The Reluctant Product Manager®

Product management for domain experts.

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.

About me

Picture of Jorn Mineur, the author of this site.

My name is Jorn Mineur. I live in Hilversum, the Netherlands, and have 17 years of experience in product management.

Any questions, suggestions, comments?

I welcome thoughtful insights on the contents of this site. Send me an email and I’ll usually respond within a day.

I won't share feedback on this site without your permission.