Tell me about a time when your team had multiple projects under development and you realized the team may miss a serious deadline. What was the situation, and how did you resolve it?
Prioritization depends on n number of factors, and therefore, there can’t be an “ideal” solution.
However, there are some key principles you can deploy when answering such questions. Ensure that the example you pick from your experience showcases these principles.
1. Balance short term and long term
This way, you can ship immediate customer value, but still have systems that are executable in the long term.
2. Scalable solutions are better than one-off solutions
Scalable solutions can be easily expanded, resued, and upgraded on demand.
3. Automated solutions are better than manual solutions
More efficient, timely, accurate, and consistent.
4. Must-have more important than nice-to-have
Always separately track required features and wish lists.
5. Function more important than interface
This is not to say that usability issues are not important. Rather, functional issues should take a higher priority.
6. Long-pole project takes priority over parallelizable project
A long-pole project can only be done serially, while a parallelizable project can be divided among multiple team members and conducted simultaneously.
7. Escalate when needed
After trying all prior steps, if the priority issue is still not resolved, ask leadership for help.
1. Analyze business impact and urgency
These 2 factors are the most important, but they are sometimes independent.
2. Explore all options, including time, efforts, and resources needed
There are always different paths to accomplish the same goal. Detailed analysis will tell which is the best.
3. List out the pros and cons of each option
There are always trade-offs. A good TPM should consider all possibilities.
4. Make strong judgment and act quickly
Dealing with ambiguity is critical, so a good TPM should be comfortable making decisions and pushing the team forward.