A question for @Schuyler Bishop. What was the biggest challenge you experienced in the role of a platform PM? Was it more tech related or cultural? Thank you in advance 🙂
06/09/2022, 10:56 AM
To be completely fair, I hired our Platform PM but I am not them. However, my experience working with my Platform TPM was that the biggest challenge was changing our desires and expectations to reality, so I’d say cultural. Specifically, the TPM had left a highly sophisticated org to join this smaller startup and we had to adapt to a different engineering culture. So we came in wanting to work in this highly sophisticated way to deliver the best value and consistently found that we had to lower our desires to adapt to and speak to the existing culture while at the same time not accepting where we are there as “good enough” and pushing that culture to improve.
For me, the technology has always been the easy part. I can have my way with the tech but with people and processes I have to settle and adapt. For me as an idealist that’s hard!
06/09/2022, 11:23 AM
If I can chip in, engineers building engineering tools is a two sided sword. On the one hand side, they have an intimate knowledge of the product users and how they use the products, and they're a great source of ideas for improvements and potential issues with your products. On the other hand, getting them to understand that they're not building for themselves, and thinking about what outcomes to achieve instead of what output they're generating is sometimes a challenge
Additionally, in most consumer product orgs, there's usually a pretty robust KPI tree for how value is measured. In platform teams that is often absent (which makes prioritisation harder), and it's not always as clear cut to set one up
06/09/2022, 5:45 PM
Great point about missing KPIs/OKRs, @Jessica Ulyate - that's one of the biggest barriers to creating software engineering approached in PE, I believe. The indirect connection to business value. I've used proxies for business value such as uptake of automations, then shown the connectivity to business savings through reduction in time to production. However - that is a REALLY difficult string of things to measure and document.
06/09/2022, 5:52 PM
Yeah, if you're willing to think outside the box a bit it is definitely possible, but like you said, the string of things that you end up looking at can be difficult to measure