Product Manager you are – The Discourse #1

This is a summary of a foundational article that I read back in 2015. It so eloquently explains the multi-faceted role of the Product Manager.


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Product Manager You are...

👑 CEO

Being a CEO is a misnomer. You don’t have the final authority of a CEO, but you do in terms of responsibilities.

You don’t have to make decisions alone. But you have to guide all the stakeholders to arrive at the best decision to move the product along.

🏈 Coach

The book ‘High Output Management’ talks about how a manager has two roles - motivation and training. That's also what a coach does. A coach knows the strengths and weaknesses of each player. Using that knowledge, you're able to coach them to be better.

Developers and designers that I’ve worked with have often referred to me as their mentor. When you hear this coming from them, you've succeeded.

👩‍💻 Engineer

Being technical enough to have meaningful discussions with developers without seeming lost at sea. It's also to earn the respect of the developers. You know what it takes to get things built and deployed.

🧹 Janitor

Do the dirty work that others don’t want to do. Whether it is getting feedback, data cleaning, following up with stakeholders, or setting up meetings – the background tasks that are essential to keep things running.

🔨 Hammer

Be the force that makes things happen. Whether it is influencing cross-functionally, unblocking hurdles, or being decisive when the time comes. Always be shipping.

I've sometimes felt that if I weren't there, things would not get shipped. It's tempting to keep things like this, but stronger documentation and an empowered team are always better.

📶 Router

Being the Product Manager, all incoming requests come to you first. It's your job to connect the requests to the right person promptly.

I was on a team that had a total of 7 stakeholders – internal and external. It's can feel like being turned around repeatedly, if you're not organized enough.

👤 Super User

You have to be the superuser of the product. Every flaw should be known to you.

I would go one step further and say that you should know more about the space your product is in than anyone else.

💡 Inventor

Invention is about two things – one is problem-solving and one is coming up with solutions. Problem-solving requires deep empathy and skill across different roles. Starting from the customer to teams in design, marketing, engineering, data science, business.

For the second part, you need to have a good product sense to come up with the best and most optimum way to solve the problem.

👻 Ghost

Once the product is released successfully and is getting used by people, You have to vanish away and let the makers take credit.

📱 Product

The Product is the culmination of all the decisions that you’ve taken over time. You are the product, in all its shining glory.


Here's the link to the original article


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That's it for now. Talk to you soon.

— Kavir

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