Many product managers operate in an environment where there is an absence of a product leader or chief product officer. Others work remotely and operate without a solid management anchor. This podcast discusses the challenges and opportunities for product managers without a product leader.
The “No Head of Product Syndrome” is where product managers are scattered throughout a complex organization, but lack an executive-level product leader who can to create conditions for success: drive good hiring/mentoring, create bits of semi-standard processes, and set achievable role/job expectations.
10 questions from The Clever PM for his blog series including ‘What piece of advice would you share?’ and ‘What are the biggest challenges for Product Leaders? and ‘Biggest differences between smaller startups and larger companies?’
Individual product managers are focused on their individual products/services, but product leaders need to think about their organizational context: how do we get things done? What motivates each functional group and how do we align incentives? Can we get out ahead of inevitable resource conflicts?
Recruiters and hiring managers wade through a tall stack of incoming resumes, most of which are not at all a fit, and often miss subtleties. Strong candidates may need to work around the process to make an impression and get hired.
New product managers have often studied the daily mechanics of the product development process, but tend to be light on soft skills, product strategy, organizational savvy, and market insight. Where do they get into trouble?
Heads of product management teams worry about a different issues than their individual-contributor product managers. More organizationally focused, less product-focused. What’s at the top of their issues backlog?
VPs of Product Management have to create the conditions for individual product managers to succeed. This includes organizational, process, hiring/mentoring and cross-functional leadership — plus buy-in at every level. What goes on a new VP’s checklist?