The Cranky PM’s identity revealed

I noticed recently that the CrankyPM closed her blog – I am very sorry about this, as she usually wrote extremely witty posts. However, she revealed her identity and started a new blog on Product Management and software design! We can probably read a lot more from her and I really look forward to it.

Should a product manager be a project manager?

I see some companies with product manager that are also project managers. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this double-role?

Pros:

  • No need to hire a project manager (or product manager) – saving money
  • All customer project requirements are developed – satisfaction of a particular customer

Cons:

  • Features that only a single customer needs are built – feature bloat
  • The product manager is distracted of his/her original task – distraction and unavailability
  • Product managers and project managers have opposite goals, and maybe even financial targets. The product manager is responsible for a commercially and technically feasible product, while the project manager is responsible for on-time delivery of a project. (By the way, sales have yet other goals, so don’t make product managers or project managers part-time sales people.)

The last disadvantage is the most important to me: Product managers and project managers have different goals that can hardly be matched. Therefore, I recommend every company not combining the two roles.

How to hire a good designer

Last week I shared a post on how to hire a good Product Manager. But there are not only product managers in a good team (and developers, by the way), but a designer is usually also part of the team. You may also call the UX expert, UI specialist, or the like. But there needs to be someone who turns the product manager’s mockups into real UI.

Bokardo has a post on How to hire a good designer.

  • Always be building relationships.
  • Portfolio, portfolio, portfolio.
  • Can they tell a story?
  • Are they designers all the time?
  • Know what motivates designers.
  • Understand their current pain.
  • Have them hang with the team.
  • Do design exercises.
  • Reach out yourself.
  • Trust your team.
  • Can they critique/take criticism?

Read the details in Bokardo’s post.

Blog Revival

Dear readers,

time has passed, I have read many posts and thought about many things. Now I believe it is time to revive this blog!

I will post interesting links and thoughts on software product management every once in a while. Maybe I will not be as timely as I used to be, but maybe you will like it anyway. I look forward to every reader of this revived blog!

SaaS Operating Metrics

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or cloud services, is a market on its own. Traditional metrics do not fully apply. KISSmetrics provide an infographic showing:

  • Revenue growth rate
  • Average revenue per employee
  • Sales & Marketing Spend
  • Growth and Marketing Spending relationship
  • Growth and Marketing Efficiency relationship

Product Management Mistakes that you need to prevent

The Cranky Product Manager returned and she brings us a list of common product management mistakes that we need to prevent. Even experienced PMs make these mistakes. Among the items on the list are:

  1. Not meeting with enough customers often enough.
  2. Allowing a piece of shit to ship.
  3. Making the product hard to buy or up-edition.
  4. Being afraid to draw pictures.

See the full list here.