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Self-Assessment Template here.

Note: Each stage includes the skills of the previous stages. 

StagesCommunicationDiscoveryDevelopmentDelivery
/pm/1
Trainee PM
  • Practices team communication by using structured tools like PriM to communicate project statuses
  • Comes to 1:1s prepared with a list of ideas, questions, topics for coach/mentor/supervisor
  • Practices effective note taking skills by volunteering to record key points and action items at team meetings
  • Agendas
  • Announcements
  • Notes
  • Some follow up with team members/stakeholders
  • Scheduling eg doodle and follow up
  • Records questions/ideas as they arise
  • Learns the OpenMRS Personas and Site Profiles
  • Watches what users do by:
    • Attends at least 1 User Interview & debrief with a PM buddy/mentor
    • Shadows at least 1 User while they're using the product, either virtually or in person
  • Attends team whiteboarding/ brainstorming sessions
  • Practices writing draft user stories
  • Learns the key components of Agile: the Agile Manifesto, Principles, and History - since this added to the foundation for mainsteam Product Mgmt
  • Uses Jira to create and track issues: 
    • Observes priotization process & contributes questions about priority levels
    • Observes & contributes thoughts to Sprint Planning & Backlog curation
    • Practices leading a weekly jira review of new tickets or the RefApp backlog (eg clear definition, triaged to the right people, labelled with relevant labels)
  • Communicates why regular releases are important
  • Release: Support drafting release notes
  • QA: Manual workflow testing
    • Practices applying the SURE TEST framework for high-quality manual testing 
/pm/2
Associate PM
  • Customer Focus: Often communicates "what is the customer's focus here?" (Customer = Implementer, End-User, Funder, etc). Practices communicating the "why" of user stories; frequently uses phrases like "this is a priority for users because...".
  • Structured Communication: Regularly communicates specifics w Team and Devs; e.g. by using tools like SBAR to communicate tricky situations, and PUTT to communicate effectively with their software team members.
  • Stakeholder Communication: Supports PM with updates to stakeholders, can independently share updates in Squad.
  • Learning: Reads 1-2 intro PM books. Attends 1-2 Product-related webinars or conferences. Shares & discusses articles with PM. Meets Product Manager(s) from other organizations to learn about their Product Management experience.
  • Industry Summaries: Summarizes the busines/user/industry needs you're hearing, and the user feedback (e.g. themes)
  • Cultural Safety in Meetings: Identifies cultural dynamics in sharing ideas, e.g. through tips in "Power Distance and Pauses: Being a good global colleague on calls"
  • UX: Builds relationship with team designers, sketches ideas (handdrawn or basic Wireframes, eg PPT slides); UAT: Build protocols; User Interviews: Review examples of UX testing
  • Persona development, User Shadowing - NIHITO, User Interviews (with PM or on their own as they get more confident). Contribute persona-based thoughts to designs. 
  • MVP Scope: Can define an MVP that will add value to users & allow experimentation, without being complex. Questions what should be part of "MVP": Identifies in-scope for pre-defined MVP vs out of scope
  • Team Ideation: Whiteboarding/ brainstorming sessions - participate
  • Design Systems: Can briefly explain Style Guide & Design Systems, and knows how to reference them & where to find info
  • Dev Understanding: Basic understanding of different environments (e.g. local --> prod)
  • Issue Tracking: Creates clear tickets with clear User Stories (& prioritizes the "why"), Organizes tickets within epics, follows up on their tickets and tries out features as their built to give team feedback.
  • Sprints: Participates in Sprint Planning & Backlog curation led by other(s), supports with bug triage
  • Prioritizing: Suggests priority levels based on understanding of personas & MVP goals. Calls out scope creep. Prioritizing problems basedon what you hear from users with minimal input from PM.
  • Roadmap: Can assemble a basic roadmap for a few weeks to a few months in the future. Owns a roadmap for a product they're owning.
  • Metrics: Suggests & ideates possible metrics for products or features they're supporting
  • QA: UAT, Acceptance Testing for the tickets they create, Basic understanding: What can be automated
  • Release: Drafts release notes independently, focusing on value-added to users. Proudly share feature updates with users & team, & tie back to pain points.
  • Marketing: Join sessions with higher level PMs to observe & contribute marketing material ideas
  • Metrics: Identify ~2 product metrics & set up a lightweight dashboard.
/pm/3
Intermediate PM
  • Leadership: Engages their teams & colleagues around a vision & clear roadmap (Resource: Done/Now/Next)
  • Relationships with Engineering & Design Colleagues: checks in regularly to unblock developers & designers, expresses interest in their work, looks at their work and gives feedback quickly
  • Stakeholder Communication: Keeps users & stakeholders up-to-date, outside the OMRS community as well
  • Voice of the User: Regularly asks and answers, "What can we do to ground this in the customer's needs?" Frequently reference personas, user stories - bring problems to life for the team. Clearly communicates key problems the team needs to solve.
  • Roadmap: Lead creation & communication of roadmap, from 1 month to 1 year ahead
  • User and Customer Knowledge: Communicates expertise on her target users/customers
  • Product Operational Knowledge: acknowledged expert on how her product actually works. Effectively demos to prospective customers, trains new customers, and handles live customer support inquiries.
  • Ownership: Proactively takes ownership of understanding pain points and opportunities / gaps in the market. Leads MVP roll-outs and experimentation. 
  • Interviews: User Interviews & User Research & more thorough with User Testing protocols. Regularly communicate with Design members about findings. Stakeholders express that the product manager understands their concerns and constraints
  • Sketches: Napkin artist. Wireframes (PPT, Balsamiq, Figma). 
  • Design Systems: Regularly references Style Guides & Design Systems - consistency, components
  • Brainstorming: Facilitates whiteboarding/ brainstorming sessions
  • Vision: Discuss and clearly present the project/product/feature Vision with users, stakeholders.
  • Business and Company Knowledge: Understands the various dimensions of the Org's business – e.g. marketing, sales, finance (both revenue and costs), services, legal, privacy, etc.


