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Relationship Series Part II: The Software Engineer – Our Solution Partner

By Bernard Katz, Director: Product Management  I have a soft spot for most software engineers. I think they are wonderful. They are our modern-day alchemists, turning dull bits of ones and zeros into shiny product gold (which has real value, unlike traditional alchemists). Some of my best experiences as a product manager have been those problem-solving sessions with a team of engineers. We are knee deep in a problem, wading through the various technological options and coming out with an elegant solution. In this post, which is part two of the Relationship Series, I unpack the relationship between the product manager and the software engineer. The product manager, software engineer relationship is complex. It can be frustrating when communication is difficult, and it feels like you are talking different languages. It can be tedious, when it takes weeks to move a new feature forward and it can be challenging when disagreements arise about, for example, the priority of technical debt. However, this relationship can also be extremely fruitful. I have found, the more I listen to engineers the better I understand the various technology components of the product and that helps in both prioritising and explaining the product roadmap. When a product manager is in tune with the engineering team, great products can be developed. Read more

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Relationship Series Part I: The Visionary Leader – A Potentially Beautiful Partnership

Have you ever experienced a leader articulate their product vision with such clarity that you felt you could almost reach out and touch this, yet to be developed product? You hung on their every word as your brain tried to fathom how this vision could be made a reality. You were exhilarated by the opportunity to deliver this product but at the same time terrified at the underlying complexity, which the visionary leader expertly hid behind the simplicity of the idea. In this post, which is part one of the Relationship Series, we explore the relationship between the Product Manager and a visionary leader. I have had the privilege of working with several truly visionary leaders. The relationship with such a leader can be the most rewarding of a Product Manager’s career. We are able to transcend some of the more mundane Product Management activities and shape new ideas into a clear product vision. We craft an understanding of the business opportunities, and we find creative ways to articulate our solutions. This partnership, when working well, can be the catalyst for great product development. Read More

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Webinar: Overcoming Barriers to HIV Treatment and Care

World AIDS day is recognised on the 01st December each year. Join us for a panel discussion with experts who will collaborate and combine their wealth of knowledge and on the ground experience to overcome the barriers to finally reach epidemic control. Date : 22 November 2022 Time : 3PM (SAST)  

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