Just Like Data, More Apps and Resources Are Not Always the Answer
Sometimes, it just seems that finding a new app or resource will help us make a decision.
- Hey, if I had access to this one app, I would be able to make more informed decisions!
- If I read one more book, one more blog, or listened to one more podcast, then I will have all the resources needed to take my career to the next level!
- Before I make a decision, I need to resort to this resource guide to make sure that I’m on the right path!
What, you couldn’t make a decision before? One of greatest bits of wisdom my father has passed down on me is this:
It’s better to be decisive than right.
So, should you implement that in everything that you do? No, but sometimes you just have to go with what you have.
How often has your team come to you and asked the following?
- Oh man, if we got “x” app our productivity would skyrocket!
- We should really implement “y” into our platform so that we can z
- I was looking at this guide and it suggested the following 23 apps to check out…
Going down this road can lead to what I like to call a death by a 1000 apps and methodologies.
No! Not another SaaS platform!
Let’s take a look at some product manager resource guides that I found.
- The Software Product Manager Stack. Information overload. Yes, I do like how it breaks it down by subject, but there’s still SO MUCH STUFF.
- Here’s a list on Product Hunt on Apps for Product Managers. App overload.
- Here is a top 50+ list of recommended tools. While it’s nice to have a variety of options, at some point you’re just going to have to pick one and stick with it.
- How about the 87 most essential tools. 87 most essential? Are you kidding me? You could not narrow that list down a little bit?
To be clear, technology, apps, and SaaS platforms are a key component to building a strong team and company.
- Just because you use the newest and hottest methodologies or SaaS platforms means that your product will be any good. In fact, you might end up blinded by all the dashboards and integrations and forget to build the damn product.
- It’s easy to end up with app overload and you end up trying out too many, time that could have been better spent building your product or talking to customers.
Sometimes you just have to let it slide and say “Good enough”.
Sure, JIRA might have its annoying quirks, but it’s good enough and switching to something else wastes a lot of time only to (likely) slightly improve your process.
Yes, you have issues with Kissmetrics or Google Analytics, but upgrading to a fancier or newer service does not exactly guarantee that you are going to see noticeable improvements.
Getting lost in deciding on services or methodologies can be procrastination.
Yes, it is important to make an informed decision in deciding on what services or apps you want to use. However, have you been in a situation where you make a decision on a service, and then a few weeks or months later, people get really grumpy about it and you either:
- Go back to the way things were (most likely)
- Try a different service (happens more than I have wished to)
- Just stick with it
I’ve met other product managers who wasted so much time going down app rabbit holes because they couldn’t find the one that was perfect. They had difficulty making decisions so they simply buried themselves in more slack chats, blog posts, or books. Yes, there is plenty to learn from these, but you know what?
At the end of the day, you have to make a decision. Not the blog post. Not the app that your team uses. Your team needs to decide.
I’m not saying that you should just pick an app, service, or methodology, and just move on. When you have to make theses decisions, give it some long thought with your team.
I’m not saying that every once in awhile you can check out cool apps from product hunt.
I’m not saying that you should not be reading blog posts on product management (like this one) or books on the subject.
What I am saying is now when enough is enough and that at the end of the day, it’s your decisions that count. Don’t let them get lost in a sea of apps or services. Don’t bury yourself in books and blogs thinking you’re making progress, when your product is simply just sitting there. At the end of the day, that is what you’re working on.
Originally published at www.pmpaul.com on September 1, 2016.