How To Be A Good Product Manager

Tips on product management and product marketing for product managers. By Jeff Lash

The importance of decision-making

Posted on December 21, 2006 by Jeff Lash · 8 Comments

Like this post? Help to spread the word...

If you want to be a bad product manager, don’t make any decisions until you’ve fully researched every possible angle and discussed its implications with all relevant stakeholders. Without that legwork up front, you risk making a bad decision, which would diminish how you as a product manager are viewed. For most decisions there isn’t a big rush, and you want to make sure you are positive that you’re making the right decision. You also need to make sure that everyone who could possibly be impacted by the change — internal and external — is consulted and has the opportunity to provide feedback. These sorts of things take time to research and discuss, but that’s okay, since everyone else can just sit back and wait for you — the product manager — to make the decision.

If you want to be a good product manager, be informed and decisive. Rather than waiting until an issue arises to research all of its angles, constantly keep your eyes on the ground and ears to the pulse. (I think I just mixed metaphors there, but go with me.) It’s never going to be possible to consider every facet and talk with everyone who might be impacted. Ultimately you are the one who is responsible and accountable, and consulting with others isn’t going to push that responsibility. The choice to not make a decision — to do more research, run the numbers again, talk with more customers — is actually a decision! In many cases, decisions can’t wait, and while you’re off gathering more information, the work goes on without you.

As a product manager, you will make bad decisions. I guarantee it. Good product managers make smart decisions based on the information they have and are not afraid to admit when a decision goes wrong. Most importantly, they’re constantly learning, looking at why the decision went wrong and how they can avoid that next time. You learn a lot more from experimenting and trying new things and sometimes failing then you do from always playing it safe.

How To Be A Good Product Manager features tips on product management and product marketing, written by Jeff Lash (@jefflash on Twitter), Vice President and Group Director for the Product Management and Portfolio Marketing research and advisory services at SiriusDecisions.

Like this post? Help to spread the word...

8 responses so far ↓

  • Product Management - To be or not to be | pluggd.in // Jul 24, 2007 at 9:29 am

    […] decision maker (”Lets not do this as it will require changes to 200 lines of code” – developer. “Lets do this because we will see 30% users hitting this issue” – PM) Good article […]

  • jennivee // Dec 16, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    i want to be a good product manager

  • jennivee // Dec 16, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    so if you want to be a good product manager you need to make a good better decission – as a product manager don’t be afraid to make a wrong decissions because that is the way that you can make it of what you want to be done in a right decissions and you can get lot more imformation order in that way and to avoid next time to make a bad decissions”may kasabihan nga”you can’t learn if you dont try.Also you need to make sure that your decissions are always right and it is agreesive.

  • jennivee // Dec 16, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    to your costumer.

  • rttty // Oct 2, 2010 at 3:46 am

    very very bad

  • roopa // Oct 2, 2010 at 3:47 am

    so if you want to be a good product manager you need to make a good better decission – as a product manager don’t be afraid to make a wrong decissions because that is the way that you can make it of what you want to be done in a right decissions and you can get lot more imformation order in that way and to avoid next time to make a bad decissions”may kasabihan nga”you can’t learn if you dont try.Also you need to make sure that your decissions are always right and it is agreesive.

  • Decision Making in Product Management | Product Management Digest // Mar 20, 2013 at 9:50 am

    […] While many of Ben’s decisions were fairly straightforward, others are not. As others have noted, good decision making as a product manager is absolutely […]

  • Decision Making in Product Managment | Box Parker // Mar 25, 2013 at 2:41 am

    […] While many of Ben’s decisions were fairly straightforward, others are not. As others have noted, good decision making as a product manager is absolutely […]

Leave a Comment