Product Manager: The Team is The Product
Consumed => “Why Companies Need Full-Time Product Managers (And What They Do All Day)” by Rian van der Merwe on Smashing Magazine.
=> My value add (i.e., left a comment)…
re: “The first confusion we have to clear up is what we mean by “product.” In the context of software development, a product is the website, application or online service that users interact with.”
Actually, I’d take it a step further and say those products are actually made up of a collection of products. That is, for a example, a class (of code) is a product. Or the dev team’s (javascrpt) style guide is a product. Or a custom built jQuery plugin is too a product. In other words, you have to be (read: should be) conscious of how others might interact with these things, how best to architect them in anticipation of growth, what can make them more appealing and more useful, etc. I think Marc Andreessen’s view reinforces this meta view of “product:.
It would seem that those (e.g., designers and developers) who think of their own outputs as “product” are more likely to embrace and understand the finer points of growing and developing the uber-product.
In this context, the question is no longer “what do your designs look like?” or “what does your code look like?” but “show us some of *your* products.” Note: Blank stare is not a good answer.
=> My value add (i.e., left a second comment)…
p.s. One more thought if you don’t mind…
re: “There needs to be an executive mandate and company-wide understanding that, even though everyone has a voice, decisions about product ultimately rest with the product manager.”
I’d like to refactor this wording a bit to:
“There needs to be an executive mandate and company-wide understanding that, decisions about product ultimately rest with the product manager. and that it is the teams’ responsibility to support the product manager and ensure that he / she makes the best decisions possible.”
Which means, everyone is still very responsible. Simply giving your opinion (i.e., having a voice) isn’t enough.