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You can feel the energy in the room earlier this week as we huddled around a projector at a two-day company offsite. Our company is doubling in size every year, we're hiring new people all the time and growing interest in more globally competitive innovation and frugal innovation is feeding us an opportunity to become a very large company. The mood is naturally upbeat as we launch the offsite with a review of company performance.
Throughout those two days I must have heard a dozen stories about different customer prospects and what their pains were in the innovation cycle. Though different prospects were interested in specific features, there was a theme that strung across nearly every story.
There's a fundamental disconnect between product managers and their boss that's caused from the way the two groups communicate.
Neither group is incorrect and both are important issues, but everyone can work a little better if we better understand each other.
Executives can't have all the features they want – they have to choose based on resources and priorities. Find a way to communicate the trade-offs and where they might have to give up a feature. Your boss shouldn't be the only one sweating whether the product will sell. Get in the game, join the discussion, get customer feedback and contribute to getting the RIGHT features into the product.
Even if all you hear from up the chain is pressure to meet deadlines and develop products faster, you can bet if we ask your boss what their biggest concerns are, they're worried about products that sell.