Favorite and Least Favorite aspects of Product Management

Someone asked me this recently and here are my thoughts. Does this resonate with you? What else will you add?

Favorite:

  • Solving customer problems: The field of product management exist to solve problems, whether it’s developing the next app that allows delivers Starbucks to your door or solving an accessibility challenge for children with autism. The most basic reason of why I am in this field is because I love problem solving and sometimes the solutions don’t need to be complicated. Creatively thinking of “how” to get the end result is my favorite aspect of product management.
  • Actual end to end execution I am a believer of the philosophy that ideas are a dime a dozen, it’s the actual execution of the strategy into action that drives business results. The action involved in getting a product launched to production is so exciting!

Least Favorite:

  • Stakeholder management: It just takes time and requires utmost amount of organized, clear and concise communication, usually coupled with long bouts of negotiation. Every organization I’ve been with has struggled with decision making and consensus building. This trickles down into how product development is done and for those in middle management it turns out to be a frustrating experience. It’s a necessary evil to ensure alignment on all the initiatives underway to avoid last minute surprises for management or the associates.
  • Continual changes to roadmap: Ideally there should be sustainable process that trickles into roadmap development and includes inputs from all relevant stakeholders, leaders and customers. These should periodically feed into the roadmap and less critical items should be pushed further out based on customer back analysis. There is a delicate balance needed when the roadmap is being shifted as it as an end to end impact to the product being developed and the business. In my experience, this balance is hard to achieve.

I can certainly add more but would love to hear your thoughts. Hit me up in the comments below!

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