The Work

Adventures in Product Management

The thing I like best about product management is that it requires you to be a generalist. And I really like knowing something about everything.

But today it was brought home to me that managing product development in this day and age is very different than it was even six years ago.

In this instance, we’re scoping towards a moving target. An emerging standard, which hasn’t yet been adopted by anyone, the efficacy of which is dependent on how much data is in the system. The more data that pours in, the better (and faster) the results are. Which makes sense, but it is very hard to program logic around this, particularly transactional logic.

With standards, too, you are mostly working in a non-commercial environment. Revenue upside is difficult to predict.

I’m pretty comfortable with uncertainty, personally, but of course business doesn’t operate that way. I find myself in the position not of reassuring the team – that would be pointless, since there’s no reassurance to be had – but of helping everybody understand that we’re all feeling our way together. That requirements may well change on the fly, as we find out more.

Disrupting comfort zones is hard work; and we’re only going to have more of that as time goes on.

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