Product Managers, know your limits for the benefit of your customers.


A product or a service is as much how you sell and support it as what you build. User Experience, costs and benefits aren’t some add on for someone else to look into on the side, they are a core part of the consideration for anything you do.
I used to think it was odd that people in Digital industries called themselves Producers when really they were just Product Managers for web based services. But now I realise – if you consider the role of a producer across many creative industries and more – that’s just what we do.
Large organisations have a myriad of Producers who ensure that different types of products and services are conceived, created, sold and managed by bringing the right groups of people with other skill-sets together to help all that happen.
The problem, however, is that many of those producers are often expected to perform all those roles rather than just ensure the people who do it best are available to do so.
While many of the best Software Product Managers and CEO’s in the computer industry were once Programmers, they may not always have been the best person for that role in their organisation. Those we do remember were probably great producers, understanding their own limitations and  making sure they had the right team in place to perform the roles where they knew they were limited. Thus ensuring the best products were built for their customers.
George Lucas might know how to produce, write and direct, but his best work was when he had others write and direct his films for him.

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2 thoughts on “Product Managers, know your limits for the benefit of your customers.

  1. That’s EXACTLY how it works in journalism, the best editors are rarely the same as the best writers, news gathers or sub-editors. Each of the four jobs requires different skills and, to a degree, some of the qualities that make a journalist good in one department work against them in another. It’s rare for anybody to be good at more than two of the listed roles.

  2. As a Digital Project Manager/Producer trying to break into Digital Product Management, I find your post heartening. I really do feel having worked on an evolving set of sites (not once offs) that I was conducting Product Management, as much as being a Project Manager. Thank you for helping me feel I AM on the right track with my career move.

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