StartUP SF: Defining Product Management

StartUP Product TalksI was pleased to lead the discussion at the StartUP Product Talk on 16 May at Atlassian‘s SF offices, hosted by ProdMgmtTalk’s Cindy Solomon and Atlassian PM Nick Muldoon.  About 45 people networked, ate pizza, and joined an energetic discussion.

We built a quick topic backlog voting up suggested topics, addressing these in order (kicked off with a few slides to present my own biased view of product management):

  • Product Owners vs Product Managers: focus, market input, and organizational models
  • The importance of technical skill sets for B2B and B2C product managers
  • Working with developers
  • Transitioning from project management to product management

Nick took extensive notes, and Lisa Winter tweeted discussion highlights.

A few thoughts that had resonance for the group:

  • “Agile will consume much more product management time – which is good. But if all you do is sit with your team,then EOJ (“end of job).”
  • “If you’ve never ridden in a car with someone who has a quota you don’t understand sales.”
  • My biased view of hiring newly minted MBAs: I’d rather wait a year or two, after they’ve had their egos deflated and humility refreshed by real jobs.
  • Project managers and product managers look at the same problem from different sides.  Project managers try to hit unrealistic deadlines with insufficient resources by reworking the plan.  Product managers cut features or push out deadlines, knowing that revenue will suffer.  Together, they get to practical solutions.

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