This book is about becoming an excellent product manager, and in this chapter, I want to be very explicit about what that really means.
But first, it's time for a little dose of tough love.
There are essentially three ways for a product manager to work, and I argue only one of them leads to success:
- The product manager can escalate every issue and decision up to the CEO. In this model, the product manager is really a backlog administrator. Lots of CEOs tell me this is the model they find themselves in, and it's not scaling. If you think the product manager job is what's described in a Certified Scrum Product Owner class, you almost certainly fall into this category.
- The product manager can call a meeting with all the stakeholders in the room and then let them fight it out. This is design by committee, and it rarely yields anything beyond mediocrity. In this model, very common in large companies, the product manager is really a roadmap administrator.
- The product manager can do his or her job.
My intention in this book is to convince you of this third way of working. It will take me the entire book to describe how the strong product manager does his or her job, but let me just say for now that this is a very demanding job and requires a strong set of skills and strengths.
The reason for calling this out so bluntly is that, in many companies, especially ...