Ramblings of a Product Manager in a Corporate environment

  1. Even though radical candour and ‘truth before harmony’ are the holy grail propagated within the organization, relationship-building is critical to be successful as a Product Manager, especially when you’re managing multiple products and collaborating with a variety of stakeholders with contrasting personalities and intentions.
  2. Creating an MVP means scoping the features of the product and implementing limited functionalities really really well. An MVP in a corporate environment needs to adhere to the reputation of the corporate brand in question, and hence failing fast and often might not be the appropriate mantra here.
  3. Agile teams can slide into the rut of waterfall if not carefully swung back on track. Dedicated project managers, scrum masters and even agile coaches need to be convinced of new way of doing things; it is difficult to redefine the mindset of not following the scientific definition of agile but truly being lean according to the circumstances and type of product/team/stage involved. Once convinced however, these project people can be the greatest proponents of your lean and mean vision.
  4. Decision making is a complex process — approvals, meetings, getting together of appropriate stakeholders, emails and such are hindrances to product development, however a necessary beast in order to ship quality reputation-withholding product. The involvement of risk, compliance and legal definitely create an additional buckling of the product lifecycle.
  5. Edge-cases need to be thought thoroughly before deciding on a plan of action. Again going back to the quality of the product right from the get go, it’s almost a sin to roll out a product without thinking through, solving for and implementing almost 98% of the usecases.
  6. Controlled freedom to fail and level of trust are things that you earn as a Product Manager at a corporate
  7. Collaborative work environment can still mean engineers are not empowered enough to speak up or provide their opinions in a meeting. This can be due to the culture of the organization (business — domain led organization vs. an engineering led organization) or due to them reporting to a different business line of the organization or due to the fact that a majority of them are contractors.

More insights coming soon!

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Product @Microsoft | https://www.swapnamalekar.com/

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