2001 Comments for My Manager

By Pragmatic Institute April 27, 2007

If I could say one thing to my immediate supervisor without fear of reprisal, it would be (sorted alphabetically):

  • A product marketing plan has a shelf-life longer than 45-60 days.
  • Actually, I have (I think) an open and safe forum with my supervisor to discuss frustrations.
  • Announce the reorg! Get the word out.
  • Annual raises need to be increased because they are not competitive with the outside market.
  • anything
  • As a group we could be much more effective if you would spend some time on personnel affairs and team management.
  • Be clear about goals and then follow through in helping implement them
  • Be Consistent
  • be consistent, not hypocritical
  • Be willing to put a stake in the ground
  • Better define the scope and measurables of my role, responsibilities and accountability / ownership so that can focus, measure my performance and have measurable goals to target. Help put a framework around the chaos.
  • better planning, not that much ad-hoc actions
  • Bonuses?
  • Can never quite understand why he always appears so high on adrenalin
  • Can we be a little more strategic, please?
  • Can we do the right thing, instead of doing things right--can't we do what makes sense for the company and not for your career!
  • Can we please make products that people want to buy TODAY
  • change the company culture
  • Clear understanding of the role of Product Management is sorely needed.
  • Commit to doing market research and use this information to make informed decisions instead of guessing.
  • communicate
  • Communicate
  • Communicate more consistently and effectively with the whole team. We need to know about the strategic conversations you have with senior management.
  • Communicate!!! Listen as well as talk. You can't tell me to develop & position a product only to later say 'That's nice, but here's what we just said to a collection of our biggest customers'.
  • Communication from the top down about corporate objectives, direction, and activities is sorely lacking. This kind of communication is vital to being able to do my job.
  • company should be clearer about direction in short and long term and expectations of its employees.
  • Company-wide buy-in begins at the top and if you lay the foundation and describe the plan, associates can identify with their specific role in the plan. Without a high-level plan and input from the top, getting departments and associates to buy-in is difficult. Give Product Management the authority and leeway to get the job done, then manage by identifying areas to improve. Communicate this through-out the company so that Product Management can receive the necessary respect from other departments, knowing that we are supported from the top.
  • Congratulations on your promotion, its time for me to go now...
  • Cough up the money!
  • Could somebody please tell me what my job is supposed to be this week?
  • Could you please respond when I submit a question instead of waiting for my 2nd, 3rd, or 4th query before you finally respond.
  • Deal with the conflict in the organization
  • Decide what you really want to do and prioritize the things you want done.
  • Define what the company expects of my position and give me the authority required to meet those expectations.
  • Delegate authority
  • Delegate more
  • delegate more projects instead of doing them yourself...I find a lot of the managers at this company are doing their own work and not managing the staff.
  • Delegation!
  • Directors should focus on the large picture--not the details. Let the product managers handle the individual products. Translation: STOP MICRO-MANAGING!
  • Do not micro-manage!
  • Do not only focus on internal problems.
  • Do we want positive productive results or do we want everyone doing the same thing the same way- without using creativity. Who is to say what is right or wrong.
  • Do what is best for the company not for yourself.
  • Do what you know, and don't do what you don't know
  • Do you have any idea how many people are canceling out each other's efforts, or working on the same thing in different directions and in different departments in this company due to the lack of internal communication?
  • Don't get in the way, add value.
  • don't micromanage me!
  • Don't micromanage my activities.
  • Don't sell products before they are released!
  • Don't watch the clock.
  • drive transformational leadership
  • Due to the lack of resources, still too many decision are based on 'guts feeling' instead of Market Research.
  • Dunno where to start.. so many things--we did have a confidential internal survey in which I did just that--and listed everything. I still have a job, so perhaps it really was confidential! :-)
  • Employ some admin staff so we can stop photocopying and start product managing
  • Empower me
  • enough with the 'evolutionary departmental processes' let's pick a process and stick to it!
  • Fairly distribute responsibilities in order to meet these objectives.
  • Fast Decisions.
  • Finish what you start
  • Fire most of development and let's get some can-do Product Development folks in here--instead of project oriented ex-consultants.
