What you should expect from a great PM/EM Relationship by@mbe

What you should expect from a great PM/EM Relationship

June 23rd 2022 2,715 reads
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Meekal Bajaj

The outcome of a successful relationship between a Product Manager (PM) and an Engineering Manager (EM) is a motivated team shipping a valuable product.
Success demands the two work in concert. Insipid problems don’t inspire talented teams and mediocre teams don’t ship valuable products. You also need a healthy tension between the two roles. Focus on product alone and you get burnout. Oversteer the other way and the product lacks direction.
The strength of the relationship can be assessed by how well the PM and EM:
Solve valuable problems with effective solutions by building a team of skilled people who are motivated by their work to succeed in their careers.
We can break this down further by asking ourselves how well we:



Solve valuable problems1. By understanding what our users need2. And the market we are operating in3. With a vision of the world that we want to create




With effective solutions1. By creating an environment where people have context2. So that they can make good decisions3. And are comfortable sharing ideas4. Knowing that ideas will be evaluated on their own merit



By building a team of skilled people1. In teams that are sized with an adequate number of people2. Where work is held to a high standard3. And the team has the skills and resources to successfully bring the product to market.





Who are motivated by their work1. Through new challenges that grow their skills2. Using processes and tools that enable them to focus on what’s important3. In an environment where they can fail safely4. With timely access to coaching.5. And a culture of continuous improvement through feedback



To succeed in their careers1. With mentors to guide career planning2. And managers to recognize achievements3. Who promote them to new responsibilities.
A sustainable approach to product development accounts for the ambitions of both the product and the individuals who make up the team. It matters little who on the team takes on each responsibility. What is non-negotiable is that there is an owner.
How do you approach this relationship?
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