Hi folks. I'm an engineering manager of a platform...
# product-management
Hi folks. I'm an engineering manager of a platform team. Product management of a platform is a vital part of the team's success. Understanding what other teams need and when. But, we don't have a product manager and I don't have a product management background. Of course I do my best, I'm worried about my lack of experience. Top of mind at the moment is: • What does good product management look like for a platform team? • Success stories. What have others done that works? • Any useful resources. Can anyone share any experience or be willing to jump on a call and chat?
I am also working as EM for our platform teams. We use the notion of Technical Product Managers in the teams. They all have an engineering background and are senior engineers. In my opinion that works well, but it is a very different role from what they used to have of course.
Interesting thanks. My company has TPMs, but not the in platform team. How do you work with the Technical Product Manager?
Hey Phil, I’m a platform PM consultant for Broadcom and I spend my days helping orgs build out their own platform pm practice. If you have any particular questions ask away or send me a DM
@Marta Wozniak probably you can help out a little?
Sure 😄 Very high level: • remember who your customers are and listen to them - discover their problems even if you assume you know already, • focus on adding value for them, • address the most impactful areas first - biggest problems or ones that occur most often for the largest number of people (not the loudest!) • reflect on and validate assumptions you make every step of the way, especially about your "Customers"(users of the platform) and their behaviours. • minimize behavioural changes required to adopt anything you build - there will be pushback on anything, even if it's better, and your initiative will fail if no one uses it • define success upfront - what are you trying to achieve and how will you know whether you got there These are just common guiding principles for product management, hope it helps a bit! I'd be happy to dive deeper into your specific case or questions so feel free to DM me 😊 I'd be curious to know where did this statement emerge from:
Product management of a platform is a vital part of the team's success
These might be the first assumptions you could review and make sure they are true or identify what is it that you're trying to achieve with the initiative.
Thanks @Marta Wozniak > Product management of a platform is a vital part of the team's success This comes from my naive brain 🙈 I suspect I've done a poor job of expressing myself. Another way of phrasing it is how do I know I'm building the most impactful things for my customers (other engineering teams)? Right now, it seems very much gut feel and no systematic validation of the work we are doing. I'm interested in any specific ways to validate our roadmap. This is also bearing in mind that I'm not a full time product manager so can only dedicate a limited amount of time to this.
I don't know how you personally should do it because I think the entire platform team of engineers should share this burden with you, especially if you're doing it part time. But some tangible takeaways from my perspective: • Experienced engineers on the platform. You have to have extensive product development experience to succeed in my opinion • Close collaboration with the product teams are of course key, you need to know their pain points by interacting with them daily. Try to build a community. • Developer rotation is one thing that we have tried, to enhance that collaboration and to drive feedback in both directions. • Hosting workshops, open office sessions, polling, surveys etc is a blunt tool but it could provide some value. But most importantly having clear communication channels so that everyone know how to reach you and give feedback and input. • Building relationships with key people like other EM's, PM's, tech leads etc. This is what I am personally focusing on, while the TPM handles the day to day work.
I have created a full course dedicated for Platform Managers 🙂 `
there is also a lot of content about Platform Engineering in my blog: khalasa.com -- for free 😉 you may also want to learn on my mistakes (4 years of exp on that position):


do not hesitate to DM if you need any advise or a rubber-duck
Nice! Thanks, I'll check it out
• What does good product management look like for a platform team? --> talking to users often (this is where it's really tough to not have someone dedicated in the role), building with them in mind, having them adopt and love your product, showing the impact of that. • Success stories. What have others done that works? --> with a limited amount of time, I would start by sending a few questions to the latest new users of your platform.. hopefully you have data that can tell you this, otherwise, start one step back and find that. 🙂 (ex: what did you like? what didn't you like?) To start instilling this thinking more widely, ask in planning: everything that we're working on, do we have a specific user in mind? If not, how can we find them?