  • Fix sales. I'm tired of hearing that we can't do anything about it.
  • focus
  • Focus more on strategic and manage the tactical.
  • Focus on solving business problems with broad market appeal.
  • Focus!
  • Focus, focus, focus
  • Focus. Great execution will beat great strategy every time.
  • focuses on the tactical objectives to the detriment of strategic and therefor so do most of the direct reports.
  • Get better organized and pay more attention to management activities.
  • Get in touch
  • Get me out of the tactical areas.
  • Get me some help with the details so I can spend more time working strategically.
  • Get me some more resources.
  • Get me the support of a strong business analyst with developer background to assist with drafting detailed specs.
  • Get more involved with each of the product lines.
  • Get more involved!
  • Get more organized and communicate better.
  • Get out of my way, you have no idea what you are doing
  • Get some focus to this group [of product marketing managers]
  • Get some real systems in place and stop letting the developers drive the product.
  • Get your head out of the bits/bytes & internal jockeying and focus on customers & business.
  • Give clear direction on objectives and trust me to implement according to my recommendations
  • Give me a promotion!
  • Give me a raise!
  • Give me carte blanche to go out and do won/loss analysis with customers onsite.
  • Give me guidance when I ask for it; otherwise, stay out of my way. Oh, and stop dropping crap on me at the last moment!
  • Give me guidance.
  • Give me independence
  • Give me more authority and accountability
  • Give me more documented processes to complete the tactical aspects of my job.
  • Give me more money!
  • Give me more resources
  • Give me more responsibility.
  • Give me more staff--you continue to ask for more with less people.
  • Give me ownership and responsibility for all resources, including headcount, related to my products.
  • Give me some direction and edges!
  • Give me the freedom to make my own business decisions.
  • Go with what you know, not what you are told you know.
  • Good Communicator-Straight Forward
  • Great Job!
  • Great job!
  • great person to work with. honest
  • Have an opinion on what direction we should be going and drive the company there.
  • Have the courage to build the correct (and definite) plan, execute it, and accept the consequences.
  • he completely and thoroughly understands the art of getting a product from inception to customer ship. he is a scientist at product management.
  • He does not understand Product Management therefore he is not a very effective manager, likewise he does not have the respect from Engineering that is needed.
  • He doesn't delegate enough decision-making to me (forgets how I can help)
  • He is not strategically focused.
  • He needs to allow my group to have more autonomy. The management structure is too thick right now.
  • He needs to be more forthcoming with information and more trusting of my abilities and decisions
  • Help me understand better what I should (and therefore, by implication should not) be spending my time on. I feel that my role is at times poorly (and too broadly) defined.
  • Hire a junior PM to help--I'm drowning.
  • hire a senior product manager or promote me to the position, don't expect me to do both.
  • Hire competent employees, invest in their learning curve.
  • Hire more help.
  • Hire more people to work for me.
  • Hire some more product managers
  • How am I doing?
  • How can we fix the backwards, illogical, internal processes that we claim our products help others to do? Or when will this company ever move more decision making into the hands of those who have the information and intellectual capability to handle the responsibility?
  • Hurry up. Just because a meeting is planned for 90 minutes, we do not have to spend the entire time. It is ok to finish early.
  • I afraid that more training would just make me more frustrated in my current job, due to dysfunctional reporting structures and poor resource alignment
  • I am able to voice any and all concerns to my immediate supervisor ... my main concern is one that affects our division, it is to achieve consistency in terms of job requirements and responsibilities across the departments and in the promotion process ...
  • I am bored with the job.
  • I am happy to work for you
  • I am not working as efficiently as I believe I should be because of my workload and support provide to external resources.
  • I am overworked. We need to hire more Product Managers. Also I need clearer vision on the overall strategy of the company.
  • I am pretty comfortable with my relationship with my boss.
  • I am tired of spoon feeding our sales department. They are lazy, don't know our product or market. They are 'order takers', not sales people.
  • I am under-compensated compared to my peers, yet my workload, accountability and visibility are considerably more intense. These equity issues are seriously detrimental to my job satisfaction.