  • Pipeline Understanding: Basic understanding of CI projects & build processs
  • Releases: Set Timelines reasonably, Communicate timelines to team & customers
  • Sprints: Leads Sprint Planning & Backlog curation with minimal oversight
  • Prioritizing: Organizes work by priority with minimal guidance. Repeatedly calls team attention to "the Big Rocks".
  • Metrics: Plans metrics to set up & prepare to track before release. Works with dev team to build & review metrics Dashboard(s) for the project/product/feature(s).
  • Release: Can independently create & distribute release notes --> proudly shares feature updates & communicates how the features help solve users' problems
  • Marketing: Materials with value prop in that resonates with Personas; Strategize how /where people should hear about product
  • Metrics: Identifies and tracks a small suite of impact metrics
  • QA: Communicates with team about QA plan, overall product acceptance testing, idenfities some automation opportunities (Understands importance of automation for smooth and regular release)
/pm/4
Independent PM
Starting Management: Oversees colleagues at the Entry, Associate, and Intermediate PM levels

Team Collaboration Skills: How effectively does the product manager work with her developers and product designer? Is it a collaborative relationship? Is there mutual respect? Is the product manager involving the developers and designer early enough and providing them direct access to customers? Is the product manager fully leveraging her team’s skills and minds?

Stakeholder Management Skills – How good is the product manager at managing her stakeholders across the company? Do they feel like they have a true partner in product that is genuinely committed to their business success? Has she established mutual respect and mutual trust with each stakeholder, including the senior leadership of the company?

Evangelism Skills – Is the product manager able to effectively share the product’s vision and strategy, and motivate and inspire her product team, as well as the various stakeholders and others in the company that must contribute to the product in one way or another?

Leadership Skills – While the product manager may not actually manage anyone, she does need to influence and inspire people, so leadership skills are important. Is she an effective communicator and motivator? Do her team and her stakeholders look to her for leadership especially in stressful situations?
Look for ways to capture kpis
Use existing metrics
Workflow documentation (process diagrams, user flow diagrams)
Strategic Planning
Discuss and decide Vision with stakeholders

strong understanding of the product risks and how to address each of them? Does she understand how to tackle risks up front, before engineers are asked to build? Does she know how to solve problems collaboratively? Does she focus on outcome? Does she understand and utilize both qualitative and quantitative techniques?

Data Knowledge – Is the product manager skilled with the various data tools and considered by her product team and her stakeholders as an acknowledged expert in how the product is actually used by users?

Industry and Domain Knowledge – Is the product manager knowledgeable about the industry and domain? Does she understand the competitive landscape and the relevant industry trends?
Issue management: Keeping clean and relevant
Understand how to communicate needs to QA team, early

Product Development Process – Does the product manager have a solid understanding of the broader product development process including discovery and delivery, as well as the product manager’s administrative responsibilities as the team’s product owner?
Knows impact metrics
Success Review
Shares impact

Product Delivery Techniques:
While the product manager’s primary responsibility is discovery, she still has an important supporting role to play in delivery. Does she understand her responsibilities to the engineers and to product marketing?

Product Optimization Techniques – Once a product or new capability is live and in production, does the product manager know how to utilize optimization techniques to rapidly improve and refine her product?
/pm/5
Senior PM




This framework was developed thanks to input and inspiration from:

  • suruchi dhungana , OpenMRS' first ever Product Management fellow
  • Grace Potma
  • Empowered: Ordinary people, extraordinary products by Marty Cagan, 2021
  • Cracking the PM Career: The skills, frameworks, and practice to become a great Product Manager by Jackie Bavaro & Gayle Laakman McDowell, 2021
  • Inspired: How to create tech products customers love by Marty Cagan, 2018
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