As one of the consequences of the current crisis, I’ve seen more and more companies recently started reflecting on the way they used to work, their toolings, and more importantly the strategy they’ve had in place. I saw more strategic initiatives than any other time kicked-off by senior management or C-suit in order to revisit the strategy of their organization.
While it is really promising to see that long-term strategy became a priority and leadership started to think about it seriously, I’ve seen some indications out there that in my opinion led many of those strategic initiatives to end up with shaping a bad strategy.
Strategy is hard and crafting a good one needs lots of hard work and coordinated actions between multiple teams & departments, that’s why most of those initiatives in shaping strategies will end up adopting a less-focused, complex, and template-style strategy — mostly found on the Internet, that are lacking substances.
Furthermore, when we are forming a strategy we are making something unseen that might include many unwelcoming events that eventually put us in a less comfortable/confident position to drive constructive forces in dealing with those uncertainties.
Coaching is not a specialty anymore if you are a manager, executive, or any other kind of the leader of teams in any kind of business or organization, you need to know that an essential component of high-performing teams is a leader who is both savvy manager and a caring coach.
Very recently I’ve finished reading Trillion Dollar Coach, a book has been written by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle about Bill Campbell. For more than 15 years Bill Campbell coached many executives & leaders including Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Sundar Pichai at Google, Steve Jobs at Apple, Marissa Mayer at Yahoo, Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook and many other tech executives.
Knowledge area in product management is extremely wide and multifacet, it ranged from knowledge about the market, customers, technology, and product itself to product development process knowledge (e.g. product discovery process, product optimization process, agile methodologies, opportunity prioritization,etc. ) and finally knowledge of individual skills in product management( e.g team building, leadership, team collaboration, time management, stakeholder management,…). Accordingly, significant resources and books have been written for each of these areas.
Estimation of tasks in product development process strongly biased as it’s done in a different perspective, business perspective judge based on the effort of execution, communication within the company or customers,… while estimation of the technical team is connected to required efforts of building something, if you are a product manager you need to help your team to come up with an estimation that is feasible for them and viable for your company business. You need to manage these two expectations in your organization to come up with a working estimate as a whole.
Some of the most valuable people in any organization are business-savvy product managers, they are those who can help the company to close a deal and raise the bar on sales and revenue.
The importance of business and financial skills for a product manager is not even something questionable, product managers should be intimately familiar with how their company sells the product, it helps them to evaluate the viability of any product idea & whole product in the development process.
But to make a long-lasting impact in the business of a company is crucial for a business-savvy product manager to consider other pillars of building a product including team, customers, and technology. In this post, I want to talk about 8 commonplace traps of these product managers in tech companies and why having just business-savvy PM is not healthy for your business in the long run.