What You Should Not Do As A Product Manager?
I have deeply experienced that :
The life will always throw towards you the moments of uncertainty, but being a product manager you need to be ready to handle those unplanned moments
Most of the learning as an experienced product leader has come from building my technology startups and working along with startups. In this journey, there were many moments of failures that shaped me to become a strong leader who knows what you should avoid while you are delegating your role in product management.
Today I will try to share my Top 3 Dont’s of product management role which every aspiring product managers can adopt while exercising their duties.
1. Never Assume Anything Always Verify:
Always remember your true friend which will guide you in making the right decisions will always be your customers and customer-generated data. So never fall into this practice of assuming something. Also if you have made some assumptions always make it on the basis of some preliminary data and go on to validate it with real user feedback.
I have always felt that,
“Making any decision just because few intellectuals sitting in the closed premise believe so, is a big No for any responsible product managers who owns the entire product ”
2. Never Ever Bring Your Ego:
Your ultimate aim being product managers and product leaders is to instinctively focus on the customer and not on your own egos. Yes, this feeling that you know everything and are owning can sometimes creep in this egoistic sense in you but strictly refrain from bringing that feeling. It may not justify the role of product management.
With ego, only good you can do with the product is that you will end up using it alone and feel satisfied and right about it.
It’s not about you being right it’s about customer feeling great about your product and thanking you big time for the same
So one of the biggest change any product owner/leader should bring in them is to change the approach of leading from being self-centric to customer-centric.
Thus I Say:
It’s ok that customer fails you, than you failing the customers
3. Never Ever Think That You Have The Complete Autonomy
Yes, you must have heard this a lot that you own the product. But you are actually at the center of all activities revolving around the product, you act like an owner on behalf of actual owners who are stakeholders and real users. You do own some key decisions but that is mostly influenced by other top management people who mostly have business interests aligned with the product and largely by customer needs.
So the real owner lies outside and you need to be ready to serve them. Yes, product management is a thankless task where you play a critical role to assure the product succeeds. You largely own the failure and success will be shared.
In most cases, it is rare to have absolute autonomy in making decisions and to be accountable for them for an extended period of time. You won’t be given this privilege of complete autonomy until you are a champion of your task with some incredible track record.
Is it bad, not at all at-least your accountability is shared among key decisions makers and you are on of them if not the only one.
The shared responsibilities act like a balancer where you give importance to everyone’s opinion and then take much-informed decisions keeping your end customers’ interest as the supreme priority.
You main role is to prioritize and communicate the key decisions and hold accountability to deliver the planned milestones.
“One of the greatest learning I have, being into this field of product leadership which also is applicable in all walks of life is that you should always act as if it will change the life of others in a big way way and big things will happen to you naturally. It will always be the end user happiness which will make you happy and truly successful as a product manager. ”
Hope my learning will make some sense and will help you traverse this challenging role with ease and confidence.
Thanks to being there as always. Thanks a lot……