The product management job has no shortage of challenges, tactical or strategic. There are the ones you sign up for: validating problems in the market, identifying a differentiated value proposition, defining the roadmap, shepherding feature development. For most of us, those things are synonymous with the job itself.
Then there are the challenges we don’t necessarily sign up for but often end up being the hardest parts of the job. In Ben Horowitz’s book The Hard thing about Hard Things, he expanded at length on how the hardest parts of being a CEO for him had never been on his radar before: demoting loyal friends, hiring people who fit the company today but likely won’t tomorrow, and more.
I’ve found his point about running a company to be true of product management as well. The toughest parts of the job, the things that really make it challenging, often aren’t in the job description. Whether it’s not having enough time to do what you need, managing upward, or motivating people, I’ve found that most product managers cite something that doesn’t immediately come to mind as their number one obstacle. And now, we’ve got some survey data to prove it.
We’d love to hear about what your number one challenge is in our product manager survey. It takes about two minutes, and we’ll share the results with Mind the Product Readers in a separate post as soon as the results are in.
Please note that this is not a Mind the Product survey. It’s part of the research for a new service, currently in development, which is aimed at helping product managers do their jobs better. We look forward to sharing those details in the near future.