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.
Technical Build versus Buy decisions should be straightforward, but we need development collaboration and motivation to get these right. What emotional barriers do we hit, and how do we address them? And how do we become better students of organizational behavior?
Product managers must be part of the (enterprise) selling process. But selling and learning are hard to do at the same time with the same customer. How do we create separate learning opportunities with a wide range of customers and prospects to deeply understanding markets, segments and fundamental needs?
Various product management schools, workshops and certificate programs strongly suggest that attendees will get jobs as product managers. Success metrics seem critical here, but are notably missing. “Of the people who’s already spent thousands of their own dollars on this course, how many are now working as product managers…?”
It’s easy to believe that broadly available commercial products don’t give us exactly what we want, but that our internal team can quickly whip up precisely the right thing. This ignores some fundamental economics of software commercialization.
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?