  • I am very frank with my immediate supervisor. However, the C-level doesn�t realize that cutting marketing will have an almost-immediate negative impact on revenue.
  • I believe the company executive tier actively undermines my ability to do my job through their incompetent and disorganized management.
  • I can say pretty much anything to him without fear of reprisal. He's a good man, and I'm lucky he's my boss.
  • I can tell him everything!
  • I dislike the lack of clear company direction, and the constantly changing objectives.
  • I do not fear reprisal and say what I need to say.
  • I don't fear reprisal--lately it's been that the concept of 'executive sponsor' for development teams are ridiculous, and that Development management needs to be accountable for their lack of delivery.
  • I don't hold anything back, but I would love to hear some of the responses to this question.
  • I don't really have any fears of reprisal under my current manager. We have a very good working relationship and are open about critical issues.
  • I HATE YOU!
  • I have ideas of ways that we could work more effectively as a corporation.
  • I have no career path working for you.
  • I have no fear of reprisal, so bring up any topic that's of concern to my customers or the people that report to me.
  • I have no problems with him. He is new to the company and is the driving force behind changing our focus to Product Management.
  • I have too many products to manage.
  • I have too much on my plate
  • I know we're in a downturn, but I could really use some professional development.
  • I like you as a person, but I wish you had more guts, and would fight more for your team, especially when discussing issues with Engineering.
  • I love my job.
  • I need a raise!
  • I need either more money, or less responsibility.
  • I need more direction on where my career is headed.
  • I need more involvement / input into strategic activities instead of just delivering on tactical activities--also, it seems like upper management dictates product direction / strategy and product managers are left to execute only.
  • I need more money and more strategic tasks.
  • I need to be more strategic and less tactical because I can not understand the technical details of this product well enough to be effective.
  • I need to be out in the field more. Unfortunately, our development department is in chaos and I am forced to stay in the home office to baby-sit.
  • I need to make more money!!!
  • I need to view the world beyond my product. i.e.: give me accountability for the performance of my product, and give me the authority to more fully influence its success.
  • I need training now
  • I pretty much tell him everything I am thinking without fear of reprisal, but I am lucky.
  • I quit!
  • I say everything without reprisal fear.
  • I say most anything openly and freely to my supervisor
  • I should be seriously considered for a promotion and salary adjustment
  • I want a raise!
  • I wish he would follow through more with details on tasks and hold everyone accountable.
  • I wish I received more feedback on the job that I'm doing.
  • I would ask my management 'what the hell were you thinking when you made that decision?'
  • I would like more training/mentoring.
  • I would like to have more information on other departments in a more timely fashion
  • I�d like to be able to apply more traditional product management processes to our product development rather than the current development-led approach
  • I'd like to more analysis. I'm stuck right now with some drudge work.
  • If we don't have a bonus plan in place next year, I'm out of here.
  • If we don't wake up we will drive this company into the ground!
  • I'm not well-aimed. I'm doing parts of everyone else's job, including yours, and not doing enough of the one the company needs most.
  • I'm overworked and underpaid
  • Improve your communication skills.
  • Institute a bonus system that motivates employees to be the best they can be. Fully utilize the skills of the people that work for you.
  • Invest more in employee recognition programs
  • Invest more in marketing.
  • It would be nice if you managed 'down' sometimes as opposed to always managing 'up.'
  • It's about the quality of the work, NOT the number of hours spent at the office!
  • It's OK to take risks sometimes to keep our internal passion for our jobs alive. If we consistently take the conservative approach, we'll certainly succeed. But compromise is not always the most rewarding path.
  • It's time to get back to basics
  • Jump out of ship!
  • Just give me resources and I'll deliver results
  • Keep focused on our overall business objectives, and don't get distracted by side-line projects quite so easily.
  • Keep it up
  • Keep me focused on more strategic issues.
  • Keep me in the loop.
  • Keep the strategy consistent
  • Keep up the good work. You are the best Mgr. I've worked for in 5 years
  • Knowing what my job entails now, I wouldn't have applied for it.
