Over the years I had the opportunity to work with and interview a lot of product managers. Once you see enough people a few traits emerge. What follows is a humorous take on the various PM personas found in the wild via Dilbert cartoons.
Disclaimer: This is supposed to be funny and a caricature. If this offends you I’m sorry, but please no hate comments and/or twitter hate – it’s just not worth it.
MBA’s R us
Says “strategy” a lot. Always wants to do “strategic” things. Not interested in anything remotely involving day to day grunt work. Likes saying Mini CEO a lot. If they are from a top 5 business school, they will make sure that you know about it.
Consultants R us
Everything can be solved by a deck and spreadsheet model. Secretly very jealous of PM’s with technical backgrounds. Really good at decks tho, works of art I tell ya.
Says the most obvious shit ever. Easy to identify because they say things like “I like to build great products that users love”, “Design is important” – does anybody ever want to build shitty products? Full of cliche’s but very up to date on the latest fads. Normally pretty low on insight.
“PM is easy” R us
Typically from a stakeholder function (strategy, marketing, engineering) and have not achieved success in the role. Has figured out that they are not good at what they do today – so let’s try this PM thing! Seems pretty easy – I mean how hard can it be, I am customer focussed, I know what the customer wants, I’m an ideas man – how hard can it be to build it?
Ph.D.’s R us
Has a great, perfect answer and process for everything. Fans of frameworks. However what they really want is to be “thought leaders” that’s what’s important – shipping products – fuggedaboutit
Name-droppers R us
Has had one hit in their career working for a successful company. Will constantly remind you about said company in every conversation. When I was at X, this is how we did it. Even if you forget, will definitely remind you that they worked at X.
Would love to hear about the PM types you’ve come across in the wild in the comments ?