As a domain expert, you will likely find yourself working with software developers some day, to do research, automate workflows, or create new business opportunities.
If you do not have a lot of experience with product management, this might be challenging. Especially when you’re already busy enough as it is with your ongoing responsibilities. You've become a reluctant product manager.
Managing software development can indeed be surprisingly hard.
Firstly, you need to be able to articulate problems in terms that programmers can work with. Development takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money. If a development team comes back to you with a solution that doesn’t really fit, you’ve wasted time and money, and meanwhile, you’re no closer to achieving your goals.
Secondly, you need to make sure to find the solution with the highest value. For this, it’s essential to reach a shared understanding with the development team, and consider alternatives. A solution that looks simple to you can be very hard to implement by the dev team.
Thirdly, you need to understand the hidden costs of software, and know how to recognise them. Typical hidden costs include poor process, an overly complex system architecture, poor coding standards, and bad testing practices. Unfortunately, all of those are common.
This blog is here to help you. I will get you up and running, and hopefully, get you to the point where you're no longer reluctant, and perhaps even enjoying your new status as a product manager.
Happy reading, and feel free to reach out with any issues that you encounter.
My name is Jorn Mineur. I live in Hilversum, the Netherlands, and have 17 years of experience in product management.
As a product consultant, I help companies to solve optimisation problems in software development. Is your time to market too long? Does your software not yield enough of a return? Does it have quality problems? Does your dev team seem disconnected from the rest of the company? Do not let those problems linger! Send me an email and we'll work out a way to get you back on track.
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