How Product Managers Can Give Software Engineers A Trouble-Free Work Experience
A product manager is the captain of the ship. He or she handles overall management — from design and development to marketing and business development. However, it is the software engineering team (or engineer) who work more closely with product managers.
Below are some tips to help you keep your engineering team happy and most productive.
Back Your Decisions With Data
Let your engineers know that they are in capable hands. Make sure to understand the industry, the product, the target audience, and the market. It is important for your engineer to know that decisions you make are based on facts and data that you have analyzed and studied profoundly. Engineers have to be confident that their product manager is leading them in the right direction and that you know what you are doing.
Prioritize Problem Solving
As a product manager, it is not your job to solve the problems. Rather, present problems and facilitate problem solving solutions through your engineers. Listen to the solutions that they present and allow them provide you a clear-cut solution.
Communicate What Needs To Be Done
Effective communication is key to succeed in any endeavor. Make sure that your engineers are informed every step of the way. Include them in the planning stages and let them know of any changes in the plan. Ensure that they understand why a specific feature is needed, and which ones hold top priority. By providing comprehensive instructions to your engineers, they can deliver their best work timely and accurately.
As a product manager, you should be able to anticipate what information your engineers need from you at various time intervals. Be available for questions and clarifications as much as you can to prevent errors and delays.
Give A Good ‘No’
Your engineers rely on you as product manager to know when a feature is not working as expected, or if it just does not fit. Know when to say no to your engineers without offending them. Make sure they understand why a specific feature was shot down and how they can replace or remedy the situation. After having attended an effective product management training course, it is now your responsibility to know what the users are looking for and what a specific project requires, and engineers are usually appreciative when their managers can tell them no.
Negotiate With Other Departments
It is the product manager’s job to negotiate with other teams — from management, marketing and design to clients. Determine which meetings your engineers absolutely have to attend to avoid wasting time off their actual work. Consider the effect that mundane meetings will have on the productivity of your developers. Keep in mind that software development is tedious work and some engineers do not appreciate having their momentum disrupted. Protect your engineers from roadblocks and empower them by providing everything they need in order to get the job done right and promptly.
Most importantly, it is important for engineers to be able to trust their product managers and that you are all working towards the same goals. Be both a leader and a team player, and make sure your team knows that you have their backs. So, make your software engineers smile today, and let them think that work is easy and hassle-free.
Michelle Gonzalez has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on product management training such as those offered by ProductSchool.com.