O'Reilly logo

Product Management in Practice by Matt LeMay

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 5. The Art of Egregious Overcommunication

The title of this chapter is in many ways a joke. But for working product managers, it is also deadly serious. The biggest mistakes I’ve made as a product manager, and the biggest mistakes I’ve heard about from many of the product managers I’ve spoken with, involve failing to communicate things that seemed either too politically dangerous or too inconsequential to openly address.

Sometimes, things can seem both dangerous and inconsequential. For example, suppose that you’re in a meeting with your team, and a developer rattles off a detail about a product that feels ever so slightly different from something you discussed in a separate conversation with a senior stakeholder. You begin to feel a little embarrassed—maybe you forgot to clarify an implementation detail with that senior stakeholder, or maybe you didn’t do enough to communicate senior leadership’s expectations to that developer. In any case, the last thing you want to do in this moment is pause the conversation to draw attention to your own possible mistakes. It’s just a tiny thing. Nobody will notice. It would make no sense if this turned out to be a big deal! It’s fine.

Cut to two weeks later. Your team is presenting a demo of this product, and the senior stakeholder in question begins to make a sour face. Her nose scrunches up and her eyes narrow. She mouths the words, “What is that?” juuuuuust distinctly enough for your heart to completely stop. Head shaking back ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required