Eric Keating’s 4 product manager responsibilities that great PMs embrace

In his article, Eric shares 4 key behaviors that separate good from great PMs. Here are my brief notes.

The primary concept that jumps off the page of, Eric's article is the universal guiding principle that in all of your duties remember that it's not about you, it's about creating a great product for your customers through collaboration with your team. Although the article's headline suggests 4 key behaviors for PM growth, I found that they could be simplified to 2 primary points.

  • Helping the team find clarity in the product's vision

  • Making good decisions and gaining team buy-in for them

Key questions raised by the article

  • Which key activities and mentalities make a great product manager?

  • How do you communicate and clarify product vision?

  • Which qualities are important for leaders to have to gain trust from their teams?

  • How do you make difficult decisions?

Notes

  • Consistent competency on primary duties (product discovery, prioritize features, and building clear roadmaps) is necessary to be a good PM and will build support from your teams

  • Excel through collaboration and reduce ego

  • Help teams find clarity on the product vision using tools like "Big Hairy Audacious Goals" (BHAG from Good to Great) or Roman Pichler’s "Vision Board"

  • Excel in your role by promoting true collaboration. This requires teams to share the 4Rs (Risks, Responsibilities, Resources, and Rewards). Spotify's "Squads Model" is a great example of this in action.

  • Reduce your ego to focus on gaining team buy-in, for example: take the blame and share all credit, be flexible in your approach and remove ceremonies that aren't impactful, and enable the team to present their work (consider Hubspot's "Science Fair")

  • Be mindful when assembling teams and ensure that the work is suited to both the skill of the team and its personalities work cohesively

  • Embrace research even when it’s counter to your beliefs

  • Leaders that are open and transparent, even when it hurts builds trust and credibility (from Influence by Dr. Robert Cialdini)

  • Choose good enough over nearly perfect, military officers use 70% confidence to move on a decision

  • Most of all, it's not about you, it's about helping the team deliver the best product to its users and customers

Read Eric's article on the AppCues blog "4 product manager responsibilities that great PMs embrace"

Posted on in Product Strategy

About the author

is an AIPMM certified product manager and design leader. He writes about new innovations and established practices in digital product development.