More Shit Product Managers Say

May 25th 2018
“Let’s double click that for more context. What’s a reasonable deadline within your bandwidth to complete the preso?”

You already know about the “gentle pings” and “taking conversations offline.” After my Shit Product Managers Say, Translated article went viral, and my Shit Programmers Say article was republished by The Next Web, I decided to write this follow-up, with even more classic PM phrases.

Jared Dunn from HBO’s Silicon Valley

1. What’s a reasonable deadline for you?

“Wow, these are all some great ideas. Let’s set a reasonable deadline for this launch. What date makes sense for you?”

Translation: I’m worried we’re not going to launch in time. Maybe by making you set your own deadline, you’ll actually feel responsible for hitting our milestones.

2. Let me know how I can help.

“Nihar, I believe the deadline to add the paywall to our site is next Monday. Let me know how I can help with this!”

Translation: There isn’t any way I can help and I know that. You need to do this task and I don’t want to tell you about your 42nd “action item.”

3. Deprioritized

“Right, the feature where we add a jumping kitten to the loading screen has been deprioritized.”

Translation: This isn’t a good feature. Synonyms: “Let’s make this P2”, “Right, but let’s focus on the higher-priority tasks first and get to this if we have time.”

4. Double-click

“Users are reporting frustration with our authentication process.” “Let’s double-click on that.”

Translation: I’m basically saying “drilling down” or “deep dive,” but I work in tech so this phrase seems way more 1337. Did I spell that right?

5. Context

“Hey Jacob, thanks for introducing me to this meeting. Folks, could you help fill in the details so I can get context on our upcoming deadline?”

Translation: I have no idea what’s going on here. Can someone please tell me something?

6. Bandwidth

“Sorry, I don’t have bandwidth to work on that.”

Translation: I don’t have time for this. Reasons could be: I’m working on five different projects already, I have a dinner date with my friend tonight, or I just don’t like this feature.

7. Preso

“I just finished the preso last night. We’ll be presenting to leadership at 3:00pm.”

Translation: I could have said “deck” or “slides” or even just say “presentation.” Where did that final “o” even come from?

8. I’m a PRODUCT Manager, not a PROJECT Manager

“Stephen over here is our project manager — ” “Sorry, common mistake but I’m the product manager, not the project manager. Product managers are very important.”

Translation: How could you think that? Project managers organize tasks. Product managers like me are the *cue Elon Musk entrance music* CEOs of our products.

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