Oh, all the things PMs must do!

This post is by Giff Constable from giffconstable.com

Every once in a while, I see a wave of tweets discussing the sheer number of jobs a product manager is asked to do. The inevitable question arises, “is this an impossible job / how can we expect this of a single person?”

Note that I’m not trying to throw shade on John, who I love, but I have noticed that these kinds of tweets can lead to a bit of a pity party.

Lest we PMs feel too sorry for ourselves or pat ourselves on the back for taking on so much, one could create an equally complex list for the UX designer or engineering lead on the team. These are all hard roles and not suited to everyone. We never have unlimited budget to have unlimited people. Even if you did, the more people you add to a team, the slower everything goes because the communication and alignment burden explodes exponentially.

I argue that the multi-disciplinary nature of the PM job is a feature, not a bug. Regardless of title, having a single person with broad range allows the specialists to be specialists and go deep in their craft. It’s also really powerful to have a good synthesizer actively looking (Read more...)