What should a new Scrum Master ask the Product Manager? Here are some suggestions that also provide a view on the product manager’s duties. I do not agree with all questions and all proposed answers, but it is definitely inspiring.
Addendum: I have created a resource stash for all things related to Software Product Management!
There has been a discussion about whether to hire product managers that have product management experience or to hire product managers that explicitly do not have this experience. This article highlights the arguments in favour of PM experience:
Good (great) product managers bring a critical mix of technical talent, business insight and market/customer/user insight
Even startups have product experience, even if there is no dedicated PM role
Subject matter experts have no PM skills
Product management is harder than you might think
“A weekend at the dude ranch doesn’t make you a cowboy.”
Yerrie Kim speaks about how to act as a product manager in the early stage of product development and how to act in the growth stage of product development. She highlights the dimensions Technology, Customers and Team.
There is pretty much insight in the speech, but the difficult thing would be to realise when to move on from early phase to growth phase. This is not a sudden change but rather an evolution.
I recently wrote about product managers for enterprise product. Now it’s time to write about product managers IN an enterprise.
Things are pretty different in large enterprises compared to fast and small start-ups. You need to be patient, accept a much higher grade of complexity, and do some other things, as explained in the article Product Management Career Resilience.
This is a highly interesting article, since it does not contain the usual differences between a product manager and a designer. It contains a guide for designers on how to work with product managers (and make their lives easier). The format is the following:
- What is a product manager, what is his job, how does he/she think?
- What can I do as a designer to make his job easier?
I nice read from a different perspective.
The article What Product VPs At High-Growth Startups Have In Common illustrates what high-profile product managers are like. Interesting to read in case you want to copy some of their behaviour 😉
- Senior product leaders at high-growth companies have paid their dues.
- Engineering backgrounds are optional.
- Product leaders at high-growth startups are pretty darn smart.
- These product leaders may be ‘CEO of Product,’ but most have never been a CEO.
- Rich Mironov was right – not everybody cares about hiring someone with executive-level product management experience.
- And *sigh*, yes – most of these product leaders are men.
The phrase “Women in tech” is nonsense. It simply does not matter whether someone is female or male. We all work on great products.
However, men and women sometimes behave differently. A seasoned female product manager speaks about her keys to success:
- Find and use quantifiable metrics
- Be demanding and vocal
- Embrace your fear
- Find a mentor
The speech in included as a video.
There are so many job descriptions and blog posts claiming that the product manager is the CEO of the product.
I usually disagree, because the product manager has many more limitation of freedom, compared to a CEO. The role is also somewhat different, though admittedly there are some similarities. Now The Clever PM (who is hopefully also inspired 😉 shows another reason why the product manager is not the CEO of the product: The CEO leads by authority, the Product Manager leads by influence. How true this is.
You may have notice the link from Ellen post that I quoted last week about How to deal with Software Engineers. Hilarious, yet so true…
Product Management is fun. There are some dark sides, however, that you simply need to cope with, as Ellen wrote in her post “The Dark Side of PM:
- Your work doesn’t have the same inherent rewards.
- People don’t understand your work.
- You give more recognition than you get.
If you’re fine with these drawbacks, welcome to Product Management!