virtual product management

The human factor of product management

Sure the job description sounds clean and technical.  Size the market, build the go-to-market strategy, generate product requirements yada yada.  But guess what. The product is built by people, sold by people and bought by…people.  There's a lot of "people" going on.  Multiple agendas, different personality types, warring tribes, money changing hands. Sounds like the ingredients of a Hollywood movie right?  Getting all those people gears to mesh smoothly isn’t something that typically just “happens”.  Often the CEO gets dragged into the fray when the gears start grinding.  Not much fun.  Much better when product management heads the problems off at the pass.  So in addition to all the typical ingredients of a good product manager (Technology degree, MBA desired, 10 yrs experience etc.), another survival skill is…diplomacy.  Exposure to lion taming and thick alligator skin comes in handy too :)      

posted by‍‍‍ Randy Kun         2018

Managing a product in real life often requires working out solutions between people as well as between the product and the market.   The keys to smooth gears and happy campers are good processes and good communication.  Get those two right and people have to go out of their way to rock the boat.  Avoid either one at your peril.  It seems like more work to implement solid processes that everyone will use and keeping everyone in the loop with regular communications.  But not really.  In the end smooth gears mean less work (and frustration) for everyone.  A good rule for introducing a process is to not force fit something just because it looked good on paper.   Phoenix pay systems are painful for everyone.  Best to keep an eye on what will work best for the actual people involved.