Productboard AI is now generally available!
We recently wrote about interviewing customers to get beyond their initial asks to find out what they really need. In the article, we mentioned that the “5 Whys” is a popular and effective method for talking to customers. We also elaborated on how we use that framework. Of course, interviewing, whether it be with job candidates, customers, or sources for a story, can be a bit of an art and science.
“When you’re a product leader, people look to you for answers. Why is the churn rate high? Why is feature X not being used? How do we get revenue up? And most importantly, what are we going to do to fix it all?”
Jeremy Saenz, Kajabi’s Vice President of Product knows only too well how stressful the transition from a technical role like engineering to product management can be, and how that stress can manifest as a kind of impostor syndrome.
Product Managers listen, prioritize, and build. To do all of these things, they must wear multiple hats to build the best products for their customers.
Hubert Palan is one of the more curious and enthusiastic people I’ve met in this lifetime. He’s also spent much of the past five years speaking with hundreds of product managers, trying to learn what they’d expect a dream all-in-one tool for product managers to do. So when I asked Hubert recently what piece of advice he’d offer PMs, he did what he often does — responded with a story…
I get asked this question a lot. Either because folks are hiring a product manager or because they want to get better at product management themselves.
We have recently been looking for some great design and engineering minds to join our productboard team. Having done hundreds of interviews in the past, I have been following my recruiting routine of screening candidates, asking about their past experiences, fishing for concrete examples of brilliance, drive, and leadership in their fields.
I want to forget, at least for now, the obvious need for a clear overarching vision, trust, accountability and a culture of cooperation. Without these, you will not build a great product no matter what, so let’s assume that these are in place. (Wishful thinking, I know, but let’s not go there now.)
Given the long history of myriad frameworks and methodologies, it seems like the customer, her goals, pains and motivations are besieged on every front. Everyone is trying to analyze her, everyone is trying to understand her, everyone is trying to learn how to satisfy her.
Everyone is on the same page when it comes to understanding who exactly the target customer is, what her key goals and pains are, and what solution alternatives are available to her. Nothing can stop them from building a product that will be a runaway success.
Well, not so fast.
It turns out that there is often a striking divide and lack of alignment in terms of understanding users, their goals and pains, and available solution alternatives (alternatives in the sense of competitive products or non-consumption).
Product Management seems to be the least defined and standardized discipline out of the corporate functions — sales, support, HR, finance, engineering, even demand generation tends to have much more standardized structure and best practices.