Certainly this is relevant more before escalation but wanted to share here from experience at work. Building relationships with other teams’ PMs and being humble in asking for their suggestions on your approach, problem will help PM get the required support without need to escalate. Other PMs can suggest a better solution or a good compromise. In worst case, when it is needed to escalate they will know that deadline, request is not pushed by the PM but his/her manager, i.e. which will be beneficial to keep good relationships for future.

Expand full comment

This was useful – I like how actionable the advice is.

Expand full comment

Great advice. The thing that strikes me is the very human nature of prioritizing what an executive has to say. This of course has risks - I don’t want to mess up prioritization based on my whims. But if I stay objective, then that sets the tone for the whole organization.

Another thing is to watch for repeating patterns that’s a sign of an organizational gap. In which case the organizational gap needs to be addressed.

For example, in the beginning with one of my new PMs who was basically a lawyer, the engineers found it difficult to agree with him for some obscure reason (he was an excellent communicator). They simply ignored what he had to say, and even his updates in tickets went unchecked at times. Maybe it was lack of respect - not uncommon.

In this case I had to help build his relationship with the engineers until he was able to operate without frequent escalations. I would casually join standup when he informed me something was off and play dumb and ask questions that immediately exposed the gap - and course was corrected.

With time, the engineers came to build a better rapport with the PM and fewer escalations were ever needed.

Expand full comment