How to be a GREAT Product Manager

My friend Saeed has written a wonderful series of articles on product management. In his latest post, he writes,

In my early product management jobs, I focused a lot on the process of product management. A CEO of a startup I worked for told me that my approach to product management was “very academic” in nature. He viewed himself as a “get it done by any means necessary” entrepreneur, while I viewed myself as a ”get it done right” product manager.

I find many entrepreneurs are so focused on getting it done that they build a business that cannot support growth. As Saeed puts it, product managers ensure that we ”get it done right.

Saeed continues,

The startup was a very sales/deal driven company, as many startups tend to be. Putting product management in place in such an organization is not easy. But having a process focus is very important for a product manager.

The "process of product management" is such an important distinction, isn't it? In a startup, almost everyone supports sales to one extent or the other but as Saeed points out, the product management job is to create repeatable products rather than one-time offerings.

The job of product management is a strange but wonderful intersection of business, technology, marketing, project, and process--all combined with deep market knowledge.

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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