What Does It Mean to Be a Lazy Product Manager?

How much effort and talent is needed to start a brilliant career and become a real product management star? Is it enough to work intensively day by day?

The author of the article on Medium recalls her young years as a beginner in product management and shares the example of the same specialist. She believed that the more features in her roadmap, the more she was winning.

However, the article is about an unexpected path she found. That was drastically more effective. She called it “The way of the lazy product manager“. Would you like to know what is it about?

Here’re the extracts:

A lazy product manager relies on more amazing features to grow the way to billionaredom. “Do less, not more” is the main focus. Of course, it may seem like a blasphemy in product management.

However, the lazy PM is not just about doing less but about doing what is really strategic. The truth is: only when product management is aligned with the market orientation that a product can truly succeed in the market.

Only when you focus on doing less and doing what is really strategic, that you can focus on what will have the most impact.

And here’re some principles about it for lazy product managers:

  • Ignore your customers. Being a lazy PM means to not chase after every customer request. Instead of it – build the minimum feature set to keep them happy. How to figure out the right features? Well, start with this question and then you will get it willy-nilly.
  • Validate your business, not only the product. Your brilliant product is a funded side project unless it’s the core of an actual business. Remember that even the most detailed customer feedback session will not give you a business model. Your task is to figure out whose urgent or actionable need your product solves.
  • Forced prioritization. Ideally, you can count sprint targets on one hand. Here are all the reasons this is a great idea: less complexity, prioritization forces you to be strategiс, that’s enough already.
  • Rely on the matrix. How do you decide which features to build? Start by classifying product features into engagement, revenue, utility and ease of use. Create a matrix of requests organized by categories.
  • Communicate like a child. Children communicate with stories and numbers. Instead of sending long batches of text back and forth with your team, try taking a week where you just send out data along with takeaways and annotated screenshots.
  • Copying is encouraged. Copying is an essential process of the lazy PM’s work. Developing products has touchy-feely moments. However, startup success is often the result of a brutal competitive war. Sometimes there’s merit in copying what’s working for competitors.

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