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Photo by Guido Jansen on Unsplash

As Product Managers, it’s our job to create value for our users and our company. And so we ask ourselves:

How can we add more value to our product?

What often follows is a laundry list of new features to address certain problems or improvements for already existing features. If we brainstorm some more, we’ll end up with even more new and additional things to build. And here is the problem. We often assume that the only way to increase the value for our users is to add something. Adding is seen as inherently positive. After all, intuition and experience tell us people won’t object to receiving more for the same amount of investment from their side. …

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Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

There are many ways to be more efficient as a Product Manager but I am going to trust your googling skills and won’t list them all here. Instead, I want to focus on a less obvious one. In fact, I just demonstrated it to you in the opening sentence of this article. Let me explain.

I recently attended a conference and had the pleasure of listening to some very engaging talks. One thing instantly caught my attention. One of the speakers was explaining that earlier in his career the vast majority of his time was spent answering the questions his development team had. Sounds familiar? I used to be in this situation as well when I started. I thought being attentive to the developers is no brainer and was happy to answer everything and anything that was thrown my way. And you should absolutely do so, no doubt. But it’s also true that often these discussions were actually proposals coming from the engineers on how to adapt the solution to make it better, faster, simpler or cheaper and after some back and forth I’d simply say ‘I agree’. I bet it’s something that often happens to you too. …

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Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

Today, I came across research done by the folks at ConfidenceConf, Pavlo Pedenko and Yaroslav Stepanenko. I think most PMs would find it insightful and thought-provoking. It covers job satisfaction among PMs in relation to how happy they are with different aspects of their job. Here is the summary:

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Photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

I’ve been approached a lot recently by people who want advice on how to enter Product Management. And while you can read my enthusiastic take on ‘Why You Should Consider a Career in Product Management’, all of these conversations made me want to be more transparent about being a Product Manager so people really know what they are getting into. If you are considering becoming one or are still new to the Product world, keep reading. …

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Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

Data helps us build better products. With so many companies embracing the data-driven approach to product management, I was recently reflecting on what are some of the common misconceptions about this approach. Here’s what came to mind.

1. Qualitative data is not needed

One of the common issues I see is product managers who don’t use qualitative data. For some reason, ‘data-driven’ is being equated to ‘using numbers’ and so the words of consumers are not seen as data, which is simply not true. By ignoring such qualitative data, product managers miss the opportunity to fully understand the emotions of consumers, the why of their behavior which in turn could help explain some of the hard data. …

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Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

It’s hard to know if a company will be the right place for you while you’re still interviewing. Sometimes, the interviews are over, and you get the offer only to realize you are unsure. It has happened to me in the past. It just means I didn’t take the opportunity to dig deeper. Or worse, you think you have a clear picture, but once you start at the company, surprises start emerging.

To avoid this, next time you are interviewing, ask the CEO or whoever is present from the management team to answer this question:

Imagine it’s two years from now. The company has failed. …

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More and more, I get to talk to people who are just entering the Product Management field, and I find myself reflecting on my early days as well. I wish someone told me a few things. If you’re also new in the Product Management role, here are some things I wish someone told me at the beginning that aren’t so obvious.

Befriend the Engineering Manager

Often, people who find themselves wearing the Product Manager hat end up sticking with other PMs. At best, they might cozy up with the designer on the team. Actually, it’s essential to immediately befriend the Engineering Manager (or whatever that role is called in your team) as this is the person who can help you win the team over. Once you have a good relationship with the Engineering Manager, the other developers will become more comfortable with you and will be even more willing to help you out. You can then count on the team whenever you’re not sure how to tackle something, which will be often. …

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Photo by Gautam Lakum on Unsplash

I’ve recently talked to a few people who are considering a career in Product Management. It was a very insightful and enriching experience for me to say the least, and I felt the need to structure a little my advice and make it more accessible. If you are also a fresh graduate or someone looking to switch careers, keep reading. A few years ago, I was in the same situation. After more than four years in the field, here is why I think a career in Product Management should be high on your list.

It’s flexible.

And I don’t just mean in terms of work-life balance. Yes, you can work remotely and from your own home. You can also choose whether you prefer a corporation, a startup, or maybe you want to freelance. Relocating abroad is also a possibility. In short, you have options, and so you can indeed find what fits best your desired lifestyle. Product Management gives you that flexibility. …

About

Lilly M. Dobreva

A curious product manager. In love with reading and new experiences.

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