  • Learn from Pragmatic Institute
  • Learn how to balance the workload of your team more effectively
  • Learn how to be more organized and provide more direction to staff
  • Learn how to coach your employees and provide regular educational training
  • Learn how to communicate better. Keep your team in the loop.
  • Learn to communicate more clearly.
  • Learn to delegate and share control
  • Learn to execute on a strategy and manage your team in a more organized fashion with objectives that are clearly related to the strategy.
  • Learn to manage!
  • Learn when to say 'no' to sales VPs.
  • Less is more .... REALLY!
  • Less talk and more action
  • Let me do my frickin' job, would ya!
  • Let me do my job, focus on the competition and not worry about internal processes.
  • Let me do my job. I am sick of being stuck doing Marcom.
  • Let me get more involved in setting divisional strategy.
  • Let me work a 40 hour week just once--or even better, take a vacation.
  • Let's be more market driven! Product management must not just facilitate product definition, but rather drive it. Sure we tout the innovations of our R&D, but more often than not, the results are over-engineered.
  • Let's create a business plan that is externally focused and really use it!
  • let's do less and focus on what counts.
  • Lets focus on talking to customers in order to understand their needs.
  • Let's focus on the customer needs, and not the internal politics.
  • Let's formulate a technical strategy plan and stick to it.
  • Let's get focused
  • Let's get focused! Visit our customers. Visit our prospects. Understand the market. Enhance to meet needs...you run the business, while we develop the product.
  • Let's get more organized
  • Let's go for a drink...
  • Let's improve customer interactions
  • Let's keep pushing to build this business!
  • let's keep the process simple and consistent; let's make good decisions and move on;
  • Let's lay off the underperformers and rehire.
  • Lets REALLY pursue new revenue streams and markets instead of talking about them.
  • Lets stay focused
  • Lighten my work load
  • Listen and appreciate your staff.
  • Listen to the Customer!!!!!
  • Listen to the data and rely less on intuition.
  • Lose your opinion and quit looking out for yourself. Support the recommendations/research of the associates within the team for the good of the company.
  • Make decisions faster
  • Make it easier for me to do my job; don't tell me how to do my job.
  • Make me a VP
  • Make more time for your direct reports.
  • make some decisions and more action oriented projects NOW
  • Make sure there are clear lines of responsibility and recognition for work for the appropriate individuals.
  • Make the organization accountable and responsible for their activities
  • Make up your mind...our strategic direction changes like the wind. It's very challenging to keep changing direction on an ongoing basis.
  • Marcom is the Arts and Crafts part of the business, Product Management is what makes or breaks a company
  • Marketing needs more power over Engineering and our CTO.
  • Mentor!!!
  • More communication, more collaborative activities
  • more mentoring, less micromanaging
  • More money for MI activities
  • More stock options, NOW!
  • My immediate supervisor has no more control in the organization than I do.
  • My immediate supervisor is an honest and honorable person. One suggestion for improvement (that I have already made directly without fear of reprisal) is that she delegate more of the unplanned project work that is passed on to the department.
  • My title sucks!
  • Near clearer job expectations and roadmaps for fulfilling those expectations.
  • Need more access to financial, revenue and profit information. The company should be more focused on market strategy based development instead of the immediate client requests for the quarter.
  • Need more people for the current workload, but I have already told him this.
  • need more resources
  • needs to learn more and is too reactive
  • New boss... give me time. ;-)
  • NIHITO :)
  • nothing to say at this time
  • Nothing, I really (for once) think I have a great boss!
  • Nothing. He's not the problem. The CEO is.
  • nothing. I can pretty much say whatever I want without reprisal.
  • Nothing. I can say anything topical to my immediate supervisor w/o fear of reprisal.
  • Nothing. We say what we think to one another.
  • Old School
  • Only bonus systems that are representative of achievements are of any value.
  • open minded but not overly expressive
  • Organize activities around business objectives.
  • Organize.
  • Our Development process is intended to help me do my job better by pushing down the decision-making, providing consistent measurable goals, and accountability for me, product development, and the executives who commit to the plan. The way we're implementing it is too rigid and requires too much painful and unnecessary administrative work that doesn't relate to improving product quality, time-to-market, customer satisfaction, or generating revenue.
