Demystifying common product management assumptions

Anything and everything you do, in all types of occupations and areas, have a specific style of working, and then there are misconceptions about what it must be or should be like, which are frequently far from the truth.

Isn’t that what myths are all about? An idea which many people think or believe to be something that does not exist or is untrue.

Photo by Andrea De Santis on Unsplash

When it comes to Product Management, a product manager can work in a variety of capacities. Moreover, many aspects of the job, such as job titles, technical expertise requirements, vary from one company to the other. And in such cases, the function of product management can be highly misunderstood.

For that reason, we gathered information from our very own team at Zeda.io and are listing below some of the most frequent product management myths that we have all come across, and this blog article is an attempt to debunk them.

Myth — 1

Product Manager is just a fancier term for a manager

There is a common myth that product managers are just responsible for managing people, allocating tasks, receiving progress reports from multiple teams, bossing about the teams, and focusing on getting things done rather than releasing a world-class product.

However, a product manager’s responsibilities are broad. A PM wears a variety of hats depending on the situation and is well-versed in a wide range of topics. So, considering the amount of labor, responsibility, and effort put in, reducing a product manager’s tasks to this is not justifiable.

Myth — 2

Product managers need CS degree

Computer science majors study computer systems, design software, and solve problems using computing technologies. This is arguably the most widely held misconception regarding product management. A computer science degree is not required for all product management positions: Product management duties and responsibilities do not entail developing things from scratch.

Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s first SVP of Product Management, is the archetypal example of a product manager without a CS degree.

It is not because software companies feel that people without a CS degree would fail that they make it a prerequisite. It is the effectiveness of recruiting. Using a CS degree as a filter on the job description is a good method to guarantee that applicants have technical skills. But, in the end, it’s merely a sham for the real requirement: technical proficiency.

Myth — 3

Project Management and Product Management are the same.

Most of you must have heard of this one! Project management focuses on achieving specific goals and completing a project on schedule and on budget. The project is no longer managed after it is done. Product management offers a broader approach, focusing on the client and the project’s overall and long-term performance.

Myth — 4

They have a tough time choosing between customer satisfaction and team morale

(Generally, they have to incline towards the prior)

Product managers must occasionally pick between the needs of the users and the needs of the team. To simplify this, let’s say there is a situation where what the users want doesn’t align with the team’s morale. In those times, the team will be stretched and morale will be low on priority, but product managers will have to push the team to meet the user’s needs.

Myth — 5

Product Manager’s job only includes writing requirements

For a product manager, writing good and well-understood requirements is a great pleasure. It is, however, simply a task; it is not the whole role. If a product manager is performing their job effectively, you’ll discover that writing requirements are a small part of the time-consuming aspects of your work. Product managers are in charge of and participating in a variety of tasks that need a variety of talents. The list is typically lengthy, but here are some of the most important ones:

  • Product strategy
  • Competitive analysis
  • Customer development and discovery
  • Pricing
  • Understanding customer needs
  • Prioritizing development
  • Ideation — defining specifications
  • Execution
  • User experience
  • Documentation
  • Legal
  • Cost
  • Product evangelism

Myth — 6

Product Management lets you bring your ideas to life

A product’s development begins with a vision of how it will seem in the end. However, you must recognize that what you imagine your product to be in the end will not be the same. This is a very idealized depiction of the situation. It’s important to note that while creating a product, there’s a lengthy process that requires a lot of time, work, a team of specialists, and a team leader. Many factors must be considered, including the company’s strategy, user needs, and so on.

A Product Manager must go through many steps to turn an idea into a successful product, including establishing a vision, defining a strategy, developing a product, and selling it to the appropriate user.

Parting thoughts

These are only a few of the numerous fallacies about product management that exist. We’ve just scratched the surface thus far. However, it is reasonable to assume that these are the most prevalent and popular ones. Hopefully, this article will help in deconstructing some of your misconceptions around the subject of product management.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Zeda.io

Zeda.io

Zeda.io aims to make Product Management and Development Simpler & Smarter. We write about Product Management, Product Design, Product Development, and startups.