PM Peers FAQ
Thank you for your interest. As we get this program off the ground, there are going to be some questions.
Click to read answers in our current list:
+ Why did you start this group?
Like many Product Managers here in Chicago, I hadn't found a good place to turn to when I need help with my craft. I believe there is a shared need for a community of our peers where we can connect with other smart people who understand our unique challenges.
+ Isn't this just another Product meetup? What's different about this?
Many of us frequent the existing PM meetups in the area and would probably agree that they are serving a different need. Even as a member of this group, I would continue to attend ChiPMA events for example to hear panelists speak on broader product management topics.
I don't think the city needs another venue for people looking to break into Product Management or who simply want to network to improve their chances of landing a new gig.
The PM Peers group brings together practicing Product Managers who genuinely want to help each other be more successful at their current jobs and advance them forward in their larger careers.
+ How often does the group meet?
The PM Peers meet in person once a month to share experiences and help each other with specific needs. The meetings are lightly moderated to work through member-requested topics and to welcome new members to the group.
+ What goes on at these meetings?
The meeting format is intentionally simple so that it scales based the size of the group assembled at each meeting and so that any member could take the lead and run the meeting.
The meeting agenda balances open, unstructured dialogue with topic-based discussions. After a 20-30 minute casual reception, smaller groups of 6-10 form to tackle specific, product-related conversations based on formal requests from the group.
All members are encouraged to actively participate during these meetings.
+ What rules do you have for the group members?
Only one: Members must contribute and commit to helping their Peers
The group will grow organically and we encourage existing Product Managers to apply to join the group. We encourage new Peers to contribute to the larger pool of experience by sharing any specific skills, tools, talents, resources, etc they have with their Peers.
+ How do I apply to join the group?
Click here to submit an application. We are very responsive and will notify you of our decision within 5 days.
+ How big is the group?
We piloted the PM Peer group in December 2015 with a small group of Product Managers and the group continues to grow with each monthly meeting in 2016.
We have many Peers here in Chicago and I would like to think our ranks would grow considerably in the months ahead.
+ How will the group grow?
In terms of the in-person events, it is too early to say for certain but there is likely an upper limit to the number of attendees for this kind of gathering.
When we have more than 20 members at a given meeting, we break into several smaller groups. We have fashioned the meeting format specifically to accommodate this.
+ Can I invite/refer new members to the group?
This program is predicated on a willingness to share advice and experiences with Peers in your same field. Members are encouraged to invite new Peers that are equally committed to strengthening the larger community.
+ Do I need to be at a meeting to give/get help?
We are currently looking at the value of using a simple mailing list to keep discussions going and to capture/share ideas between meetings.
+ Are you capturing any of this great knowledge exchange?
We have given some thought to capturing and preserving the activities of the group. Like most of the details around this program, we are very early in the definition of this. I would like to think we can build a repository over time that helps our members.
The Repository could be an online resource for group members and would showcase the available skills and talent available in our Community. At the conclusion of each meeting, for example we might save a brief report to the Peer Repository.
+ Beyond contributing to the meetings themselves, how can I help?
Contact me directly with any ideas. I need feedback from the Community.