Product Manager, Interrupted

Jacques Murphy writes, If I could point to a common trait of product manager positions, whether the focus is technical or marketing, it's that product managers spend much of their time in what I call interruption mode. Interruption mode is when it seems like everyone, from the CEO to the UPS delivery man, pops into your office to ask you questions or seek your help on projects as varied as requirements, RFPs, press releases, and collateral.

These kinds of interruptions could easily take up your entire workweek. I've had days that were nothing but interruptions, by phone and in person.

But product managers also have critical components of their jobs that require extended concentration to produce. Projects such as requirements documents, user stories, articles and presentations all demand blocks of time where you can create and polish them.

The struggle, then, is to figure out how to carry out these two conflicting aspects of your product manager job. Read on for tips on how to carve out concentration time for your bigger projects and yet be available as an as-needed resource for teammates who need your help to get their work done.

Read the full article on the Boston Product Management Association web site.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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