产品经理的42个原则-原则6:Product Management Is Inherently Political:产品管理是与生俱来的政治!

Product managers tend to have very rational, process-driven views of the world.  We’d like to believe that our various stakeholders are thoughtful, unemotional, and willing to compromise and put the company’s overall strategic interest ahead of departmental politics and personal rewards.  Of course, that’s not how it is in the real world.

产品经理倾向于拥有非常理性的、过程驱动的世界观。我们愿意相信,我们的各种利益相关者都是深思熟虑的、非情绪化的、愿意折中的,并将公司的整体战略利益置于部门政治和个人回报之上的。当然,在现实世界中,情况并非如此。

One of our primary jobs as product managers is to prioritize what gets done (and the many things that therefore won’t get done soon.)   Unavoidably, most of our internal customers will be unhappy with some of our choices.  And that’s regardless of how well we’ve applied “internal ROI” and other quantitative approaches to creating the best road map. MRDs are only the starting point in an ongoing lobbying campaign for product improvements. In other words, product managers will always have to manage the emotional world of people and internal politics.

作为产品经理,我们的主要工作之一就是优先处理去做的事情(以及许多因此不会很快完成的事情)。不可避免的是,我们的大多数内部客户会对我们的一些选择感到不满。这与我们如何应用“内部ROI”和其他量化方法来创造最好的路线图无关。MRD只是正在进行的产品改进游说活动的起点。换句话说,产品经理通常不得不去管理人们的情感世界和内部政治。

Setting the Stage

打造舞台

You’ve collected a nearly infinite list of possible improvements, advances, new features, and architectural repairs. Your goal is to build one orderly list of items, review them with Engineering for size and suitability, and then issue a definitive road map or requirements document (MRD or PRD) that formally declares what will be built. Being analytical and a bit compulsive, you think of this as the end of a long process, after which Engineering will leap into action.

您已经收集了几乎无限的可能提高、改进、新特性和架构修复的列表。您的目标是构建一个有序的项目列表,用工程的大小和适用性来检查它们,然后发布一个明确的路线图或需求文档(MRD或PRD),正式发布将要构建的内容。要去分析并带有一点强迫性,你认为这是一个漫长过程的结束,在此之后,工程将会投入行动。

You’ve had to make choices from a dissimilar list of potential projects:

你必须从一个不同的潜在项目列表中做出选择:

  • Broad feature improvements as demanded by the market, reviews, user groups, and your keen sense of what customers want
  • 通过对市场、评论、用户群和你对客户所想的敏锐感觉的需要,你要对其进行了广泛的改进。
  • Internal architectural changes that will be invisible to customers but are needed for improved quality or longer-term goals
  • 内部架构的变更,对客户来说是不可见的,但是则需要提高质量或作为长期目标    
  • Customer specials for specific big accounts, likely to be of limited use to others
  • 针对特定大客户的特价,可能对其他客户的用途有限。
  • Bug fixes and cleanup that reduce technical debt
  • 减少技术债务的Bug修复和清理
  • High-profile product bets on emerging market needs or new technologies
  • 对新兴市场需求或新技术的高调产品押注

Trade-offs within each group are easy, but across groups are nearly impossible. Part of your job is to balance these different categories so that your next release meets a few needs from each group.

每个群体之间的交易很容易,但是跨群体几乎是不可能的。你的部分工作是平衡这些不同的类别,这样你的下一个版本就能满足每个群体的一些需求。

Ultimately, an MRD is the culmination of intense negotiations with all parties (engineering, marketing, sales, customers). It represents a compromise based on your best judgment and the facts on hand. Ideally, you’ve also made each constituent group feel valued/respected/listened to. After emailing the final MRD to all groups, your team takes you out for a well-deserved celebration. This feels like a milestone.

最终,MRD是与所有各方(工程、市场、销售、客户)激烈谈判的高潮。它代表了一种基于你的最佳判断和眼前事实的妥协。在理想的情况下,你也要让每个组成群体感到有价值/被尊重/在倾听。在把最后的MRD发送给所有的团队之后,你的团队会带你去参加一个当之无愧的庆祝活动。这感觉像是一个里程碑。

Nearly immediately, though, two kinds of problems arise. One is caused by actual changes in the world: shifting customer needs, market trends, product experience, and general evolution. The second is lobbying from the sales teams and internal groups that did not get what they wanted. By making hard choices about which features are in your next release, you’ve had to postpone other legitimate requests.

尽管如此,但立刻就出现了两类问题。一个是由世界的现实变化引起的:不断变化的客户需求、市场趋势、产品体验和一般的进化。第二个是来自销售团队和内部群体的游说,他们没有得到他们想要的东西。下一个版本中要有哪些特性,你要做出艰难的选择,因此,您不得不推迟其他合理的请求。

Political Issues Require Political Solutions

政治问题需要政治解决方案

Allocating scarce resources always leaves some people dissatisfied, and drives them to escalate complaints or question the decision-making process. This is certainly true of product plans, which prioritize Engineering’s projects and schedules. You can call this “politics” if you like, or “group decision-making,” or any handy phrase from the MBA Organizational Behavior handbook. Regardless of the label, even the perfect MRD will leave some of your constituents unhappy. To keep the process moving forward, you need political support for the decision process and your final choices.

分配稀缺资源总是让一些人不满意,并促使他们升级投诉或质疑决策过程。这对于产品计划来说是正确的,它优先考虑工程的项目和时间表。如果你喜欢的话,你可以称之为“政治”,或者“群体决策”,或者是MBA组织行为手册中的任何有用的短语。不管标签是什么,即使是完美的MRD也会让你的一些涉众不高兴。为了让这个过程继续下去,你需要决策过程和最终选择对你有政治支持。

Generally, this involves pre-negotiation with executives in Sales, Engineering, Marketing and perhaps Finance or Manufacturing. Helping them understand your process—and how their teams will get some of the things that they need—is one way to get ahead of escalations and second-guessing.

一般来说,这涉及到与销售、工程、营销,或许还有金融或生产的高管进行谈判。帮助他们理解你的过程——以及他们的团队将如何得到他们所需要的东西——是一种超越逐步升级和事后批评的方法。

Product managers are paid to make decisions that have an impact on the broader organization. This makes us part of the internal political process. Rather than ignore this reality, we need to understand how decisions are made and remade and work within the system.

产品经理的要做的是对更广泛的组织做出有影响的决定。这使我们成为内部政治进程的一部分。我们不应该忽视这个现实,而是需要理解如何在系统中做出和重塑决策。



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