It’s been 3 months since I started my new role, so I figured it was time to cover what I’ve been doing. It is a lot.

Setting up the product function in a new company is one of the best opportunities I’ve been given. It’s fun, exciting, challenging, stressful, stretching and satisfying, in all the right ways. I’m massively grateful for this chance to shape something, and to play my part in realising a vision with these methods.

Perhaps you’re thinking of making the leap from mid-level/senior to the leadership tier. Here’s what I’ve been up to. As the first product manager I’m wearing multiple hats – researcher, designer, delivery manager, analyst, and product manager – and living a dream.

Things I started

  • My new job at Claimer, so I’ve been learning lots about the domain – and there is a lot to learn
  • A product wiki, including our playbook, guides on how we discover and deliver products, how-tos on supporting users, our research library, product & design principles, plus notes on our design systems and analytics pipeline
  • Our team ceremonies, including a framework for managing those inside Notion
  • Some user research into common problems claiming R&D tax credits as an early-stage tech startup
  • An agenda for product check-ins
  • An incident management and out-of-hours support process
  • The hiring process for another product manager – and I’m delighted we’ve hired someone excellent
  • A workshop to highlight some actions we can take to better live our ‘Self-improvement’ company value
  • A new element in our company culture, encouraging new joiners to write a Manual of Me
  • Designing and delivering a user-facing feature to manage team members
  • Discovering and designing the features for our internal-facing MVP

Some puzzles

  • Becoming a part of a product community – though I do have two ideas on this
  • Working with a Founder/CEO – I’ve never done it before, but we’re blessed by a healthy relationship
  • Establishing and growing our product culture, or how we do product – again, never done it before but it’s going well so far
  • Explaining how I do product – though I suspect it’s something you show rather than tell
  • Being a product leader, but I’m cautiously confident about this

Other things

  • I had a good summer, felt peaceful and positive, and realised I want to live near nature long-term
  • Our beloved black cat, Macs, was run over on 30 September, and I miss him a lot – RIP 🐈‍⬛
  • I went on holiday to Austria and ran 1,000m up a mountain, which was super fun
  • We learned that travelling to Europe by train is great for the environment but that you absolutely need to break down long journeys into parts: use sleeper trains and one-night stopovers to counteract the stress of delayed trains
  • Started training for a marathon
  • Signed up to an ultra-marathon (50 miles) – lol
  • I added a Subscribe by email link, so you can receive my new posts by email