Chapter 2. Who Are We Building For?

Product management is always about solving customer problems. How those problems are selected and solved in enterprise software can be significantly more complex than in consumer software, requiring new ways of thinking about the customer, and better alignment between internal teams. But this doesn’t need to slow you down.

One of the many things that draws a lot of smart, innovative people to product management is the allure of creation. There is joy in creation, in invention. Earlier in our careers, both of us remember looking in awe at the product managers, who, we assumed, had the sole power to decide what features and products the business would create next. At least from a technology perspective, they were deciding how the future of the company would be shaped, and we both wanted to be a part of that. Indeed, this chapter is all about shipping product; the process of deciding what you are going to build, and why; getting it “funded” by your development, product marketing, and other teams; and making sure that your design and development teams understand how it connects to your vision for the product, because that is how you realize the joy of creation.

It All Begins with Who and Why

We now know that “shipping product” is only a part of an enterprise product manager’s mandate, and it comes toward the end of a long process of product development that starts with a clear understanding of who our product is for and why it adds value. These ...

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