Product Management Anti-List — What Not to do as a Product Manager
I have read hundreds (if not thousands) of lists on what to do as a product manager, but I haven’t come across a single anti list — a list of things not to do as a product manager.
So here it is, the first product management anti-list.
21 things that you should NOT do as a product manager:
- Don’t let Venn diagrams define what you do.
- Don’t focus on the solution without defining the right problem.
- Don’t build features because others think they are “urgent” or the “most important.”
- Don’t hesitate to take the tough decisions because no one else will.
- Never deflect blame.
- Don’t say “yes” when you know it should be a “no.”
- Don’t spend all of your time project managing and firefighting.
- Don’t forget to nurture relationships.
- Don’t assume your stakeholders have the same goals as you.
- Don’t assume your stakeholders speak the same language as you.
- Don’t assume your manager is always right.
- Don’t only focus on what to do. Be mindful of also what not to do.
- Don’t build anything unless you know how it contributes to the larger goals. Don’t be in a situation where you do not know the larger goals.
- Don’t do tasks that others can do better/faster than you.
- Don’t be scared to ask for help. Don’t fear escalating when things are not going as per plan.
- Don’t be ignorant of your weaknesses.
- Don’t hesitate to change your opinion any time you have more information. But always have valid reasons to support your opinion.
- Don’t let others abuse your time. Don’t abuse others’ time.
- Don’t fear ambiguity. At the same time, don’t let ambiguity creep into your communication.
- Don’t think of ownership as only owning the output. Outcome is what matters.
- Don’t be intimidated.