People & Teams

When and why should teams hire their first Product Manager?

Early in a new businesses life as a founder you're often doing the product manager role yourself. And then you scale the business in other areas. So when do you hand over the reins and make your first product hire?

  • The Team at JAM

    Product manager is a role that emerged almost from thin air. And, like burger menus and kale smoothies, it quickly rose to prominence. A 2016 Wall Street Journal report described that job title as one of the most desired on the job market. Fair, it was 2016, but the trend is here to stay (unlike the burger menus).

    People often become PMs by chance. As a small company grows the number of stakeholders increases. Someone has to reconcile often conflicting interests of team members and users, unifying them under a shared vision.

    What are the three chief signs you need a PM on your team?

    • Lack of focus. Symptoms: The daily team meeting results in a new vision and a set of features to build. The team spends more time discussing priorities than executing.
      Seems like... there is no roadmap.
    • Engineers have no captain. Symptom: You posted blog entries many times before, yet people keep asking about the location of logo files. Repeated questions equal wasted time.
      Seems like... you lack processes.
    • Lack of alignment. Symptom: You shipped a new feature, yet the marketing newsletter talks about the current cherry picking season.
      Seems like... there is no communication between team members and no clear objectives.

    If at least one of the above sounds familiar, doctor JAM prescribes you a solution. It’s time to hire a PM.

    Ask JAM a follow-up question!

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