In addition to learning from your own experience, it’s often useful to know how other professionals in your field coped with particular management questions and challenges. That’s when Quora, the popular Q&A service, comes in handy. From its massive knowledge base, we made a selection of threads with the most stirring and insightful discussions on project, product and team management. Check them out – maybe you’ll find the answer to the question that stole your sleep! And don’t be too shy to contribute your own thoughts and earn some karma points from the fellow Quorians ;-)
1. What are common mistakes that new or inexperienced managers make?
Doing your homework about others’ mistakes might save you from bigger or smaller failures in your own experience. Read this thread to know what organizational, communicative and other traps a beginner manager needs to avoid, such as, for example, taking the credit and forwarding the blame. Some of the answers might interest management pros, as well.
2. What questions should one ask oneself on a regular basis to make one's product better?
When you’re working hard to improve your product, adjusting your course could be easier if you had some check list at hand. Discover what questions and check points product managers came up with to create a precise product development compass.
3. What is the single most important aspect in creating and managing a high-performing team?
The biggest number of votes here belongs to Dave Carvajal, a popular business consultant and advisor to top VC firms, who said that the only way to get people to do something well is to get them to want to do it. Check out the thread for more details on how to make it happen, as well as some other interesting opinions.
4. What should a product management team do to share best practices and learn?
As one of the commenters mentions, sharing best practices is something that any team larger than two people should be concerned about. See which of the suggested conventional and creative methods of knowledge exchange would work best for your team.
5. What are the best ways to get a stagnated project going again?
Suggested solutions range from just re-naming the project to completely abandoning it. But, as product management veteran Cliff Gilley emphasized, the first thing you have to do is figure out why the project got stagnated in the first place. What’s your remedy against project stagnation?
6. How long is your backlog?
It’s a touchy question for all of us involved in product development. As you can learn from the commenters’ experience, prioritization is not enough to keep your backlog under control. Peek in the thread for more solutions.
7. What are the three qualities you liked most about the best manager you ever had?
At first glance, this thread might seem like a Hall of Honor for people’s favorite bosses. But if you look closer, you may see it as a source of some tips on earning your team’s love and respect. After all, we bet most managers, secretly or not, long for their team’s appreciation.
8. What are some good tips for 1:1's with your employees?
One-on-one meetings with your employees are not just helpful for resolving work issues. Apart from that, they might be a good way to increase your employee’s engagement. The thread revolves around various ideas on making such meetings work best for both parties.
9. How can I delegate efficiently?
Delegation is one of the most important (if not mission-critical) skills for a manager. However, according to our recent survey on working habits, more than 50% of managers either have trouble sharing work or prefer doing everything by themselves. If this seems to be the case for you, too, don’t miss this thread.
10. How can you run a great meeting?
37 answers – looks like there are plenty of examples and recommendations to learn from! For instance, one of the tips from the top-rated answer is to start every meeting by tackling short and easy topics.
11. What are some creative ways to recognize employee performance?
Sometimes just saying “thank you” is not enough, and giving a cash bonus might be beyond your authority. But as you can see from Quorians’ answers here, you just need some imagination to come up with cool new ways to appreciate your workers.
And as a bonus…
Of course, Quora isn’t only about work. It has lots of threads that are just fun to read while you’re having your morning coffee. For example, here’s a discussion that made us smile: What does it feel like to be a project manager on the Death Star construction site?
Did you come across any other inspiring threads or feel like an important management aspect got left out? Don’t hesitate to add to the list!