Achieving Efficiency in Product Management and Supply Chains

Aviral Vaid

Aviral Vaid

Mar 24, 20243 min read

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Achieving Efficiency in Product Management and Supply Chains

Introduction:

In today's fast-paced world, efficiency is a key factor for success in both product management and supply chain management. However, as we strive for perfection and optimization, we often overlook the potential vulnerabilities that come with it. This article explores the casualties of perfection in supply chains and provides a product manager's guide to working effectively with engineers.

The Casualties of Perfection:

Super-efficient supply chains may seem like a dream come true, but they also make us more vulnerable to disruptions. History has shown us that disruptions are inevitable, and the more perfect we try to become, the more vulnerable we generally are. Therefore, it's crucial to strike a balance between efficiency and resilience. By anticipating potential disruptions and building contingency plans, we can better navigate any challenges that come our way.

A Product Manager's Guide to Working with Engineers:

As a product manager, your role is to be a multiplier of the engineering resources. You have the opportunity to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the engineers you work with. To achieve this, it is essential to break the traditional parent-child relationship and treat each other as equals. Instead of solving problems for the engineers, act as a sounding board to help them find the solution themselves. Recognize their strengths and preferences, and leverage them to multiply their impact.

Additionally, involving engineers early in the thinking process is crucial. Their input on feasibility is invaluable, and by including them from the start, you can avoid potential roadblocks later on. Give engineers the opportunity to take the lead role in projects, whether it's as an Epic Lead, Feature Owner, or Project Owner. By holding them accountable for specific deliverables, they become more invested in the success of the project. Creating and nurturing constructive relationships with engineers can be achieved through the ARISE framework:

  • 1. Treat them like adults: Respect their expertise and allow them to make decisions within their domain. Avoid micromanaging and trust their judgment.
  • 2. Recognize different types of individuals: Every engineer is unique, with different strengths and preferences. Take the time to understand what motivates and drives each individual, and tailor your approach accordingly.
  • 3. Involve them early in your thinking process: By including engineers in the early stages of product development, you tap into their expertise and ensure that feasibility is considered from the beginning. This saves time and avoids potential conflicts later on.

Conclusion:

Efficiency is a double-edged sword. While it can lead to significant productivity and success, it also makes us more vulnerable to disruptions. By striking a balance between efficiency and resilience, we can navigate the challenges that come our way. In product management, being a multiplier of engineering resources is essential. Treat engineers as equals, involve them early in the process, and recognize their individual strengths. By implementing these actionable advice, you can foster effective collaboration and achieve greater success in product development. Additionally, investing in good engineering managers can further enhance the productivity and well-being of your engineering team. Ultimately, the key is to find harmony between efficiency, collaboration, and adaptability in order to thrive in an ever-changing business landscape.

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