Climb, circle, communicate, confess, comply. All these are meant to assist a pilot who has lost orientation; they give you an opportunity to look at things from a different view - hence the climb and circle. However, if that isn’t sufficient, you need to admit you are lost and contact flight control where you communicate your situation, confess your mistakes and comply with their instructions.
This has prompted me to create the 3 C’s of product management: Communication, consensus building and collaboration. These three are applicable in various stages of product development.
Concept: when you are embarking on a new product idea communicate with all stakeholders so that everyone is aware of and understands the new road ahead. Build consensus between all parties so that you have a buy in from management, sales, marketing, engineering,and support. Finally, collaborate with all departments to make sure you are on the same track and supporting each others’ efforts.
Development: in this critical stage, communication is key. Address issues early in the process and prevent them from becoming major hurdles later on. Consensus is achieved when you know which features will not be part of your final product and collaboration goes without saying.
Release: your communication is outward facing; customers need to be informed of your product and what is included (as opposed to what was anticipated and may have been scoped out). Build consensus with your sales team as to how best sell the product, and collaborate by training your sales force and customers on how to use your product.
If at any point during the process things go wrong, communicate - make sure everyone knows what is going on, build consensus as how to proceed, and collaborate. With an informed team everything is possible, even turning a product around.