals?

Or even worse, have you ever had the difficult conversation, and then felt you came out worse as a result?

As a Product Manager, you are likely to face more difficult conversations than people in other positions. Examples include stopping work which no longer aligns with top priorities, giving feedback to others, negotiating roadmaps, and apologizing when you dropped the ball.

Mastering “difficult conversations” gives Product Managers superpowers. You get confidence to advocate for new product ideas, drive changes in how your organization functions, and are enabled to lead your group.

I would argue that if you are not...

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How to Apply Michael Porter's Concepts and Thinking

Uncategorized Sep 23, 2019

I used to love Boston Sports club. I remember paying something like $95 a month for it and loving it despite the relatively high price point.

And then I heard, they dropped their prices. Slashed them to $19.95 a month in 2015. And on top of that members hated them.

And now, they seem to have made their way back to a higher price point of $49.99 a month+.

At the same time, Planet Fitness charges ten dollars a month. And OrangeTheory can run over $200 a month.

So why the pricing gap? How can companies have such different price points for what seems to me the exact same product.

At the same time, I happen to read “Understanding Michael Porter” on a recent Porter Airlines flight to Toronto.

Porter, porter everywhere

In this post I summarize Michael Porter’s concepts, including competition, the five forces, value proposition and value chain, and fit. Concepts that...

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