How to be a good PM.
January 16, 2008 8:41 AM Subscribe
Help me be a good product manager.
posted by StephenF to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Rather to my surprise, I have ended up in a product management role at a very large tech company. I'm not going to be managing major release and products, but for about 50% of my time I'll be looking after smaller projects, mostly internal-facing.
I'll be working with hard-core engineers who are experts in their field. I am deeply interested in technology, but I'm not a programmer by any stretch. I can easily grasp technical concepts when someone explains them to me, or understand why a potential technical solution is not possible, for example. But I would have no idea at all of the relative merits of Java vs Perl and so on.
What I bring to the table is a deep understanding of our internal and external customers' needs, and lots of ideas for how we can do things better.
I see my role as either defining or helping define the vision of the product we ultimately want, working with the engineering teams to define what is actually possible, working with the business teams to make sure what we can deliver will meet their needs, and then creating an environment where the engineers can deliver the product as quickly as possible (protecting them from sales management intrusion, endless additional feature requests etc).
What I don't want to do is become a Pointy-Haired Boss and alienate or antagonise the eng teams. If it's relevant, my own background is an undergrad in mechanical engineering, a few years in journalism, and three years in this company.
So for any engineers or PMs or similar out there - do you have any thoughts, experiences, anecdotes, book recommendations or anything else that might help me be a good PM?