This world is a place of business

Evelyn Rodriguez quotes in her Crossroads Dispatches, "This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work."

Our annual survey proves it: Product managers receive 65 emails a day and send 30. We attend about 15 meetings a week. (Have you noticed how many emails you send that say "here is the link" or "fyi" and how few meetings are about your target market?) We're working at least 50 hours a week. But are we productive or are we merely busy? And are we doing product management or other's people work? It seems to me that companies have cut back on many of their support personnel but customers and sales people still need the support--and so, they call on product management because there's no one else. Most of us are in 4th quarter, meaning that we're in serious sales support mode. I suggest that all product managers keep track of their time and where it is being used. And then in January, we can reflect on how our time was used and where it should have been used. Meanwhile, carve out some time to get some work done. And make sure you don't work on the weekend. (Did anyone see the irony of posting this on the weekend?)

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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