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  • Writer's pictureBernard Katz

Introduction to the Relationship Series: Who are the people of Product Management?

Updated: Sep 30, 2022

The relationship series is a set of blogs that explores the relationship between the Product Manager and other role-players in the product development environment. Each relationship plays an integral role in the overall Product Management function. These relationships are what get us out of bed in the morning and give us restless nights. They are at the core of what we do as Product Managers.

I am not a psychologist. Understanding people and their emotions does not come naturally to me. I am far more comfortable with the technical aspects of Product Management. However, I have learnt, often the hard way, that technical theory does not build products, people do. I have had too consciously be aware of people’s reactions and push myself to think through their underlying motivations. Based on these experiences I have curated a set of human-centred scenarios, which form the backbone of these posts. Each week I will present a different human relationship from the world of Product Management to stimulate thinking and discussion.

So, who are the people of Product Management? They are everyone involved in the development of a product (the focus of this series is on software but many of these concepts may be applicable to other kinds of products). We will start with the enthusiastic visionary leader, so driven by the end product vision that the iterative nature of product development is often a source of great anxiety. This will be followed by the dedicated software engineer, frustrated by just following requirements, they want to participate in the development of the solution. Next, we will meet the supportive executive whose fear of missing out on market opportunities means s/he is constantly driving timelines. We will discover the delivery consultant, devoted to the satisfaction of their client but discouraged when user needs are deemed to be custom and not aligned with the product vision. Finally, our fellow Product Managers, together as a team we strive to build the best possible product but also compete for resources and strategic priority.

These five people of Product Management; the visionary leader, the software engineer, the executive, the delivery consultant, and the product manager are each the subject of a weekly post over the next few weeks. Based on your feedback and the general response to the People of Product Management blog, further posts in the relationship series as well as other series will follow.

I am excited to get going and I look forward to receiving your feedback about this initial post and the weekly posts to follow. Ultimately, products are about people. The people who build them and the people who use them. Hopefully, through the People of Product Management series, we can strengthen our understanding and appreciation of the human relationships needed to build truly great products.

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