Leading without functional or domain expertise

We are remodeling our bathroom and I have to ensure that the work is done right and within a reasonable time and cost. But I have zero experience in construction! So how can I do this well?!

This is the predicament of product managers and leaders as well - they are responsible for product outcomes and quality, without having the functional expertise in engineering, design, or GTM.

Here’s what helped me with remodeling and product management -

1. You can be the curator and editor, even if you aren't the artist. You can bring an eye and taste for great work and craft; not just the end deliverables, but also how the sausage is made. You develop this through curiosity and interest, and by working with amazing people who can show you what's possible.

2. Make the goals, vision, and milestones crystal clear for everyone involved, and be an effective communication bridge. This will help the team avoid wastage and frustration because of miscommunication and misunderstanding. 

3. Help your team chunk the work into smaller complete, shippable milestones so they don't feel overwhelmed. This also helps you realize the benefits and catch problems early and along the way.

4. Ask your team to share plans, estimates, and quotes. Keep asking how we can make it simpler and more successful. The exercise of planning helps the team get more clarity. More details make it easier to understand and pressure test the plans.

5. Check in regularly to review and share progress against the plans. You anticipate and fix problems, blockers, and escalations.

6. Recruit and partner with capable functional leads and team members. You can assess people, hold a high bar, and influence hire/fire/promote/reward decisions thoughtfully and decisively.

7. Keep the team motivated by celebrating and rewarding good work, painting an inspiring vision, establishing an effective and healthy team culture, and just being someone people want to work with.