Robert Zaremba Blog

Doers, Coachers and Product Managers

What do you think about the following statement?

We Need Fewer Product Managers.

John Cutler recently published an article with same title.

Later, the author clarifies:

This post has been brewing as I interact with more and more companies struggling to define (and scale) product “management” in increasingly complex organizations.

Personally I can’t agree more. We need more clearly defined roles and more doers.

Many project managers act as a middle man. Instead of empowering and training the team, enterprises create completely unreasonable and scattered roles.

Let me put my statement here:

We need more DOERS and team COACHERS.

The team should be responsible to define a work-plan, present delivery, design solution. Team must have leaders (also doers) mature enough who will make a call, whenever it’s needed, for training and quality assurance.

Product managers, trying to fully manage the teams, yield less quality than self organized teams because even a good listener (good manager) will not be able to coordinate all the small things that go into a great product. But every domain specialist can contribute a work with high sense of quality.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t need product owners and representatives. We do. And let me state it: we need well qualified, well structurized product owners. We need people who will take care about requirements and a lean knowledge transfer between stakeholders. But we can’t magically make a work done with amorphous product managers nor focusing on the management side rather than doing side.