Subject experts and recent graduates alike are drawn to the fascination of the job of product management.
They came up with the idea that if I could be the person assigning myself the job and figure out what to do next, I might do better because I have a more complete email list understanding of the field. The idea makes them think they can master the job.
Unfortunately, this transition is generally difficult to achieve. Good product management involves juggling a wide variety of problems and solving them.
Product managers struggle to make decisions when faced with uncertainty and sometimes insufficient information. To a certain extent, good product management can only be achieved through effort; that is, building an experience-based body of knowledge about the transformation of intrinsic effects.
Few are born good product managers, and most of us need to go to work every day.
My path to product management was full of trials and tribulations—from not knowing what product management was in the early 2000s to later, building product teams in an environment where functional and project management were confused.
In this article, we'll discuss what makes product management difficult and how to make product management easier.
1. The bottom product manager’s job is 90% filling and 10% strategic thinking
Most of us start at the bottom, and at this stage we work hard with the development team. At this point, "getting things done" is the primary goal. You may have some free time to think about strategy, but it can quickly become occupied by execution burdens.
And low-level execution is anything but trivial. Even today, when I'm working directly on a specific product, there are inter-team challenges to solve.
Unlike other functions, where you can rely on some data—you can write sorting algorithms in a way that dictates efficiency—product functionality depends on a combination of people and organizations. In the absence of critical procedures, the importance of product managers grows exponentially.
Consider the following scenarios:
A team without analysts will ask product managers to study metrics and data extraction;
A team without a dedicated UX person will ask product managers to weigh different experience options;
A team without data scientists will need product managers in the role of finding the best AB tests.
Oftentimes, product managers are not proficient in the above mentioned businesses, so they have to continue to learn on the job, and always ensure that the key function of the product manager is not sacrificed. Product backlogs are always present, company status quo has been clarified, and acceptance criteria need to be carefully confirmed.
Many young product managers feel exhausted as a result. Their day will be spent constantly filling other jobs, and their evenings will be spent on product planning. In the early days, our role was to be a "dredge" - making sure the team didn't have to wait for the product manager to guide or work.