Knowledge hub
Feb 17, 2023

The 5 types of Product Managers - Part 2

Building further on the first part of this blog. Eduardo Alvim, SAFe Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT) will explain the other three types of Product Managers in this blog. Keep reading to know more.

3. The Expert - I know what customers want!

Every company has an expert. Big companies, many.

The expert is someone that is appreciated, because the respect was earned and is very well deserved. There is only one problem with the expert: He knows it all! No one can challenge THE expert because the expert is THE EXPERT. Simple as that.

The Scientist – KPIs are my playground

The scientist has a huge number of KPIs, dashboards, all the numbers and blinking lights everywhere.

There is so many data, so much information, however, there is one problem: The scientist does not make any relation between this information, no intelligence is extracted out of it to take decisions. To a certain extent, it’s a huge waste of bits and bytes.

There are a few reasons why a Product Manager may not want to focus too heavily on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) when managing a product:

  • Over-reliance on KPIs can lead to a focus on short-term goals rather than long-term vision: If a Product Manager is solely focused on hitting specific KPI targets, they may neglect the broader goals and vision for the product.
  • KPIs can be misleading: Some KPIs may not accurately reflect the success of a product or feature and can lead the Product Manager to make decisions based on inaccurate data.
  • KPIs are not always actionable: Some KPIs may not provide clear guidance on what action should be taken, making it difficult for a Product Manager to make decisions based on them.

It's important for a Product Manager to be aware of all of these limitations and not to rely only on KPIs, but rather use them as a tool in combination with other methods, experimentation from data, feedback and others, so they can have an effective evaluation of the performance and desirability of the products created.

The Digital Influencer – I want everyone to follow me, so my job is to please them all

He/She is the rockstar! Crosses the corridor waving and smiling to everyone. He/She is a nice person, to which, everyone would like to be friends with. At least during the beginning.

The Digital Influencer has hard times on saying now to people.

One of the big risks with this approach is that The Digital Influencer wants to please all the stakeholders and parties so as, nobody gets what was promised. He/She will start creating all the sort of frustration everywhere, as the promises are not delivered.

Soon, He/she will receive a “cancelling” and will be ostracized.

A Product Manager should not try to please all stakeholders in a company because it is not always possible or beneficial for the product. Why?

  1. Conflicting priorities: Stakeholders within a company may have different priorities, goals, and perspectives on the product. A Product Manager may not be able to please all stakeholders if their goals and objectives are not aligned.
  2. Limited resources: The capacity to deliver all the promises might not be available at the needed time. If they try to please all stakeholders, they will be tempted to influence to have maximize the utilization of people, which can be a huge trap
  3. Compromise on product vision: A Product Manager should have a clear vision and strategy for the product. If they try to please all stakeholders, they may be forced to make compromises that can dilute the product vision.
  4. Difficult to measure success: It can be difficult to establish clear and measurable success metrics for the product.
  5. The goal os a Product Manager is to maximize the product value, whether it’s for the company or the customer. In order to do that, the Product Manager needs to be able to make trade-offs and decisions that align with the overall product strategy and goals and not to please everyone.

Did you miss the first part of this blog? Click below to read it.

Written by Eduardo Alvim, SAFe Practice Consultant Trainer (SPCT)