  • Our organizational structure is set-up for failure.
  • Our VP is an idiot.
  • Pay me more!
  • Pay men and women the same. Join us in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s.
  • Pay more attention to the people that are closer to the real customers and action.
  • Pick a strategy and stick with it for longer than three months.
  • Please delegate things to me, as I need to learn and you're working too many hours!
  • Please don't have any product conversations or plans without including me.
  • Please don't micro-manage me.
  • Please figure out a way to stop spending all of your time managing product; you need to manage and coach people.
  • Please help your managers by providing a consistent voice and vision. Some of your ideas have been very good, but without consistent backing we cannot carry them as far as they need to be. We need stronger, more consistent leadership.
  • Please learn the product.
  • Please Plan and Communicate!
  • please start paying me hourly!! ;-)
  • Please stop making us write all these product direction papers when the company doesn't even follow them.
  • Please, just make a friggin decision.
  • PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE get consensus agreement from the senior executive level to focus and maintain a business strategy that affords product management the opportunity to succeed or fail--before changing strategy mid product lifecycle time and time again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Product Management should be moved out of the development organization.
  • product marketing is not Marcom
  • Professional courtesy and discipline, intellectual honesty, and respect for all individuals in the organization will go a long way to overcome the huge internal obstacles we face every day.
  • Projects based on fixed dates and fixed costs will not succeed
  • Provide clear directives.
  • Provide more support for product marketing role
  • Provide some guiding vision/strategy that I can plug into...
  • Quit being so reactive to engineering and sales. We need to get out front and lead.
  • Quit being so short sighted. There are more factors that influence an issue than the sales force.
  • raise my salary :-)
  • Rather than come up with these 'schemes of the month', just let me do what I�ve already defined (based on research), even though it will take 9 more months to fully deliver!!
  • Read the articles at productmarketing.com and learn from them
  • Realize that sometimes there is more than one way to skin an apple. Some cut with a detailed and artistic approach; others like to get to the inside for immediate satisfaction. (a Big juicy bite.) Neither are incorrect ways to approach it, since the results are the same. It is not necessary to teach others to do it one specific way if the results are the same.
  • Re-institute a bonus incentive plan
  • Remain strategic through the tactical fires
  • Remember, we want to sell easy-to-build stuff for the most money, not just cool technology.
  • Replace underperformers.
  • Respect the intelligence of the Managers working for them and be supportive to decisions made by the Manager
  • return my phone calls and find the time to talk with me.
  • reward virtual teaming
  • Rock on!
  • Running a company is hard to do. We need to acknowledge that there is a skill to strategic direction, organizational structure, and leadership. Hiring based on industry experience alone won't get us the needed skill sets.
  • Salaries have got to get better!
  • Seniority within the company does not necessarily equate to the most sound decision. Employees that bring senior level work experience along with senior educational credentials to the company have ideas and work processes that can jump-start a company's current way of approaching the business. If seniority is a prime consideration in the way the company does business then the company may as well unionize.
  • Set objectives that can be met and hold people accountable if they don't make them.
  • share more information with us about corporate strategies and initiatives
  • She is great. We have a strong department, hiring, moving forward.
  • Show more independence from the Development managers.
  • Shut up! (he talks too much)
  • Sometimes you sweat unnecessary details. I do tell him this, and don't fear reprisal.
  • Stand up for our Products!!!
  • Stand up more to development--don't let them dictate what features to develop and what they should contain.
  • Start planning a strategy
  • Stay focused
  • Stay with the decided strategies !
  • Stock options are not a replacement for SALARY. Options should be a performance incentive or a reward, not a paycheck substitute. It's depressing to look at every day, but it's our gauge as to when to get out. As soon as the stock crosses the magic line, you'll see an exodus of young talent.
  • Stock options would be an excellent way to ensure my desire to stay with the company.
  • Stop changing priorities. Focus on one thing for more than a year.
  • Stop changing requirements at the drop of a hat and once a release is agreed upon--do not come back mid-release and expect to get new content in.
