The 5 most important people you should meet regularly


  • Frequency: 1x a week
  • Meeting type: One-on-one (1:1)
  • Goal: You should talk to your manager once a week in a 1:1 setup. During these conversations, focus on:

1. Sharing progress to create alignment: talk about what you’re working on, the current status, the next steps, and the blockers (if any)
2. Getting extra business context: managers have access to other leaders, additional business context, and more information about the business. Use this time to get the relevant information from them. Use this context to align your work with the larger goals.
3. Getting feedback: use this chance to identify opportunity areas or weaknesses. Ask for specific and actionable feedback that will help you move to the next level. Document your manager’s suggestions, and review them together at least once a month.
4. Aligning on career aspirations: be sure to share your career aspirations. Discuss 6-12-24 month goals and collectively agree on a path to get there. Do this once a quarter

Engineering Manager (EM)

  • Frequency: 1x a week
  • Meeting type: One-on-one (1:1), Team syncs, project syncs
  • Goal: use these meetings to do the below:

1. Align (and re-align) on who does what: the PM-EM relation is critical to making a product successful. And to make the relationship work successful, it is essential to clearly define the responsibilities, ownership areas, and expectations from each other.
2. Be on the same page: share and seek details on the progress of ongoing tasks and projects. Ensure that both of you define progress the same way. What is “on track” as per them should not be “behind schedule” as per you. Once you’ve aligned on the definitions, identify the things working well and the things that can be better.
3. Business updates and customer feedback: you, as the PM, have more exposure to business stakeholders and users. As a result, you possess information that engineers do not. Share that extra information with the EM – help them understand the business perspective like you do.
4. Create the way forward: at least once a month, review progress against the annual/quarterly plan or OKRs. At least once a quarter, brainstorm on what you should do in the next 6-12 months and define critical milestones.
5. Other issues: focus on creating a culture of transparency. Discuss all issues that could impact critical deliverables – like team’s skill gap, hiring plans, churn, performance issues, etc.

Skip-Level Manager

  • Frequency: 1x a month
  • Meeting type: One-on-one (1:1)
  • Goal:

1. Build a relationship: typically, PMs do not have a lot of overlap with their skip-level managers. But they should. So, meet with them at least once a month, and use the time to strengthen your relationship with them. Get to know each other – find out what they like, what professional values they care about, and what qualities they dislike.
2. Get feedback and define success: share critical projects you’re working on and get guidance on how to make them successful. Remember: your skip-level manager strongly influences your professional success (aka promotion). Hence, you must understand their definition of a successful PM and do everything that fits it.
3. Align on priorities: Understand which initiatives have high impact and high visibility for the future. Ensure that you work on these initiatives.
4. Share feedback: if you have feedback about the team, your manager, or processes, use this meeting to voice your opinions candidly. Don’t complain. Instead, get their guidance on how to navigate such issues.
5. Share big ideas: if you have big ideas (and you should) that need senior executive buy-in, share them in these meetings. This is an excellent forum for you to share your enthusiasm and creativity and get early buy-in.


  • Frequency: at least 1x a week
  • Meeting type: daily stand-up, weekly syncs, show and tell, retrospectives, project updates
  • Goal: Irrespective of which meetings you meet engineers, try to do all of the following:

1. Build strong relationships: take the time to know how every engineer works, what they like/dislike, and what is important to them personally and professionally. This extra information will go a long way – it will enable you to build strong relationships, which will empower you to create and ship world-class products.
2. Create transparency and trust: when you build the product, some things work, some fail, and some do not see the light of day. To learn from each experience, you should openly discuss the reasons for success or failure with the team. And you, the PM, should lead by example: be candid in sharing why you failed, why users are unhappy, or why senior leaders think the last release wasn’t good enough.
3. Share business context and user’s point of view: engineers are the closest to the product since they’ve built it. They need to know what the users and the senior leaders think about the product. You, as the PM, have access to this information. It is your responsibility to share it with engineers regularly.
4. Ensure high quality: PMs and engineers are collectively responsible for creating world-class and high-quality products. As the PM, work with the EM to create values that focus on developing high-quality products and then work with engineers to ensure that every product stays true to the values.
5. Build empathy: it is essential to know why engineers think as they do. That enables empathy. Empathy builds a deeper understanding between PMs and engineers. And that promotes efficient and impactful product development.

Business Stakeholders

  • Frequency: 1x a week
  • Meeting type: One-on-one (1:1)
  • Goal:

1. Seamless execution: You need support and input from many non-technical stakeholders to ship high-quality features regularly and seamlessly. The best way to get this support is to create transparency. Meet your stakeholders and share the roadmap, timelines, and the specific help you need from them. Do this regularly to get the required support from stakeholders and make the execution as seamless as possible.
2. Drive alignment: To get support for your vision, you need key stakeholders to buy into your vision. To get buy-in, you need to share ideas, the roadmap, next steps, and, most importantly, the business context behind your ideas. Once they know what you know, the chances of them believing in what you believe are much higher. Use these meetings to share ideas and drive alignment in the long run.
3. Get feedback and build collaboration: involve them early and get feedback on your ideas and roadmap. Use their knowledge to make your roadmap better and of high quality. Doing this frequently will create a strong team culture and an open environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas.
4. Be respectful of their time and ideas: always respect their time and opinions. They will do the same.
5. Strengthen your relationships: meet with them even in the weeks when you do not have an agenda. Use the time to build and strengthen your relationship with them. A strong relationship helps in creating an impactful roadmap and successfully executing on it.

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