I popped over to Bristol recently to guest host the Threads meetup. Threads is a monthly roundtable discussion for entrepreneurs and founders of technology scale-up businesses based in the South West of England.
This month’s topic was on product management in general. For most around the table, it was a completely or relatively new concept, so our lively discussion started with the fundamentals.
I bet you’ve found yourself in this situation. You’re trying to get your head around the main user problem your new product is going to solve. The thing is, for every question you try to answer, several more questions arise.
I was chatting with someone the other day about what it meant to be a product manager, not so much in terms of abstract qualities, but about their day-to-day role in a start-up and whether it differed much from working in a larger company.
In a start-up, I suggested, money is tight, so a product manager has even more responsibility than usual to ensure that, by the time the expensive development work starts, you’ve already done the product discovery. It’s crucial to have a solid idea of what the product needs to be to solve the market problems identified.
Do you spend more time writing documents about your product than actually managing it?
Many companies with a product management function become all caught up in the process, drowning themselves in increasing numbers of documents. These rapidly become overwhelming to manage, contain duplicated detail and ultimately obscure the real goal of product management, namely to create successful products.