How to Stay Current & Implement by Amazon Sr PM, Nidhi Kannoujia

The Learning Process

What does it mean to study? You can learn something completely new, even in a short amount of time, but it won't be a deep dive, but you can learn enough to feel comfortable talking about it. Therefore, there are stages of learning.
This triangle shows from top to bottom how you move from what you don't know to basic mastery of a skill or topic.

Levels of learning (top to bottom).

“I can explain how I do it with ease to others.”

“I can do it with ease.”

“I know how to do it but I need to concentrate.”

“I know that I don't know.”

“I don't know that I don't know.”

Teaching is the highest level of knowledge of any skill on a topic. When you can teach, answer questions on the topic, handle different scenarios, then you will reach the level of mastery.
You should start by finding out what you don't know and then try to reach the level of proficiency that is required in that particular topic.
There are some points that you should pay attention to as a product manager.

Learning as a Product Manager:

  • Must: Continuous learning is not optional. It's a must.

  • Awareness: Be aware of what you know and what you don't know! Don't be blind – sided.

  • Purpose: Learn with purpose. Prioritize what will give you the strongest foothold.

  • Perspective: Gain broader perspective. Your resources are not limited to books and structured courses.

  • Ready for Unknowns: You are building the future, there will always be unknowns!

How to ACQUIRE Knowledge?

  • Make Time for Learning!

  • Decide between High-Level vs Deep-Dive.

  • Follow MVP Approach

    • Keep your knowledge viable at any point in time.

    • For deep-dive topics, first get a high-level view, then go in details.

  • Use Mix of Resources

    • Whitepapers, Tech docs, Websites, News searches

  • Be an Efficient Reader. Follow One-Touch Approach!

    • Use keyword search

    • Notice where the key details lie in a resource format

      • eg Summary tables in analyst report, the subtitle and middle section of tech news, infographics

  • Keep a Open Questions Doc

How to RETAIN Knowledge?

  • Centralize Your Takeaways

    • Keep one doc, one drive, one folder to centralize

  • Link Your Findings

    • e.g. a data-point you just came across links to a specific concept or message. Keep record of these mappings.

  • Highlight Your Notes

    • Save your docs and references with text highlights and takeaways to make finding details easy.

  • Archive and Refresh

    • After certain period, revisit your learning, keep the needed references and archive the rest.

How to USE Knowledge?

  • Map Problem Statement with Your Learnings

  • Refer to Your Docs and Notes

  • Follow Tiered Approach

    • Know the key details that well that you can teach!

    • Know the next level details that well that you can explain with a tool.

    • Know deep-dive details that well that you can refer back and explain.

    • Keep raising the bar on each level of details!

Master the Step-by-Step Process

Learning, changing, and mastering knowledge is a continuous step-by-step process, and we all go through it when we try to learn something new.

Nidhi Kannoujia, Amazon Sr PM