This 21 Aug 2014 talk was for SV-Forum’s Engineering Leadership SIG (EL-SIG): a monthly forum where engineering leaders share expertise, wisdom and experience.

Topic: “Product Management is Not Optional



– Product management is about doing the right things. Engineering is about doing things right
– Prioritization is political and strategic as well as algorithmic
– Symptoms of weak product management and how Engineering can help

We looked at some ways that missing/underpowered product management (product ownership) can manifest itself through high interrupt rates, unstable backlogs, incomplete user stories/requirements, and poor team understanding of customer problems. Or building and shipping underwhelming products.

This also included a not-so-subtle invitation for Engineering VPs to identify product management as an essential element of engineering’s success, and therefore to help lobby for sufficient/trained product managers.  We had a lively discussion, some opposing viewpoints, and a few laughs.