Why You Should Consider Being A Lazy Product Manager

Why You Should Consider Being A Lazy Product Manager

You Should Be Lazier As A Product Manager

So you’re telling me I need to do less, not more? But that doesn’t make sense! We must tackle many more features, new clients, new needs, and requests ASAP! I can’t be lazy as a product manager; I always need to be moving forward!

do less

Well, I am here to dispel that myth. Being a Product Manager, although an essential and integral role in a business, is not always needed. Many firms and start-ups only hired a Product Manager late in the game. A few small names you might know who followed that path are CarGurus, which didn’t have a product manager until they were well past $100M in growth. As well as Klaviyo or Paint Nite, or Twice. So now you ask me, ‘How are these businesses growing YoY without a dedicated product manager?’

In the harsh reality, Once you satisfy a client’s needs to the minimum requirement that keeps them happy and paying, that’s all you need to do.

Let’s paint a picture; You’re a start-up or well-established business with the financial means to complete the tasks they have put ahead of them. So let’s get rolling.

 

New Features :

When running a successful business, there are 100s of tasks, features, and goals that you want to accomplish as soon as possible to deliver the best system possible. However, why are these new features needed? What are they going to do for the consumer? How will these enhancements improve the business?

Ignore your customers. They completely ignored customer requests and pleaded for new features at either Dropbox or Paypal, and they did this to grow. They knew they couldn’t continue to develop their system if they focused solely on the consumer’s needs. If they did that, they would never be the juggernaut they are today. Your client cares about themselves and what is best for them; they will always ask you to improve your application to serve them in their specific way better. However, you’re building software for the masses, not just for one consumer. Listen to them; however, build the most minimum feature to keep them happy and, most importantly, PAYING.

sold

Do Less:

If you can’t tell yet, DO LESS! More features, toys, and items in your product offerings differ from the way to go! It’s not more features; it’s the valuable features. Well, how does one start figuring out what are the right features? Use your brain; you’re bright and in the position because you know what needs to be done! So rather than pitter-pattering around your plans and product roadmap, look at the data, market feedback, and how consumers use your products!

 

Why build a new feature? Does it help my business:

I’ll keep this one short. Why does business exist? TO MAKE MONEY!

Will this new feature be the direct cause of bringing in more money for the business? If the answer is no or well, I’m unsure. Put it in your backlog. Do some research on what the market says. If it should be added, then do it! If it will not bring more money & retain consumers, save your time! You can be doing something better!

dilbert-failing

Trust your development team and learn their process, or implement your own!

  1. Many hours of work must be done when developing an application. As well a side fact, when something is made more straightforward for the user, it usually is more complicated to program!
  2. Follow your team’s development process or implement one, but follow it! The team knows how to plan out their sprints properly. Refrain from throwing more work at them than they can handle in the sprint. When a new feature must be implemented, that feature just jumped the queue, meaning the parts you expect to be done are now delayed.
  3. Be methodical!

Communication is key:

When giving verbal details about new feature requirements or writing out tickets for development, COMMUNICATE LIKE YOU WOULD TO A CHILD!

TALKING-WITH-KIDS

Go above and beyond to explain what needs to be done. Please do not leave it to the developer to interpret what you want. Tell them precisely what you are looking for. A good developer will be able to let you know of additional tasks that need to be done to accomplish what you want to be done. Once again, explain it as if you were talking to a child so that everything is noticed!

As we learned from Felix Unger from The Odd Couples, “Never assume anything because you’ll make an ass out of you and me.” As a product manager, this is a quote you should live and die by when writing tickets.

Sell what you have, don’t build more:

Once again, the point of a business is to make money! You can stop focusing on perfecting the application and make every perfect tweak before going out to market. You’re not making money when no one uses what you have made. So go out and sell! Ask yourself what is needed to get people to start paying for what you have. When you know what that is, focus on that as your benchmark goal. Hit your goal, sell the app, then rinse and repeat. You do not need a limitless product catalog. If you can offer consumers a product that will improve their life, they will purchase it.

dilbert features

Copy Copy Copy:

Look at your competition! They are doing great and creative things! Guess what?!? I bet you they didn’t come up with it themselves! Who created the lightbulb? Thomas Edison? No, that’s wrong. 20+ lightbulb prototypes had been made before he started his version that we know today as a lightbulb. He created the best version of the product. Facebook copies feature from other applications or acquire companies if it makes sense to do it. No idea is original anymore. However, the way you interpret your concept is unique! You may see fantastic potential for features and applications that your competition can’t see because it’s too close to their face. Find what is amazing and make it your own & better!

Prioritize:

Many businesses focus on their quarterly performance. Therefore, ask your team what would be dumb for us not to accomplish in the next 90 days. The answers they come up with are what you’ll need to accomplish first. Then with the extra time, add the following items you want! Keep it simple; achieve the main goals first!

Most importantly of all, take a nap!

Hovering over your team and asking for constant updates and deployments doesn’t lead to a productive or fun environment. You brought in the group, or the team was hired because they know what they are doing. Trust in that and let them do what they are there to do!

Do everything you can to help your team move forward and the product to continually be developed. Just remember your role as a product manager is not managing the development but the entire team. Set a path for continued & scalable growth; that matters more than a perfect product. Your job is to get out of the way and figure out what you are building that will significantly impact your business. At the start, make sure everything continues to move forward but focus on hitting the initial goal of when I can start selling what I have created.

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