Sometimes we can get overly reliant on our frameworks and methodologies to help us make sense of our products and our worlds. Melissa Perri shares some excellent advice about the dangers of this in The Science of Product Management:
These motions, these frameworks, they were made to teach you to think. They were a means to an end, not the end goal itself. They are training wheels. How can they help you understand your work better, so you can DO your work better?
The point of Product Management is not to put things in JIRA in a specific format, use a specific framework for writing out goals, or make sure your developers have full backlogs. The point of Product Management is to create valuable products that customers love.
That’s where the real science of Product Management comes in. The science is about understanding the patterns to building products that people love from a strategy perspective.
I shared some similar thoughts on Twitter in the context of this new-ish push for “product thinking”:
I’m in a spot where I feel we’re trying too hard to make “product thinking” a thing with fancy words and lofty concepts. Like we have some kind of inferiority complex with other disciplines we’re trying to make up for. Talk to customers, understand the market and the business, and experiment until you get it right. That’s pretty much it, right? How you do that looks different in every org, but that’s where the art comes in. You can’t codify product management.