The PM’s Dilemma

A friend sent me this tweet recently and it hit hard

Since moving to Europe, I only experienced non-process oriented roles when I worked for, and when I worked for Zalando reporting to Henning. Those were the most fulfilling experiences for me as a product manager. We were truly customer centric and doing whatever it takes to create great products. And we were seeing the results.

When I talk to friends I trust at other companies, they are suffering the same. Over time I am becoming skeptical of how the PM job is being portrayed vs how it actually is. You get interviewed for your ability to solve complex product problems and how they influence users yet – most of the time – you end up with a road map from the top and your job becomes constant negotiations with everyone to clear dependencies. I use the Arabic word مسلكاتى. I can’t find a descriptive enough word in English, if you have suggestions leave them in the comments.

Anyways, finding an empowered product team as Marty Cagan likes to call them is becoming really a challenge, and it is becoming one of the areas I hope to build a model for myself that allows me to find and be able to join them, until then I have to live with the PM dilemma of being the guy who clear out dependencies and establish processes المسلكاتى.