Are You an Excellent Product Manager?

How do you rate yourself? Most of us are not good at answering this question, and psychology experiments indicate that we generally overrate ourselves. Anecdotally though, most product managers don't. Most product managers are aware of constantly shifting requirements, priorities, and expectations and often feel that they are barely keeping up. They sense that delivering a great product not only includes hard work but the proper alignment of the heavens.

What metrics would you even use? Sports have clear metrics, you win or lose.  In the end, product success also seems pretty clear.  The iPod was a great product; MoviePass, not so much.  But those are judgments in hindsight. In 2009, Android may have seemed like a bad product, but it was a necessary first step. And equating product success to product management effectiveness is dubious. MoviePass didn't fail due to bad product management; it failed due to a business plan that couldn't generate positive cash flow.

What constitutes excellent product management, and why do some organizations and individuals consistently create great products, while others can't ship anything worthwhile? Repeated success in complex environments must be built on a reliable, reproducible processes.  These processes must lead to consistently good decisions.

Good decisions create cohesion among product teams and clear the path forward.  Weak decisions change, creating confusion among teams and delays in delivery.  Good decisions make subordinate decisions easier, which leads to higher quality, while the confusion created by poor decisions leads to delayed subordinate decision making and lower quality. Do you feel that you can drive good product decisions in your organization?

At Laminar, we admire great products, and we are motivated to understand and propagate systems and services that enable excellent product management and decision making. We want to help you to be in control, to be more effective, and to make better decisions. Do you want to pursue product management excellence?

Please join us at