Plan For the First 3 Months of Your New PM Job by DocuSign Lead PM, Suman Seshadri

Why are the first 3 months important?

Assessment Period where an employee needs to:

  • Earn the trust of the manager and the team

  • Build relationships

  • Establish credibility


Tailor the plan to match your unique needs

Role of a Product Manager

  • Understand the needs of the customer

  • Align teams towards a common vision/goal

  • Deliver value to the customer

Our goal is to get a quick win by the end of the third month.

Desired outcomes

1st month – Understand the big picture

2nd month – Dive deeper & Discover

3rd month – Get a Quick Win!

To be able to do this by the end of the first month, you must have a good understanding of the big picture, ie. a good understanding of your roles and responsibilities and how this relates to the overall mission of your company.
By the end of the second month, you will have a deeper understanding of your customers and their needs, and you will already have identified opportunities.
By the end of the third month, you will actually start to act to get a quick win.

What is a quick win?

Low hanging fruit which is fairly easy to get done that delivers positive results for your product/company.


  • Low level of effort

  • Low complexity

  • Low risk

  • Fairly easy to accomplish


  • Release a feature enhancement

  • Propose process improvements

  • Present a business case for a new tool

  • Build an experimentation roadmap

  • Get manual tasks automated

1st month

Understand the big picture

  • Role & responsibilities

  • Team

  • Org`s vision/mission

  • Business Model

  • Key Stakeholders

You and your company

You are a product manager, you are responsible for managing one product and it is important to understand how your product works with other products. There may be several products in your company, or there may be one product and you can be responsible for part of this product, and other managers are responsible for the rest, and it is important to understand what other managers are working on in order to understand how everything fits into the big picture of your company. In addition, there are other interested parties from other departments: marketing, analytics, engineering. You need to understand the company's strategy, the company's goals.

Sample questions for your manager

  1. Roles and Responsibility

    - What product(s) will I be managing?

    - What are my areas of responsibility?

    - What are your expectations of me for the next 1/2/3 months?

  2. Getting Started

    - Is there a strategy doc?

    - Is there a current roadmap?

    - Which stakeholders should you meet?

    -Who is responsible for what?

    - Is where an org chart?

  3. Style of management and communication

    - How frequently would you like updates

    - What is your preferred mode of communication?

    - How frequently should the 1-1 be set up?

  4. Working Team

    - Who are the people I will be working with on a day-to-day basis?

    -Are they all full-time / contractors / shared between teams?

    - Which vendors do we work it?

Questions to ask the PM team

  • What is your area of responsibility?

  • What are you all working on?

  • How do these project contribute to the overall mission?

  • How do you all share information?

  • What tools do you use?

  • Could you share the roadmap for each of your products?

  • Do these products work together or independent of each other?

Meet your stakeholders

Sample questions for stakeholders

  1. Engineering

    - Could you give me a product demo?

    - Could you go over the architectural design?

    - Do the systems scale?

    - Is the product fully instrumented?

    -How much is on legacy code versus on the latest stack?

    - Where do you see opportunities to improve the product for our customers?

  2. UX Research

    - Are there past user research studies/ survey results you can share?

    - What studies/ research is currently in flight?

    -What is the process to set up a new study?

    - How frequently do we get to speak with customers?

    - How can I get competitive news regularly?

  3. Analytics

    - What key KPIs are being tracked?

    - What is the formula being used and how are they calculated?

    - Based on the insights of the data? Where do they see opportunities?

    - Does your team help with instrumentation or is it a different team?

  4. Marketing / GTM

    - What marketing strategies are currently in place?

    - What are the lead sources?

    - How much marketing cost do we incur?

    - What is the GTM strategy for the upcoming release?

    - How do you see us working together effectively

The 3 C's and 4 Ps

You need to be familiar with the 3rd and 4th part.
3rd is information about the competitor's company, and 4th parts are the product, price, place and promotion.
All the conversations that you had within the company and with your customers should give more information about this. Who is your customer, what are their customer segments, what is the value proposition, what are your competitors, how does your company make money, how does your product make money, and what marketing channels are used? What is the pricing model? Maybe it's a fixed rate, maybe it's tiered pricing. All this will help you understand the big picture.

First Month: Understand the big picture

2nd Month

Dive deeper & Discover

  • Product(s)

  • Customers

  • Partners

  • Process

  • Tools
    Discover and assess the current state

Sample questions for your customers

  • Describe your buying experience

  • When was the last time you bought the product?

  • What do you love about the product and why?

  • What is challenging about the product?

  • How would you rate the effort taken to do the job?

  • If this product seized to exist, what alternate methods would you use?

  • Which other systems/tools do you use in your job?

  • What tasks do you need to do to accomplish your goals?

  • What would you like to see changed or improved?

Jobs to be done (JTBD) framework

Identify opportunities

The Opportunity Decision Tree is a visual representation created by Teresa Torres. First you need to determine what the desired result is, and then determine what opportunities will contribute to the achievement of the desired result. As soon as you have these opportunities, you will be able to come up with a solution. Thus, for a particular opportunity, there can be multiple solutions, and all of them will be part of this tree. For each of these solutions, you can build experiments that you can run to see which solutions are good to implement. Once you have that in place, you can determine which decisions to make and you can put together a complete roadmap for experimentation.

Example areas of opportunities

Factors for prioritization

Second Month: Dive deeper & Discover


Gather Feedback!

3rd Month

Get a Quick Win!

  • Execute to deliver the quick win

  • Measure the impact

  • Plan for the next 3 months

  • Get comfortable with your work

Third Month: Get a Quick Win!

Desired outcomes

Suman Seshadri, DocuSign Lead PM