Product Management Handbook


A white label product management handbook for government digital services

View the Project on GitHub scottcolfer/product-management-handbook

We run things like mini-businesses

Let’s explore what it means to be ‘responsible for value’.

Product managers run ‘things’ like they are mini-businesses, with the goal of optimising the value of that ‘thing’. The ‘things’ we work on tend to be public services or features of public services. Our role is to increase the value of services and features by focussing on outcomes (not outputs).

Product managers make promises to solve problems (not commitments to specific solutions or features). People tend to think about problems through existing solutions so organisations need people who are passionate about problems over solutions, and focus on outcomes over outputs.

Organisations sometimes discuss problems through solutions, which may lead to solutions being agreed that don’t solve the real problem (or solve the wrong problem). The product management profession provides a space to focus on the problem to be solved, agnostic of the specific solution.

Teams and team members can sometimes get stuck in their own specialisms, and can benefit from someone who is focussed on the overall, common goal that allows prioritisation of time and effort.

Reading: The First Principles of Product Management Brandon Chu