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The trouble is that if the banks don't bite the bullet and speculatively build a SCV, then someone else (usually outside the industry) will and at that point, the market need will reveal itself. Identity theft, implicit mobile and persistent payments and other new forms of international financial transactions yet to be invented will begin to depend on a single view of customer. I discuss these further here:
A great product manager should be an agent of change able to inspire, convince, cajole and institute change upwards and downwards in an organization and to do the same with customers, partners and investors. And all of these thing simultaneously. This means you're looking for an individual who is able to successfully carry a set of dichotomous pairs of traits: Communicator vs. Highly Analytical A) They must be highly effective communicators (two ears one mouth - used in that proportion) able to hear and empathize with the business needs of every stakeholder (understand engineering constraints, sales targets, customers' business models and pains, investors' ROI/Payback objectives), understand which are real needs and which are simply perceived, then address the real needs head-on with product features and service options. B) But they also must be able perform an independent analysis, asking critcal questions of the problem, the system and technical solution. They must be able to shift focus and see things from 50,000 ft or under a microscope then rapidly move between the two perspectives (like this and then make objective decisions that optimize resources and deliver the greatest return on investment Pragmatic vs. Idealistic A) They must be able to apply logical process to ensure that all factors are well considered yet be able to make rapid decisions on incomplete information, to make trade offs and hard decisions to cut features. They need to know when to stand-by those decisions and where to adapt them when the situation shifts unexpectedly. Ultimately a project manager has to manage the dividing line on a product backlog. B) Yet, they need to be open to new ideas, know how to brainstorm effectively, to champion new technologies and understand how to infuse existing products with innovation and create game changing strategies and they need to know how to create action and movement out of an idea with strong potential. Critical vs. Promoting A) They must be able to be constructively critical of the product - in terms of underlying technology, in terms of the total user experience to include any services and channel partner aspects, in terms of elegance vs. functionality of user interface, in terms of product quality and not be afraid to ask the stupid and obvious questions - this is a process of continuous improvement. B) However, they must also be able to promote and put a postive spin on the proposition - to sell new ideas inside the organization, present new concepts to prospects, customers and channel partners, press and analysts such that they are itching to use it for themselves, they must be a performer and improviser. When you look at the skill set, is it any wonder that these individuals are rare - because as you say, they are quickly snapped up or more likely, they're doing it for themselves.
Toggle Commented Nov 27, 2009 on why hiring a product manager is so hard at Summation
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Nov 26, 2009