  • Stop changing the company focus! It makes it impossible to do any effective planning.
  • Stop changing the direction of the product line.
  • Stop doing everything to accommodate a few (albeit key) customers!
  • Stop doing so much work for yourself and start working for your employees more.
  • Stop making product ship decisions before the product is ready.
  • Stop micro-managing
  • Stop micromanaging me. Give me a chance to come into my own in this job.
  • Stop panicking over everything
  • Stop trying to be a Product Manager
  • Stop trying to revolutionize the world. It is the *average* folks out there that support companies by buying the majority of products. We have to build for them and for their needs--not for the revolutionary elite.
  • Supervise!
  • Take Control
  • Take decisions from an outside-in perspective and not because of internal power issues.
  • Take Steve's class!
  • Take the lead with your peers in the R&D executive team to put into wide practice the professional values you exemplify as an individual.
  • Taking PM course as a team was one of the best things she decided we would do!
  • Tell me when I might be laid off!
  • Tell the organization what Product Mgmt is
  • Tell us your expectations, then let us act. Quit micromanaging.
  • Thank you
  • Thank you for the opportunity!
  • Thanks
  • Thanks (I have a terrific supervisor)
  • Thanks for being such a cool boss!
  • Thanks.
  • Thanks.
  • That she needs to learn how to trust her subordinates and stop micro-managing everyone's activities.
  • The company is under-resourced for achievement of stated strategic objectives.
  • The company where I work needs to determine their long-term strategic direction and allow a project to be completed.
  • The farmer who chases 2 chickens at the same time catches neither one...
  • The level of product manager to customer interaction for the whole group is far too low. Our structure is blocking the customer feedback loop.
  • The news that I will not receive a bonus this year due to not enough revenue, has severely impaired my motivation.
  • the sales cycle is too long
  • the same as what I say to him now ;-)
  • The whole company should take the Pragmatic Institute class
  • There is a difference between hearing what the customer is asking you to do and putting yourself in the customers shoes. In the former case, you hear what they ask for, in the latter, you understand their problems. If you spend your time just doing what they ask, then you will build a lesser product. If you understand their problems, you will build a product that solves the most important components of their problems. Once you solve the major problems, you are delivering major value, which in turn build major revenue and market share.
  • there is way too much work that needs to be done and not enough bodies to do it.
  • Things are going fine.
  • Think bigger!
  • Think then act, not the other way around.
  • This company needs more experienced senior management
  • Time for a raise!
  • Time to promote me to be a VP.
  • To do a better job of communicating what is happening in the company and focus on more than just his product line
  • To ensure that Product Managers have true product area responsibility
  • Too much energy is wasted on political battles and covering your ass, and not enough energy is spent on creativity and productive work.
  • Too technical
  • Trust your employees more to make their own judgments. Too much guidance gives unengaged employees, right amount of guidance gives more enthusiasm and engagement.
  • Try to understand what your people are working on.
  • Understand the value of product marketing and then support it. Stop chasing deals based on the latest requirement of a 'salesman'.
  • We are our own worst competitor. We need to listen to what our clients tell us and do something about it instead of just nodding and then developing what we are convinced they should want.
  • We are terribly inefficient.
  • We can't do it all! Expectations of our department's role, what we can and can't deliver, and what we should and shouldn't deliver, need to be modified company-wide.
  • We can't have P&L responsibility without the autonomy to enact significant change...
  • We could be overwhelmingly more successful with a broader outlook from the company on the role and functions of product management
  • We do this whole thing backwards. First we find out what the customer needs (not thinks he/she wants) and then we build it. Then I would be getting a full 18% bonus instead of zilch.
  • We don't have the right people in the right jobs and it's impacting the bottom line.
  • We have restructured numerous times each year and are still caught in a matrix organization that has no common 'chief' between sales/marketing and development except at the CEO level of the company. The organization hinders quick decision making since all difficult or strategic decisions must be escalated to the highest level. As a result, we are behind the market.
  • We have to stay committed to a single vision and urgently need to speed up development of product
  • We have too many
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