"Streamlining Product Development: Asynchronous Planning and Earning Respect as a Product Manager"

Aviral Vaid

Aviral Vaid

Aug 07, 20234 min read


"Streamlining Product Development: Asynchronous Planning and Earning Respect as a Product Manager"


In the fast-paced world of product development, effective communication and planning are crucial to success. This article explores two key aspects of product management: asynchronous planning and earning respect as a product manager. By combining these two elements, teams can streamline their processes and create a culture of collaboration and innovation.

Asynchronous Planning: Harnessing the Power of Documentation

In today's global work environment, synchronous communication is often impractical and limits productivity. Asynchronous planning, on the other hand, allows teams to collaborate effectively without time zone constraints or scheduling conflicts. By leveraging documentation, knowledge becomes available 24/7, ensuring that critical information is accessible to all team members.

The Culture of Documentation:

To foster a culture of documentation, it is essential to encourage team members to search for information before asking questions and to write down their insights before sharing them verbally. This helps eliminate dependency on individuals and ensures that valuable knowledge is preserved even when someone is unavailable or leaves the company. By instilling this culture, teams can promote knowledge sharing and maintain a repository of insights and ideas.

The Role of Async Communication:

Async Communication serves as a message queue for people, enabling effective collaboration and task management. Within this framework, two types of meetings emerge: transactional meetings and social meetings. Transactional meetings focus on work tasks and aim to accomplish specific objectives, while social meetings foster team bonding and enjoyment.

Implementing Async-First Approach:

To embrace asynchronous planning, teams can adopt an async-first approach. This involves initiating any process as a Notion document, supplemented by tools like Miro for visual elements and Loom for screen recordings. By breaking down broad discussions into smaller, focused conversations, teams can maintain clarity and progress.

The Planning Process: Why, What, and How

Effective planning requires a clear understanding of the why, what, and how of a project. The why represents business goals, client requests, and overall company objectives. Only after comprehending the why can teams define the what, i.e., what needs to be built. Finally, the how addresses implementation trade-offs, considering factors like available resources and technical constraints.

Trade-offs and Task Outline:

The how section is crucial in exploring implementation trade-offs. Product Managers often collaborate with technical experts to assess various options and make informed decisions. It is essential to recognize the trade-off between building a fast yet mediocre solution and a more time-consuming but robust one. To conclude the how section, a clear outline of the technical tasks is outlined, ensuring alignment with the initial goals.

The Who: Project Management and Collaboration

As the planning process progresses, the focus shifts to project management and collaboration. Identifying the right individuals to execute the tasks and assigning responsibilities becomes paramount. By involving the appropriate team members, project managers can align skills and expertise with the project's goals and requirements.

Earning Respect as a Product Manager: Practical Strategies

In addition to effective planning, product managers must earn respect to foster collaboration and influence decision-making. Here are practical strategies to establish credibility and gain the trust of stakeholders:

1. Embrace a Learning Mindset:

Approaching a new product management role without preconceived notions can be advantageous. Embrace a learning mindset and leverage your fresh perspective to challenge traditional industry norms. By doing so, you can bring innovative ideas to the table and demonstrate your ability to think strategically.

2. Balancing Agreeability and Assertiveness:

Product managers often face situations that require balancing agreeability and assertiveness. While it is crucial to be open to different opinions and patient when deciding on strategies or product features, there are times when assertiveness is necessary. Applying pressure and asserting yourself when needed can showcase your determination to drive results and earn respect among team members.

3. Getting Shit Done (GSD):

Shopify's product principle, "Get Shit Done" (GSD), exemplifies the importance of action-oriented behavior. As a product manager, taking initiative, meeting deadlines, and delivering results are crucial for earning respect. By consistently demonstrating your ability to execute tasks efficiently, you establish yourself as a reliable and respected team member.


By combining asynchronous planning and earning respect as a product manager, teams can revolutionize their product development processes. Embracing a culture of documentation and asynchronous communication allows for seamless collaboration, while practical strategies for earning respect foster trust and productivity. Implementing these actionable advice sets the stage for successful product management and innovation within organizations.

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