August 17, 2017

Business Vs. Dev: The Product management office "war"

When the business team is being their extrovert selves and making the dev team work on features that are not feasible, we have a problem. And who’s the superhero who needs to step in and make sure that all ideas are given equal chances? You’ve guessed! It’s the PM.

The business side:

Most of the time, the business people are the ones who come up with ideas that take the product to a new level. It's part of their job. Business-oriented people analyze competition and brainstorm ways to always stay ahead of the curve. They have visions of how the perfect product would look like. They imagine scenarios and, soon enough, they can already see the company growing into a Silicon Valley unicorn.Perfect.

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But sometimes, they get so absorbed into their vision that they forget one tiny detail. Feasibility. Technical feasibility, to be more precise.

The dev side:

Now, to be fair, the developers also have their own ideas. They work so closely with the product that they know all the ins and outs. More importantly, they know what kind of things can be added and what they simply can't. They have certain skills and technologies at their disposal and those resources can be limiting sometimes. In fact, they are usually very open about the struggle. Yet, they're never heard enough. So they end up pretty much like this:

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That's why, it's the PM's job to find middle grounds. It's their job to thoroughly listen to both sides, weigh in the opportunities and challenges, and choose what to go for and what to prioritize.One of the PM’s toughest positions is to listen to both sides and evaluate all of the ideas. Some use scorecards while others use anonymous votes or rational reasoning. Either way, all ideas matter and it’s the PM’s job to ensure that.