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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Evaluating a Product Manager

Quick thoughts on areas to assess candidates for product manager's position, once again from my recent and past experience of recruiting product management professionals for various organizations I worked for;

Evaluation Criteria 

  1. Technology comfort: A candidates ability to understand technology is very important. Candidates shying away from technical terms, unwilling to learn technology trends is a definite NO for product manager's position. This does not mean that a candidate should be a engineer or techie, he should have an appetite for technology, this helps him to leverage upon technology strengths and also plan for  technology limitations.

  2. Business acumen: have you ever heard of top line and bottom line? do ask this if the candidate comes from technical background, after-all all your actions (as product manager) must influence one or both of these lines in positive manner. A candidate falling short of expectation on technology front can still be consider, however a candidate falling short of expectation on business is big bold NO.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Product Managers, beware of fabulous ideas

Believe it or not, ‘fabulous ideas’ are the most scary part of a product managers life. I am talking about instances wherein  someone from some corner of the  office, raise hand and shout out ‘hey! I have a fabulous idea’ – this not only means that you listen to my already certified ‘fabulous’ idea but also do include this in the ongoing or worst case next sprint. Product managers are expected to listen and agree to such ‘fabulous’ ideas, after all its their duty to collect requirements and put them on the roadmap!! – but where is the filtering part? Listening is fine, collection is ok but adding is last step. All ideas, suggestions, improvements & corrections must go through a proper review cycle, and should be evaluated before they even qualify to be termed as ‘idea’. Before filtration process they are merely some thoughts which may or may not make a good product sense.