What it Means to Be Great Product Manager

A Tweetstorm of mine from earlier in the week:


Piling on a comment @natbro made about PMs:

Besides customers, there are two groups of people involved in building tech products:

Engineers and everyone else. Only the engineers actually produce anything for the customer.

The job of everyone else, especially PMs is to generate clarity and commitment to a purpose so that the engineers can create magic.

Bad PMs don’t get this and think the product and business revolve around them.

Great PMs have no ego in this regard and understand the reality: That the only work that truly matters is that of the engineers.

That said, it is also true that left to their own devices, engineers will do two things: 1) the most complicated thing, 2) the thing they think is fun. Therefore, do not confuse the fact that a PM’s job is to enable (and influence) engineers with the idea that PMs are not needed.

On the contrary, when done right, great PMs free engineers to focus on what they are best at: technical invention and execution. They do this by creating clarity around who the customer is, where the customer is, why the customer cares, why it’s important for the business, and when it’s relevant.

Oh, yea: I have more open PM roles on my team. Join me in enabling engineers to create magic for customers. See this link.

More career related posts.

1 comment

  1. Marty Steinberg says:

    You nailed it Charlie! I can relate to this from both the engineering and PM role and you’ve captured the PM role perfectly for those who only think they get it.

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