If you’re like most product managers, the end of the year is when you take stock of your achievements and set goals for the coming year. But what about halfway through the year? Is it too late to make changes to your goals? Not at all! In fact, a mid-year goal review can be an invaluable way to stay on track and ensure that you’re making progress toward your overall objectives. In this blog post, I’ll share tips on how to prepare for your performance review as a product manager. Let’s get started!
Here are the six simple steps to conduct your six-month performance review.
- Block off time on your calendar to do a mid-year self-review
- Make sure your product manager goals are up-to-date
- Conduct a 6-month retrospective review
- Document specific examples of how you measure against these goals.
- Create a plan for addressing the goals you’re struggling with.
- Review with your manager
Step 1: Block off time on your calendar to do a mid-year self-review.
The first and most important thing you must do is make time for your self-review. Set a recurring reminder to conduct a 6-month review so that you remember to do this twice a year.
Block off 1-2 hours for this work. What gets scheduled gets done, so make an appointment with yourself to do the work.
For more on time-blocking, check out this blog post.
Step 2: Make sure your goals are up-to-date.
Let’s be honest. Many of the goals you set at the beginning of the year are probably no longer relevant. Companies are continuously changing their priorities, especially when economic conditions are volatile.
If a goal is no longer relevant, scratch it off the list.
Have you been assigned new projects not captured in your goals? If so, add those using the SMART framework.
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Actionable
R = Relevant
T = Time-bound
If you need more help in creating effective product manager goals, you may find this blog post informative.
Step 3: Conduct a 6-month retrospective review.
It all starts by doing a personal retrospective. You’re probably used to doing these with your product teams at the end of a sprint. The same principles apply to yourself.
Take a moment to reflect on the past twelve months.
This will help you understand where your time is going and how you can make changes to improve your productivity.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What have I done well so far this year?
- What have I learned so far this year?
- What could I do better?
Step 4: Document specific examples of how you measure against these goals.
Going back to the SMART framework for goal setting, how have you progressed towards achieving the goals you set for yourself this year?
Depending on how you are measuring success, find the data you need to quantify your success.
I recommend keeping track of these types of results weekly in a log that you can update easily. Mine is in an Evernote notebook. Do whatever is easiest for you.
Step 5: Create a plan for addressing the goals you’re struggling with.
It’s great to celebrate your wins, but if you want to grow your career as a product manager, you must also proactively work on developing your skills and bridge any gaps that may exist.
If there are specific skills you need to work on, consider asking your manager for help. Many companies provide stipends for skill development that you should take advantage of.
If you’re struggling to meet specific goals because you depend on others to achieve them, I encourage you to rewrite those goals in a way that allows you to be in direct control of your success.
Step 6: Review with your manager.
After completing your self-review, meet with your manager to go over your results. Many companies have a standard review process, so hopefully, this is the case with you.
If not, let your manager know that you must periodically review your goals to ensure they align with how well you’re doing.
In the meeting, share the goals, what you’ve done well, and what you would like to work on in the coming six months.
Be prepared to ask for specific help to get the training you think would help you grow as a product manager and achieve your goals.
Be sure to help your manager understand which goals are outdated or no longer relevant.
That’s it! Those are the steps you need to take to conduct your six-month performance review. If you want help setting up your goals or reviewing them with your manager, feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to chat with you about how you can best achieve your product management objectives. Click here to book a career strategy call.