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Product

We use product management best practices to help teams deliver sustainable outcomes.

We have a wide range of skills, including:

Documentation

Communication

Find us on Slack:


Joining the Product team

Welcome to the 18F Product team — we’re happy you’re here! We’ve compiled a set of helpful tips to get you started.

First week

You probably won’t be assigned to a project in your first week or two. That’s okay and expected. There are some general government onboarding tasks that you will have to do, which the onboarding lead from Talent will guide you through. We also have some internal reading to help you get up to speed with TTS, 18F, and the product team. You should also take this time to get to know your teammates, by scheduling 1:1 video calls (known as “virtual tea”) with people.

If you’ve completed your onboarding checklist and still don’t have an assigned project, you can shadow a product manager on a current project or work on an internal project. Talk to your supervisor to get more information about how you can get involved with pairing or an internal project.

Who we are

The 18F Product team consists of experienced product managers. We come from a variety of backgrounds, including government, non-profits, consultancies, and corporations.

Structure

As per the org chart, the product chapter consists of three subteams. Each subteam is led by a supervisor, and you will be assigned to a subteam during your first week. Supervisors work part-time on projects, and provide a first level of managerial support for the product chapter. Your supervisor is your first point of contact for support, project advice, and career discussions. They also support the chapter director with staffing, hiring, training, and cross-chapter initiatives. Supervisors are selected through a nomination and review process that is open to anyone in the chapter.

Members of the product team are also assigned to facilitation groups. These groups meet regularly to discuss work in progress, share learnings across projects, and collaborate on chapter level initiatives. Facilitation groups are aligned with supervisory groups; all PMs in a facilitation group share the same supervisor. Facilitation groups can also include people outside of the 18F Product chapter who want to participate in 18F’s product community.

What we do

Product managers at 18F have four primary objectives:

How we work

Rituals

Most of the product team works on a mix of partner projects and internal initiatives, so everyone’s weeks look a little different. However, we make time to get together regularly.

Communication channels

The product chapter communicates primarily in Slack. 18f-product@gsa.gov is a low traffic Google group for all members of the product chapter. The chapter director will add you to this list —- no need to worry about registering.

Tools

The TTS handbook lists the tools we use the most. If you can’t find what you need, reach out in the #product or talk to your supervisor.

Before you start using any new tool, please check the full list of approved tools. If what you want to use isn’t there, you’ll need to ask in #infrastructure first. New tools often create hard-to-anticipate security problems.

Here are a few particularly useful essentials:

Suggested reading