Don’t debate the debaters, but instead, influence the influencers.
Product managers are leaders and influencers of features, ideas, and epic tasks. Some have direct and backed authority, many others have variants that are partial or merely implicit. Either way, to achieve the greatest success, do you rule with force? Or influence, and guide, and allow for shared discovery in support of your product’s end goals?
Let’s Take Designers
There are all types of designers. To describe a few…
Can often get lost in the weeds and minutia. They may even often fail at the on time delivery of a product since, for them, nothing less than 100% perfect will do.
A genius at creating new design patterns; and is always trying to work them into every corner of the product design. They seek to establish previously unexperienced trends. And, they may see themselves more as an artist than as a designer working to meet the business requirements of customers, or product managers.
They take, borrow, improve ideas of their own, from their team, peers, as well as, from outside the company (blogs, designers, books, websites, …). They may not be doing the heavy lifting, but, make no mistakes, they are the design conductor behind the scenes.
The Standard Barer
This individual of rigorous ideals, follows only the establish design patterns — shirking from trying the untried ideas. Often they end up following these standards to a fault, impinging innovation and other business goals.
Your designer doesn’t want to make the changes to the UI that you think will provide additional business value, through usability, productivity, better experience, …
What do you do? Twist an arm? Or, understand the individual, and influence the influencers?
What’s your advice for these and other types of designers?
Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing various examples and approaches in wielding strategic influence as a successful product manager.
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The Product Guy