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Evaluating PM Performance by Shreyas

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How to Evaluate & Communicate PM Performance

A better framework for evaluating the performance of Product Managers.
To run a review using the Insight-Execution-Impact framework, copy and customize my , which you can later share with your direct report.
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The Problem: Rigid PM evaluation systems

Traditional ladder-based PM evaluations are ubiquitous, but they are also fairly broken because:
They ignore the stage of the product the PM is working on, and therefore ignore the fundamental fact that product management is very different for an entirely new product initiative vs. a growth stage product vs. a mature cash cow vs. a declining product requiring a turnaround.
At larger companies, these ladders are implicitly written with mature products in mind (because most of their PMs are working on such products). This incentivizes short term wins & moving metrics by [X] basis points, and disincentivizes risk taking and doing the right thing with ambiguous, early-stage products
They don’t make it easy for the manager and the PM to align upfront on what type of work and progress is most important in the coming 3 / 6 / 9 months and even more importantly, how that progress will be evaluated
Because of this, these evaluation systems often end up working against the company’s overall best interests of driving innovation, avoiding disruption, and retaining their most talented & ambitious people.

The Solution: the Insight-Execution-Impact Framework

The Insight-Execution-Impact framework gives you a better approach to evaluating PM performance. A key part of this framework is to recognize the stage of the product that the PM is working on, as the PM role, skillsets, and capabilities needed are very different across product stages.
Please refer to for a simple and compelling way to understand & talk about product stages (here’s a on this topic).
Managers can use this doc to structure ongoing career conversations with team members, align on expectations for the coming evaluation periods, and then provide written performance feedback based on the template below.
Towards the second half of my time at Stripe, I used the Insight-Execution-Impact framework to evaluate PM performance on my team, to have performance & career conversations with team members, and for written performance feedback in our standard tool (Workday).

Evaluating across the 3 dimensions

Some of the inputs to consider when answering these questions are a combination of subjective and objective measures such as manager assessment, peer reviews, leadership perception, quantitative impact, etc.
When talking with your PMs, try to give them concrete examples of where the gaps are, what you expect from them, the evidence you need to see to know they are performing at a certain level, and examples and resources that will allow them to get to the expected level.
Always use your judgment based on your company context.
Dimensions & Key Evaluation Criteria
Evaluation Criteria

💡 Insight

How well do you understand your product, users, customers, and domain?
How well do you translate this understanding into compelling strategy and product proposals?
How well do you translate them into goals, priorities, and plans to stir action?

🛠️ Execution

How did you deliver on your high priority ships (i.e. P0/P1) for the evaluation period?
How well did you communicate and collaborate with your team members, cross-functional partners, and other teams?
How consistently does the overall quality of product features shipped by your team meet the company’s bar?

☄️ Impact

What is your business impact, as seen via the leading indicators? (e.g., beta adoption, customer satisfaction, major deals signed, feature usage growth, UX metrics, etc.)
What is your business impact, as seen via the lagging indicators? (e.g., revenue, user growth, margin, cost savings, customer upsell, large customer deployments, etc.)
How did you make your team, org, or the company better?
There are no rows in this table

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