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A 90-day Plan for New Product Managers


NOTE: The following is a guest post by Ninon LaForce. If you want to submit your own guest post, click here for more information.

I was asked  to formulate a 90-day plan for a new Product Manager role. This role was created to drive the strategy around the “right mix” of partners and solutions in a new emerging technology area. A 30-60-90 plan shows a potential employer how you plan to hit the ground running and can set you apart during a competitive interview process.  Here is my plan:

Before The Start Date

  • Obtain all information relevant information I can find to get up to speed on what is happening with the organization (e.g. annual reports, website, press releases, internal contacts if I have them). Also get a good understanding of what is happening in the industry.

Day 1-30: Learn my way around and get to know the team

  • Meet with my manager to identify top priorities for my department and what is expected of me. Set up a time for weekly status meetings.
  • Meet with each member of my team to learn their role, challenges and opportunities. Find out what they expect of me and how I can help them.
  • Meet with as many top influencers as possible and ask them valuable suggestions about my role and about navigating the
  • Learn the corporate systems, the internal workings of the company and read the company policies and procedures.
  • Attend any orientation or training offered.
  • Review the list of existing partners and study what is known about them, how they have been performing, etc.
  • Subscribe to industry online news, thought leadership, and any other industry online resources.
  • Go to lots of meetings and offer to help on small initiatives.
  • Read as much as possible and study to continue to improve industry and product knowledge.
  • Draw up the logical value chain (ecosystem) for the industry and find out as much as possible about each value step and how the organization adds value (or could add value).
  • Listen and take lots of notes.

Day 31-60: Take ownership

  • Meet with my manager for a first 30-day review. Ensure I am focusing on the right activities and adjust as necessary.
  • Take ownership of some projects.
  • Contribute my thoughts/ideas on how to streamline industry partners and programs.
  • Make a list of activities/project that will contribute to meeting the department objectives and set up a plan to reach the goals.
  • Go to lots of meetings and begin to run some of them.
  • Continue to build relationships.
  • Begin to write materials (drafts)
  • Continue to learn and read as much as possible.
  • By this time I hope to have uncovered some promising unexploited opportunities for growth and have begun to figure out how to exploit them.

Day 61-90: Begin to take on more of a leadership role

  • Check-in with my manager for a first 60-day review. Discuss how things are going, review progress on projects I am involved in and offer new ideas. Reach agreement on how to move forward and secure sufficient resources to get things done.
  • Obtain constructive feedback from team members on my progress.
  • Start to recommend new partners.
  • Use my integrative thinking and propose new solutions or better ways to add-value to partners or programs. Ensure the
    strategies I am proposing match the business environment.
  • Share my ideas on developing new ways to reach out to partners and engage with them.
  • Start making decisions.
  • Take a fuller leadership role.
  • Start being a resource to others.
  • Keep a focus on problems/projects/activities that are priorities. Create some momentum in a positive and collaborative way.

I consulted the following resources for the formulation of my 30-60-90 plan. They are:

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels
by Michael Watkins, Soundview Executive Book Summaries, 2004.



Thoughts on my plan would be appreciated. Please do not hesitate to comment.


Tweet this: A 90-day Plan for New Product Managers – http://wp.me/pXBON-34i  #prodmgmt

Note: This article was originally published on Ninon’s blog – Product Edge — in 2011.


  1. Kellie Jones

    I’m a big fan of Michael Watkins book which you reference. One of the things I’ve tried to do is achieve small wins to gain credibility with the team and internal stakeholders. Gaining that initial credibility is key to start having success with bigger initiatives since you typically need internal support to achieve them.

  2. Carolyn McClain


    Very good plan. You didn’t mention how long you have been a product manager. If you have a few years of experience, you may well be able to take ownership of some projects sooner than 30 days.

    Also, I suggest that you reach out to some of your leading-edge customers for their input. I have always found that understanding customer problems and pain points first hand is extremely valuable. (Do be sensitive to possible resistance by sales and be sure to set expectations that this is a fact-finding visit.)

    Regards and keep us posted on your progress!

    Carolyn McClain

  3. Simona

    Plans are always good, but what do you do when you need to take decision within your first 30 days?

    I faced this problem and I must say that it’s not easy, especially if you like to based your decisions on facts.

    I still think that every problem is a new challenge and from each situation you can learn and be better, so I hope that this will help on the long term…

  4. org

    I would add the following to the plan:
    At 30 days: Get to know the market segments and personas.
    At 60 days: Read reviews of customer satisfaction.
    At 90 days: Get introduced to customers to understand their pain points.

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