Issues Faced by Non-Technical Product Managers

A vast majority of modern day Product Managers are migrating from a technical background. This means that the remainder of the Product Manager community don’t come from a background involving any technological aspects. Although not having any technical experience isn’t exactly the end of your Product Management career, having some technical experience can go a long way. Here’s some issues faced by non-technically inclined Product Managers. 
  • Discussion with Technical Teams Can Be Difficult

It comes with no exception that holding an important discussion with your technical team can prove to be a difficult task if you harbor no knowledge of substantial technical caliber. This ranges from discussions involving keywords and terminology such as what platforms your team uses to discuss project deadlines and appropriate time estimates for a task. 

  • What You Can Do to Remedy This

The best way to begin holding better discussions with your technical team is to study up on key phrases and modern day technological terminology. This not only provides you with adequate knowledge of holding meaningful meetings with the technical masters of your company, but it allows for you to understand better when you’re asked a technical question or to give a statement.

  • Difficulty Creating Roadmaps for Technical Teams

One of the key responsibilities of a Product Manager is the creation and tracking of roadmaps. There can be difficulties creating roadmaps if you don’t know the platforms, and requirements for different implementations of technical functions within a product. If you don’t know how long it’ll take a task to be fully completed by the team, then your range for estimating a deadline will only continuously expand, or be far too close to the current date, and it can either slow down your project, or product unnecessary stress for your team members. 

  • How to Overcome This Difficulty

The best way to get better at creating technical roadmaps would definitely be to study up on the key programs that your team uses, and what is required of them. Speak constantly and ask questions from the team members, and the directors of the teams. Get valuable insight from other prospective members of your company, and gather as much data as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – everyone’s human, and Product Managers don’t have the answers to everything. 

You can also read up on Roadmaps through our Understanding Product Roadmaps mini-series

  • Technical Presentations

This goes hand-in-hand with the first point, about discussions with the team. With the knowledge and caliber of a strong technical background, you’d be at a disadvantage when it comes to presenting to teams, and stakeholders / executives on where the product is, technologically speaking. This can be difficult to overcome, and can lead to unprecedented situations. 

  • Overall

This cannot be stressed enough – study, study, and study. Product Management is all about learning every day on how to improve your skills, and work under more situations daily. The more you learn and know about technology and technical functionalities within your company, the better. You don’t have to know everything about the field and be a master, but just scratching the surface can go a very long way – you don’t even have to know much coding to gain a significant benefit in the Product Management role.

Do you need to know coding? You don’t need to in order to become a Product Manager, and this is explained within our article – Should a Product Manager Know How to Code?

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