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What no one says about collaborating in a product team

Here are some things that can help you collaborate better with your team

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." – Helen Keller

Nowadays, the new norm is working from home or, at most, hybrid working. We tend to see that much collaboration is needed; without it, we might not get as much work as required to meet deadlines.

What does collaboration look like?

Collaboration is when people come together to contribute their expertise to benefit a shared goal. Collaboration is similar to teamwork. Teams that work collaboratively often access greater resources, recognition, and rewards when facing competition for finite resources. Today, we will be looking at the things no one says about collaborating as a product manager. Does teamwork really make the dream work? Keep reading to find out.

There is a lot more to collaboration being a product manager than just having technical skills. They're great collaborators that can forge bonds with their teammates and customers. Many product managers think technical knowledge is crucial in building a product management team. While that is great, it limits the possibilities of getting other perspectives from different people. We have all heard the saying - "There is no "I' in a team." Having to extend beyond your role and create collaboration with other stakeholders is fundamental.

What are the benefits of collaboration?

  • It improves interpersonal relationships: collaboration builds relationships, allowing diverse groups of people to accomplish tasks that they weren't able to do alone.

  • It sparks innovation: The collaborative process helps teams brainstorm new ideas to improve the business.

  • Collaboration builds stronger teams: You can accomplish one goal when you work together. Everyone's strengths are harnessed; where someone might lack, their weaknesses are concealed.

  • It enhances productivity: People who work collaboratively remain engaged longer than peers who work alone, report less fatigue, and report higher rates of success.

You might be wondering whether you have the skills to collaborate. Let's look at them below:

Skills you need to collaborate as a product manager

  • Communication: Make sure you communicate your intentions before tackling a project or assignment. Keep your teammates informed of your progress and set realistic expectations about how long it will take you to complete your work.

  • Empathy: A product manager's ability to recognize and solve people's problems goes a long way toward success in collaboration.

  • Problem Solving: problems can arise without one person being blamed, so focus on analyzing the issue calmly as a group. Instead of blaming, seek solutions.

  • Self-awareness: It's essential to examine your biases and consider if you are being fair to your team. Considering the needs of others over your own preferences makes you a fair and impartial leader.

Several tools available can help you, as a product manager, communicate effectively and virtually - in addition to email with your team members. Check them out below:

Tools that can help you collaborate better as a Product Manager

  • Notion: Notion is built to make it easier for teams to collaborate, organize, and ship projects faster. The Notion software lets you share your Notion pages with your teammates. Your group can collaborate on shared content regardless of where they are, what time of day, or what device they use. You can also keep track of what your teammates are working on.

  • Slack: There are several tools you can integrate into slack that will harness real-time collaboration with your teams. It allows you to streamline workflows and processes and collaborate with other groups outside your team.

  • Miro: Team members can use Miro to develop innovative ideas and collaborate more effectively, whether your teams are fully remote or in-person.

  • Figma is the design platform for team collaboration, but it does not limit non-designers from using it. It is user-friendly for all kinds of teams making cross-functional collaboration.

We have looked at the benefits of collaboration, skills needed to help collaborate, and the tools that will help you collaborate better as a product manager. Collaboration might not always go the way we want to, but there are certain things we can benefit from it, which we have looked at above. Many of those interactions will be dead ends, but there is more to gain with the right team. When you bring the right skills to the table, adopt the right mindset, and incorporate the right digital tools into the mix, magic can happen. There is more power coming together to achieve great things. So, we can say that teamwork truly makes the dream work.

Want to accelerate your career in product roles? Learn and gain industry experience by launching products in a cross-functional team. Check out PMDojo Product Accelerator

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