S2E8 - Micro-edition | The First 90 Days as a New PM


In this edition we try to answer another really popular question that we get from both new or more seasoned Product Managers. How should I approach my first few days, weeks and or months? I’ve decided to answer this question into parts. This edition will focus on answering this question for Associate Product Managers or product people with less than five years of experience. In the next edition, I will tailor my answer for product leaders.

As always we appreciate you sharing this newsletter if you think it could help a peer of yours improve their product skillset.

Q: Why 90 days, why not 30 or 2 weeks? Where does 90 days come from anyways?

The concept of planning the first 90 days of a transition or new roles was really canonized by the book “The First 90 Days” by Michael D. Watkins . The original text was aimed at senior leaders. But since its first printing the idea of planned first 90 days has been democratized to the point where it should be considered at for all levels during a time of transition to a new role or organization.

Interestingly, I haven’t found why 90 days as the period vs 30 or 60, but one can sagely assume that the time period selected is what on average it takes to be fully onboarded see assimilated in a new organization.

Photo by Gia Oris on Unsplash


Q: I just got a new Product Management job, initiative. What should I do in my first 90 day?

Most important thing to remember is to plan and be deliberate. Don’t rush into it. For an Associate Product Manager take a look at the 30-day plan coming later this week. If you have a few years of experience or more, the a 90-day plan should be what you strive for. A good 90-day plan will be centered around the following:

  1. Getting an understanding of your product, the customer and your industry quickly but deliberately
  2. Getting an understand of the center of powers, the priorities and your allies within your organization
  3. Establishing and executing on high level goals

Those outcomes on a 90 day plan look like this:

Day 1-30:

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