Complaints about roadmapping processes may really be about the results. If we want more features/releases faster than Engineering will commit to – or can deliver – then no roadmapping process will get us the results that we want.
Executives are often unclear about what a VP of Product Management does, and therefore the skills and experience to look for in candidates. Here are six aspects of the senior product job that tilt toward experience and organizational skills – rather than pure technical brilliance.
While our functional/departmental co-workers are stuck in the issue-of-the-day or this week’s sprint backlog or customer escalation #847, there’s a need for someone (often a product manager) to look a few months ahead. To do scenario planning. To apply previous experience. To take the long view.
There’s an infinitely long list of things that product managers ‘should do.’ Take a look at any product management framework or job description. We rarely say, but clearly know, that it all can’t get done. How can we effectively delegate?
I’m struck by the words people choose, and by how their pronouns reflect their management style. In particular, I’m working with a team that’s been hungry for leadership and trust – and is now blossoming. This provides me with an excuse to recap what we all (should) know about leadership, trust, and how the words we use shape the behavior of our organizations. A thoughtful choice between “I” and “we” and “you” is a reflection of the workplace emotional temperature: are managers and executives motivating line employees to do their best, or “throwing them under the bus?” Are we rewarding cross-functional cooperation and market impact, or angling for promotion and impressing our peers?
Recently, I put up a small assessment tool for product management teams. This tool is intended to generate discussion and highlight areas for team improvement. Several PMs had follow-up comments and questions along the lines of “what should we do if we’re scored ourselves poorly on a specific item?” There are no generic prescriptions for improvement, especially in product management. It’s worth drilling into an individual item or two, though, and imagining how we might analyze the situation and take corrective action.