Guitar: A tool for Product Manager

I am fairly certain that I have not earned my stripes to lecture about what a good Product Manager should or should not do. But, I can definitely share what helps me.

Marrying art and science

Ideally, the PM is expected to have a split personality, each ready to be summoned instantly.

Need to pick one of the designs for the next release? The artist in the PM better pitch in. Need to prioritise one feature over the other? Better wake the scientist in the PM up.

Can music help PMs get better at juggling tasks? Musicians have higher levels of “Executive Function”, i.e, are better at planning and strategising while balancing analytical and emotional aspects. Sounds a lot like what a PM would need.

Take away: learning guitar helps the PM switch gears quickly and efficiently.

Building Teams

All work and no play makes jack a dull boy.

Nothing gets the team together like music does. Seriously, try it out!

Get a guitar. Learn to play C-major, D-major and G-major chords. Throw in a minor chord in there. Congrats, you can now play 80% of the country and rock songs. Now gather your people around start playing. Watch as the new folks on team shed inhibitions, stop wondering “what people would think” and start crooning. Watch as that same culture of openness walk into your meetings that follow.

I read an interesting article on how humour could be useful to a product manager. I suppose Guitar could be added to the armoury too.