Interesting article over at Pragmatic Marketing on Extreme Product Management. The question that I’ve heard from some people, including former product managers, is how relevant product management is in an “agile” environment where people’s tastes (and the competitive landscape) appear to be changing daily. This article outlines some points of conflict between product management and agile development organizations that I’ve experienced.
A particularly painful challenge is this one: “My developers want me available every minute of the day to answer their questions. I have no time to visit customers.” The product manager’s role is to be in the middle of a bunch of different constituencies, but sales and engineering are the two primary ones for most product managers and it can be too easy to get into a situation where the product manager, in trying to expend effort for both constituencies, ends up satisfying neither. The paper’s concrete recommendation for this challenge, to provide market context through documentation and/or presentations to the team, is an interesting one; the rest of the recommendations are also interesting and worth exploring.