product management

Projecting Your Voice as a Tech Product Manager by Lewis Lin

Recently I was asked:

How important it is for a product manager to project his or her voice at work in tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon?


Yes, you have to project your voice as a product manager. Here’s why:

  1. If your audience can’t hear you, engineers and executives (E&Es) can’t understand your point of view.
  2. If they can’t understand your point of view, you can’t influence E&Es.
  3. If you can’t influence E&Es, you can’t be an effective product manager.

If you’re not comfortable projecting your voice, try the following:

  1. Work on exercises to increase the volume of your voice. My presentation skills coach would have me say a phrase. Should would rate my volume from a scale of 1–10. Then she would say the same phrase and tell me that her volume is a 7 or 8, so I can calibrate my volume appropriately.
  2. Get comfortable speaking up. Sometimes projecting your voice is not just about volume. It’s about speaking up in a group where everyone is fighting for airtime. Here’s a game you can play to get more comfortable speaking up: at every meeting, set a goal of asking three questions. Questions are easier to ask in a crowded room (vs. making a statement). Do this enough, and you’ll find yourself more comfortable speaking up. You’ll also find that you’ll be more engaged in an otherwise boring meeting.
  3. Find alternative ways to make your point heard. Even if you’re not a master at projecting your voice in a room, you can make your point heard in countless number of alternative mediums including sharing your thoughts in email (no limit on how many you can send) or influencing others in a 1:1 scenario.s1


Customer Journey Map: The 5Es Framework by Lewis Lin

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map reveals the step-by-step process of a customer's experience. It helps designers, product managers, and engineers to understand how customers interact with your product and uncover opportunities for improvement.

Do you have any customer journey examples?

Here are some of my favorite customer journey map examples:

What customer journey map template do you recommend?

My favorite customer journey map framework is the 5Es framework.

What is the 5Es framework?

The 5Es is an acronym and checklist to help brainstorm different stages of the customer experience. The 5Es helps you build a customer journey map quickly and easily.

Here are the 5Es:

  • Entice. What event triggers a user to enter into the UX funnel?
  • Enter. What are the first few steps in the UX funnel?
  • Engage. What task(s) is the user trying to accomplish?
  • Exit. How does the user complete the task?
  • Extend. What follow-up actions occur after the user completes the task?

A customer journey map can help you uncover product improvement opportunities.

Do you have an example of applying the 5E framework?

Here's a customer journey map example, based on the 5Es framework. For more examples, refer to my book, PM Interview Questions.

Does my customer journey map need to be elaborate?

Make the customer journey map as elaborate as it needs to be, no more. 

A good customer journey map is less about whether it's aesthetically pleasing and more about whether it helps you:

  1. Empathize with the customer
  2. Discover product improvement opportunities

Furthermore, if you are drawing out a customer journey map at product manager job interview, keep your time constraints in mind. The customer journey map should only be one part of your overall product design answer.