Product Management

Posted in Uncategorized by antisociology on July 10, 2011

One of the really challenging things about my new job is that I’ve taken a role I haven’t really formally taken on before. In addition to learning all about a new and complex suite of products as well as a new company culture, I’m really learning a new job at the same time. To be honest, I wasn’t even really sure what a “product manager” did when I started interviewing (the product was just that interesting).

I’m approaching the role as sort of an internal entrepreneur. Once I’m up to speed, I expect that I’ll be dividing my time between looking for new functionality, prioritizing feature requests from the field, and doing a little project management in juggling requests. The goal is to make sure that products keep evolving and improving but in a way that is consistent with the current state and future goals of the business.

This is a lot different than my role as a software engineer. Although I was also responsible for keeping the product going, deciding which features to build was somewhat out of my control. I could decide how to build things, but what or when was largely decided by other people.

This has actually been a tough transition on a lot of levels. First off, I am used to having been the one to have built… well… if not everything, close to everything. Secondly, I am having to make a transition from thinking in terms of code, to thinking in terms of documents. There are simply too many issues to keep track of for me to get knee deep in code.

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  1. Susan said, on July 11, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Yeah for being a Product Manager!!! That is pretty exciting to now be deciding which features are important, and what is the best use of development’s time. Are they giving you some good tools to track all your feature requests from customers as well as estimate the amount of resources it will take? I think that is the key to good product manager.

    • antisociology said, on July 12, 2011 at 1:19 am

      We’re using Jira to manage feature requests. It works pretty well. I think the magic is really in that the organization as a whole totally gets it. The company has some great processes around balancing new features with engineering backlog that everyone is on board with.

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