Are you ready to be a technology manager?

The great thing about fact-based decisions is that they can overrule the hierarchy.-- Jeff Bezos QUIZ: ARE YOU READY TO BE A TECHNOLOGY MANAGER?

If I don't understand it, it must be...

A) Hard B) Easy

If you answered "B" then you are ready to be a manager. Some managers think anything they don't understand must be easy. They give vague assignments; they make simple requests that create huge projects; they make promises that their teams cannot keep. Demotivators_2040_2923246 One of my favorite quotes is "Nothing seems hard to the people who don't have to do it." If you are a product manager who answered "B"-- if you think developing, promoting, and selling products is easy--you need a harsh dose of reality. Spend some time working closely with those groups to see how many hours it takes to turn out quality work. Or if you really want to see the results of your decisions, spend a week shadowing the folks in customer support. You'll see clearly that simple decisions made by corporate folks are extremely difficult to explain to the customer. If you are a product manager working with people who answer "B"-- if you work with those who think developing, promoting, and selling products is easy--you must often wonder how you can get anything accomplished. Use facts to show managers the ramifications of their actions. Use roadmaps to show the impact of changes; use retrospectives to show that Project Gazelle was delayed because the contract specifying custom work for ABC Co caused a redirection of limited resources; use surveys to show that only one client wants feature 'x' while a hundred clients want feature 'y'. Use facts instead of your opinions. Remember, no amount of process can overcome incompetence or malevolence. But tabulated survey results and a good chart can go a long way to showing the results of bad decisions.
Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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