Bad news and how to deal with it

We’ve seen examples recently in the press of companies trying deal with bad news and the damage it can cause to an organisation, brand or product. So how should a product manager deal with bad news about their product?

There are some basic rules to follow that minimise the risk:
Scale it. Work out the size of hole you’re in.  Properly understand the issue – the scale, propensity, impacts, etc. You can’t dig your way out of a hole if it keeps getting bigger.
Share it. Be honest about the problem scale. Nothing undermines your credibility more than the constant drip of new information.
Plan it. Describe a credible high-level plan to deal with it.
Communicate it. Give regular updates and detail as you execute the plan.

We’d prefer no bad news, but how you handle bad news will significantly determine the impact