Enterprise (B2B) sales teams deal with the world one account at a time; product managers deal with whole customer segments. This naturally creates some friction, which good companies anticipate and manage.
ProductTank Dublin is hosting a short discussion on product managers, product owners and scalable models for agile product teams. This is usually a large, loud, opinionated group — so should be exciting and unpredictable.
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?
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.
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?
There are a lot of inputs to product strategy including advisory boards, customer forums, sales teams and ROI prioritization algorithms. None are sufficient on their own: we have to develop and apply strategic judgment, and test that in the marketplace.
Conway’s Law is an old but useful idea: the organizational structure of software teams shows in their code. The technical architecture grows to look like the org chart. In broader terms, how we group people and delineate teams has a real impact on the products we produce. How does this apply to product management teams?