What does it mean to be a good product manager in 2018?
For a while now it has no longer been solely about participating in the time-honoured rituals of whatever agile methodology your team happens to use. Nor is it only about creating products your users need.
I’m originally from Edinburgh, despite the distinctly foreign-sounding surname. Running across the Firth of Forth from South Queensferry are road and rail bridges. The rail bridge is the older of the two and is a distinctive rust-brown colour, which settles it into its context both by blending in with the surrounding hills and countryside on sunny days, and by contrasting with the grey mist and clouds on overcast days.
There is a popular myth that in order to protect its metalwork from the salty ravages of the nearby North Sea, the bridge needed to be painted to keep it proofed against corrosion. The task took so long that, by the time the painters finished one job, it was immediately time to begin over.
It occurred to me recently that I’ve spent the best part of the last nine months getting to grips with our financial reporting so that we’d be able to define realistic targets for each of our thirty-odd software products and data sets. Now that I’ve just finished, I have seemingly a short lull before I have to begin over again.