Published on 2023-02-15

Product Managers Are Coaches

A Product Manager is like being a coach

A baseball cap saying Coach

When I was a Business Analyst, I was the one working closely with different departments, different teams and external suppliers to gather requirements or articulate requirements. I was working closely with developers and the testers. I knew details of how everything worked, regulatory, systems and business requirements in detail.

When I became the Product Manager one of the challenges I faced was to let go of the low level details. When the pressure increased it was easy to go back to what I knew and what I was comfortable with.

Initially I thought the Product Manager role was being the therapist for my team. Listening to their concerns and making sure they are in a safe environment to produce their best work. But as I grew into the role and worked in different organisations I started to change my analogy.

Being a Product Manager is like being a coach of a team. As the coach, it's your responsibility to define the game plan by setting a clear product strategy, objectives and goals. But it's also your responsibility to make sure you are making the individuals within your team improve and get better and also play as a team.

You need to treat each person within your team as individuals and understand how to get the best out of them. What kind of work gets them mentally stimulated? Not everybody works the same so knowing all of the individuals will allow you to get the best out of the team whilst making sure the wellbeing of the individuals within the team are looked after as well. It is also important to cultivate a good team culture so that the team is working together to achieve the goals and objectives.

When things are going well you praise the team and when something goes wrong it's your responsibility to step in front and protect the team. If you set a good strategy, prepare the team, allow them the freedom to showcase their talent and play as a team then the team will produce great results.

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