Defining success

At a product management event I attended recently, one of the speakers made an interesting point. He said you shouldn’t judge the success of a product manager by the success of their product.

Sometimes products fail, sometimes they collapse due to market changes, and the fear of this reflecting badly on their performance shouldn’t keep the product manager from making the decision to retire the product and move onto the next best idea.

Instead, he advocated measuring the success of the product manager by the health of their team. Specifically, asking team members to answer four questions:
– Are they all clear on the objectives they are pursuing?
– Do they consider that they are delivering value?
– Do they have autonomy?
– Do they feel safe to challenge ideas and decisions?

If the answer to all of those questions is yes, the product manager is successful.

Are you using the right measures to judge the success of your people?

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