Product Managers Need to Show Engineers “What Good Looks Like”

Much has been written about how product managers can get along with the engineering teams – however the converse is also just as important – engineers need to get along and deliver for product managers.

Delivery should not be confined to the production of working software at the end of a sprint or project but delivery should also be expanded to day to day issues: technical, scheduling and timing, releases, scope creep and additional demand, unit testing etc… What the product manager need is solutions and options in order to aid them in making an informed quick decision. This is particularly pertinent in this time of global credit crises – quick decision making could be the difference between releasing those crucial features ahead of the competition - which could be the difference between account managers reaching or missing their monthly sales targets – which could be the difference in the business unit either making a profit or loss – which could be the difference between the organisation achieving their yearly profit margins organically or being forced to down size.

It is therefore incumbent upon product managers (and technical team leaders) to help the developers and engineers, who are accustom to communicating just a problems, to change their behaviour and stop – think for a while and offer a solution to the problem(s) they encounter. Each solution put forward (as opposed to a problem) helps the company get a step closer to reaching its revenue targets.

Changing habits can be hard so it could be useful for the product manager and/or team leader to identify someone in another team who posses the good attributes I’ve identified above – an engineer who when communicates a problem offers a number of options to solve the problem. This way we will help them identify “ What Good Looks Like”.


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