Calum Shepherd     speaking     consultancy     archive     feed

Product Management Blog

Listen, Understand & Nudge

Joining a service when the team have been through discovery, alpha and beta phases together can be challenging.

It’s a team that’ll have bonded through some tough times, and come together to solve problems with their users.

There are no fires to put out, so what do you do in the first 30 days?


I took the first two weeks to listen as much as possible, with as many people as possible.

It’s amazing what you can learn when you care about what the other person has to say.

Ask questions, and listen - product, people, process, technology and finance are good places to start.

Immerse yourself.


Listening helps you understand, which in turn helps you make sense of things.

It’ll be an iterative process in the first few weeks. You’ll think you’ve got it, then you will realise you don’t - and that is OK.

You’ll want to know about the organisation, stakeholders, service proposition, user needs and so much more - it’s a lot to make sense of and understand in such a short space of time.

Beginning to understand things is bringing all this together into a coherent whole.

Don’t rush.


It’s time to begin to make small interventions, where you feel those interventions will be valuable. You can work with individuals where there is something specific, helping move things in the right direction - nudging things in the right direction ;)

Collaborate with the team as a whole to tackle bigger things - such as new problems to solve or questions to answer.