The role of a product manager is one of the most interdisciplinary in the IT sector. Businesses must have dedicated product managers at the helm when creating and selling goods. They often manage several teams simultaneously, with engineers being among the most crucial. The true creators and doers are software (and hardware) engineers. They create working prototypes from conceptual designs and blueprints. We used to introduce the Product Manager & UX designer, now let’s see how Product Managers and Engineers collaborate.
A company cannot survive without its engineers. And for a company to create top-quality products, a proper collaboration between engineers and product managers is essential. However, if you wish to know How Product Manager Work with Engineers, you’re at the right place. In this article, you’ll get your hands on all the details of product manager and engineers, their roles, and some tips to improve their collaboration. Let’s get going!
Why Is PM & Engineer Cooperation So Important?
What Does a Product Manager Do?
Project managers (PMs) and engineers must work together efficiently to finish projects in numerous fields, including building, software, and manufacturing. Project managers organize, carry out, observe, and manage projects or tasks, while engineers create, test, and implement technological solutions. Therefore, PMs and engineers must cooperate to achieve project goals while adhering to strict cost, schedule, and quality benchmarks.
Project managers and engineers should work together since it improves communication and data exchange. Project managers are responsible for relaying information about the project’s scope, timeline, and resources to engineers. At the same time, the latter is responsible for providing managers with technical insights, feasibility evaluations, and status updates. Having open lines of communication and providing relevant information may help keep everyone on the same page and lessen the likelihood of confusion or misinterpretation.
Additionally, it encourages teamwork and new ideas. Project managers (PMs) and engineers (engineers) have unique views, sets of skills, and areas of experience that may help solve problems, streamline processes, and develop better goods or services. Project managers and engineers may better serve the project and the company by working closely together to anticipate problems, suggest solutions, and make educated choices.
Last but not least, since it encourages responsibility and possession, project managers and engineers should better coordinate their efforts, expectations, and roles when they work together. Due to this, everyone involved may feel more committed to the project’s success.
A product manager directs a team of professionals’ efforts to develop and enhance the product. They’re facilitating communication between clients, developers, marketers, and salespeople. They act as the product’s leader, guiding the development process and pointing engineers on the proper path.
They ought to assist teams in agreeing on how to address consumer issues and work together effectively. The PM is responsible for the product and business strategy, the roadmap, the defining of features, and the financial success or failure of the project. A good product manager will foster trust and autonomy among employees. PMs act as the customers’ advocates. The primary duty of the PM is to address as many problems as possible on a given day.
In addition, the product manager must work with other teams to meet deadlines, stick to budgets, and maintain quality control. As such, it’s important to collaborate closely with various departments, including engineering, to ensure the product’s technical viability, sales and marketing to ensure it is positioned favorably in the market, and customer support to ensure the product lives up to users’ expectations.
A team of engineers is a group of people who work together to solve complex technical problems in one or more areas of engineering, such as software, civil, or aeronautical design. An engineering group’s job is creating, testing, and rolling out technological answers to issues, process enhancements, and the client’s wants and requirements.
An engineering team’s communication must be well-structured to provide tangible results for the company. It’s not uncommon for engineers to be divided up into smaller teams as they tackle activities like code restructuring and paying off technical debt. Talking to the project manager (pm) about your work helps you see how your efforts benefit the company. Once the engineer joins the team, he will take responsibility for the tasks and see them through to completion.
In addition, the Engineering group must put in the effort to empathize with end users so they can improve the app’s usability. Despite their attention to detail, engineers seldom interact directly with end users. Engineers also need to be able to foresee and weigh the costs of potential solutions. Engineering teams can address organizational and customer requirements by collaborating closely with other parties and utilizing their technological expertise.
Now that you know the importance of the collaboration between the product manager and engineering, you must be wondering how to improve it. To help, we’ve provided some essential tips for improving collaboration between PM and engineering, which include:
Certain product managers have backgrounds in technology. Others enter the field with experience in business or management. Regardless, you don’t have to be able to code to understand the difficulties faced by the technical team. Inquire about the thought process behind the engineer’s work out of curiosity. It is crucial to know how to construct and maintain the product.
Engineers are responsible for more than simply implementing the product’s stated features. Non-functional requirements (such as security, speed, and other performance characteristics) are also determined at this phase. You don’t attempt to overschedule your releases or take shortcuts that might harm the product’s performance since you’re a great product manager who understands the environment in which engineers work. Strategic planning and customer-centric judgment inform your daily work.
When product and engineering teams align, the focus is frequently on the here and now: how will we achieve deadlines this sprint, or how will we fix this bug? PMs and EMs, rather than adopting a strategic approach to satisfying customers, operate as a “feature factory” in which the product creates tickets, engineers implement those tickets, and customers consume yet another feature that may or may not be what they were hoping for.
Long-term vision should be communicated between product managers and engineering managers to break out from the “feature factory” dynamic. Everyone can better agree on product objectives and cooperate when they talk openly about technical and commercial trajectories.
If you’re on the Engineering team, you can help your team succeed by informing the product of the engineering plan. Project managers benefit from knowing where engineering is heading to ensure that their efforts are meeting the needs of customers and the company. Conversely, PMs should provide more long-term insight into your product’s thesis and the suffering you want to alleviate. Don’t confine your efforts with software developers to narrow timeframes like sprints or quarters.
Creating a new product is a difficult and energizing task. Plans will need to be adjusted, and unanticipated challenges may arise. This is particularly true if you want to do a lot quickly. Getting to know the engineers on your team is the best way to learn about their interests, concerns, and worldview. Respectfully meeting people allow you to work through difficult topics.
Good product managers will always have the developers’ backs. They can accomplish their duties more efficiently and with less wasted time because of the resources you provide them.
When things go wrong (and they will), be solution-driven and forward-looking to inspire your staff to keep going. If the product launch is delayed, don’t point fingers; instead, work with the team to improve procedures to ensure the delay doesn’t happen again.
All these characteristics will help you work well with the engineering department and the rest of your team. As you can see, all of this boils down to commanding and supporting your team.
It is essential for good planning to know exactly what needs to be created and how many resources it would demand. Do not attach a feature to a scheduled release or include it on the roadmap if you are unsure whether it should be prioritized. And do not assign work to an engineer if the client requirement has not been properly established. Understandably frustrated, they will spend unnecessary time rewriting the same items due to indecision, changing objectives, and poorly defined needs.
Get engineers involved early if you want their opinion on how difficult an issue is to solve. Technical consequences that may need more preparation may be uncovered with their assistance. The scope and timing may also need some tweaking. But don’t rank things by how difficult they are to implement after beginning with the “why,” you may approach engineers with confidence that their focus is on what is necessary.
Successful products can’t make it to market without the help of product managers and engineers. Although each group brings something special to the table, they must work together to guarantee that the final product will satisfy customers, be technically possible, and be delivered on schedule and under budget. Also, we hope you know How Product Manager Work with Engineers using the right tips after reading this article. Besides that, if you’ve any questions or suggestions on the project manager and engineering collaboration, please share them in the comments.