Top 4 things you should NOT do as a product manager!


There are several articles on what product managers should do and what their attributes should be, and even there’s one in my blog.

This time we’ll keep it a little different and see what things a product manager should not do. Here’s my top 4:

1. DO NOT panic in difficult times

Don't Panic

Most teams in product development organizations start with some reference, some starting point, some sense of where they’re starting; however, product managers do not have that luxury. It’s almost a 100% of the time, product managers have to start work and make progress with a clean slate and when things are highly disorganized and chaotic.

A typical day would have at least one of the following situations:

a. Uncomfortably Exciting
b. Exciting Uncertainty
c. Uncertain Excitement
d. Excitingly Uncomfortable

This is where a lot of new product managers find it difficult to handle. The most important thing when we encounter these situations is not to panic.

We’d win half the battle if we don’t panic.

2. DO NOT think your idea is the best

Best Ideas

Let’s agree — most innovations in the history of mankind have come from technical folks. Products managers have to focus mainly on the problem statement, who the target audience is, why a certain problem needs to be solved, and its alignment with company vision. And not get too hung up on the specific idea/solution which solves the problem.

Product managers can have a perspective of how to solve the problem, but in a competitive open world anyone could have an idea that would solve the problem in the best manner. So, let’s keep our ego and prejudice aside and be open to ideas regardless of where they come from.

3. DO NOT stop communicating

Communicate

Communication is one of the key attributes of product managers. Regardless of the situation (good or bad), whether progress has been made or not, whether the project is on track or is derailing, communication is of utmost importance.

It is with this one tool that product managers look for allies and rally everyone around them in achieving the vision. The moment a product manager stops communicating, he becomes a punching bag.

4. DO NOT lose focus of the vision

Focus

And now the last one on the list — not losing focus on the vision. As a project progresses, there will be all kinds of distractions and chaos, and there needs to be someone who is taking a step back and regrouping as often as optimal to ensure the team is focused on the vision.

And who would that be other than the product manager. It requires a great depth of patience to keep reminding the team about the purpose of the project. Focus is not about moving in a straight line, it’s about aligning with your purpose. If a product manager loses focus on the vision, failure is guaranteed unless there’s some kind of a miracle.

Hope the article is useful. Cheers.