In a July entry, I wrote that product design is not part of a product manager's role. A product manager specifies the requirements, but not the design, for a product. In one of his comments, Steve Johnson included a link to an excellent article he wrote about the distinction between requirements and specifications. Whether you are a product manager or a company executive trying to understand the proper roles within the product team, it's well worth the read.
The Goal As a company executive, you want confidence that your product team (which includes all the people, from all departments, responsible for product success) has a sound basis for deciding which items are on the product roadmap. You also want confidence the team is prioritizing the items in a smart way. What Should We Prioritize? The items the team prioritizes could be features, user stories, epics, market problems, themes, or experiments. Melissa Perri makes an excellent case for a " problem roadmap ", and, in general, I recommend focusing on the latter types of items. However, the topic of what types of items you should prioritize - and in what situations - is interesting and important but beyond the scope of this blog entry. A Sad but Familiar Story If there is significant controversy about priorities, then almost inevitably, a product manager or other member of the team decides to put together The Spreadsheet. I've done it. Some of the mos