Discover more from Leading in Product
Resilience: An important skill for product managers (and engineers)
... maybe the most important skill.
As a product manager, you are at the center of a complex web of stakeholders. You are responsible for managing the vision, strategy, discovery and execution of a product while balancing the needs and wants of multiple departments. With so many conflicting priorities, it can be challenging to maintain a resilient mindset.
The role of a product manager is not an easy one. You are the liaison between engineering, design, sales, marketing, and customer
support success. Each department has its own set of priorities and goals, and it's your job to ensure that they are all aligned with the product vision. However, these goals can often conflict, leaving product managers in a difficult position.
For example, customer support may be focused on bug fixes and improving the product's stability, while sales may want new features to close more deals. Marketing may want to run experiments to optimize conversion rates, and engineering may need more time to deliver a quality product. These competing priorities can cause stress and frustration for product managers, leading to burnout and low morale.
How can product managers build resilience in the face of these challenges?
Here are a few tips:
Define and communicate clear goals and priorities. One of the key ways to manage conflicting priorities is to clearly define and communicate the product goals and priorities. This will help everyone understand what the product is trying to achieve and make it easier to prioritize competing requests. Set clear expectations with all stakeholders and communicate any changes or updates to the product roadmap.
Practice active listening and empathy. Listen to the concerns and needs of each department and try to understand their perspective. By doing so, you can identify common ground and find solutions that meet everyone's needs.
Stay flexible and adaptable. It's important to stay flexible and adaptable. Be open to new ideas and approaches. Embrace change and learn from failures to continuously improve the product. After all, your goal is to find the best solution, not to be right.
Focus on the big picture. It's easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks of product management, but it's important to keep the big picture in mind. Stay focused on the product vision and long-term goals, and don't get distracted by short-term wins or losses. This will help you stay resilient and motivated, even when facing challenges.
Take care of yourself. Finally, it's essential to take care of yourself as a product manager. The role can be demanding, and it's important to prioritize self-care to avoid burnout. Set boundaries, practice mindfulness, and take breaks when needed. Remember, resilience starts with taking care of yourself.
Resilience is a critical skill for product managers, particularly in today's fast-paced and ever-changing tech landscape. You can build and maintain resilience in the face of pressure and uncertainty.
Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.