The best advice I’ve ever received about becoming a product manager is to be a spokesperson for people who are not in the room.
If you are talking to an engineer, you should speak for the user. If you’re talking to sales and marketing people, you should speak for engineers and others.
You are a person who has contact with everyone, a person who can see the whole product, and a person who can comment or focus on all relevant people.
You have to understand the environment and how each team involved in product work interacts with each other.
This principle helps to manage any product, especially those that use new technologies, such as block chains that change rapidly.
Block chain technology does add a layer of complexity to the job, but it also adds many very pleasant moments.
This is what I found in my work:
Every day someone surprises you.
We get a steady stream of inquiries from people who want to work with us. Block chain technology has really taken off in the past two years, and there are many rumors surrounding the possibility of using block chain.
I talk to visionaries, founders and executives in many traditional industries, such as wine, shoes or cars, and I’m often surprised at how well some of them know about block chains. In a short time, people began to understand how this new technology will affect their industry.
So do many candidates we interview. Some of them don’t even come from the software industry or have limited experience, but they know a lot about block chains.
People’s interest in this field sometimes still surprises me, recalling that a few years ago many people did not know about the area of block chains.
Understanding the full stack solution is critical
Some companies focus only on block chains. But we provide a full stack solution, and block chain technology is only part of the problem.
We have a front end, which is a mobile application and a website. The back end includes APIs and middleware that run business logic. The back end runs on cloud services, and now we have added block chains to the system.
As a product manager, you must be able to effectively discuss with engineers in each area.
If you work at the front end, you must be able to clearly express users’requirements and their pain points, so UX designers can build designs with good form and function. You also have to talk to front-end engineers to make sure they can implement the design.
You need to be able to provide the back-end team with the business logic descriptions needed to meet the user’s use cases. API itself is a product. Product managers must clearly explain what functions are exposed through APIs so that third parties can integrate with the system.
The requirement for the unique function of a block chain-based product should be clearly defined so that engineers can decide whether the function must run on the block chain (on the chain) or on the back-end server (off-chain). I really like to think about these technical issues with our talented engineers.
Since our product is SaaS service, it also has DevOps aspect. I have to make sure that we continue to provide reliable services when adding new features.
You have to help users understand what they really need.
In any industry, the job of a product manager is to talk to users and understand their pain points.
Many times, they claim that what they want is not what they want. You have to understand the potential needs they are trying to meet and come up with solutions.
Talking to users can help you understand what they are trying to achieve and what solutions they are trying to achieve.
I really enjoy this job. I find that talking to users is both a scientific and an artistic requirement. Users are often vague, or they don’t really understand what they’re looking for. I will help them improve their vision and use our products to achieve it.
But understanding user needs is only half the battle. You also have to work with engineers to decide how to build it.
Interpersonal skills are very important
It is often said that product managers should be able to influence without any formal authorization.
No one in the engineering, QA, sales or marketing team reported to me. However, I have to work with them to ensure that products are built on time as required. This includes clarifying and tracking progress.
Because command and control do not work, product managers need good interpersonal skills to persuade teams and generate internal motivation. A good way to do this is to think from the user’s perspective and show his or her pain points.
Interacting with users and executives is also a challenge. You must communicate clear deliverables, deadlines and warnings (if any) in the solution. You’re trying to realize their vision. You also lead from behind to ensure that team members gain credibility when the product succeeds.
You are the link between the team and the user
Creating a product is not as simple as getting some specifications and giving it to an engineer.
You must provide engineers with the right amount of information and business environment. They need to know why, why and who they build the product — but don’t overload unnecessary information.
Equally important, product managers should not be too rigid in describing how to build a product. This is the requirement of engineers.
In our company, when the team builds the product, we will show the model and design to the customers, so as to get their feedback as soon as possible, so as to change the direction of product development according to the needs. The sooner we show them the available software, the better.
This is because the technology of block chain has been developing very rapidly and continuously.
Sometimes demand suddenly changes and some ideas eventually fail to materialize. The primary requirement of product managers is to keep learning and growing in this field.
New innovations in block chain infrastructure, such as new extension implementations, consensus algorithms, on-chain and off-chain transactions, token economy, regulatory issues, must be on your list of concerns.
You will always have more to do and more to learn. This is just a fact. But for product managers in the area of block chains, this is the most exciting place.
Original link: What It’s Really Like To Be A Product Manager In The Blockchain Industry