Solving Problems: Crank For Product Managers

Yesterday, we recapped the action movie Crankin 10 Screencaps Or Less™.

Today, we’re using that recap as a springboard into a discussion of the importance of strategic problem-solving.


Next time a firestorm rages across your desk, resist the urge to hose it down
with a can of Red Bull.

Admit It.

For all the topics we discuss… from pricing to requirements to revenue models

The thing you like best as a product manager, the thing you love to do more than anything else, is solve problems.

Solving Problems: Crank For Product Managers

The best product managers craft unique, compelling solutions to problems.

A constant left brain / right brain exercise that unites strategy and creativity, qualitative and quantitative, vision and execution.

It’s a rush.

It’s addictive.

It’s temptation.

And sometimes that temptation needs to be resisted for the good of the product and the team.

A Junkie’s Lament

One company I worked for struggled with prioritization for development work. My supervisor agreed to institute a voting system to let everyone on the cross-functional team have a say in what we were doing. Problem meet solution; end of story.

Except, the solution treated only a symptom, not the disease.

With hindsight, it’s easy to see that while my supervisor acted quickly to address a problem that affected morale (among other things), the rush to set things right missed the underlying problem.

A systemic problem.

That too many key people were interpreting the vision differently, and those differences were fracturing the internal understanding of our strategy, and ultimately our roadmap and feature set.

Looking At The World From The Bottom Of A Well

Next time a firestorm rages across your desk, resist the urge to hose it down with a can of Red Bull.

Be the strategic product manager you’re needed to be.

Evaluate the problem. Understand it as fully as possible. Look for root causes. Implications. Once you have a clear handle on the situation, let the good times roll.

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1 thought on “Solving Problems: Crank For Product Managers”

  1. One of the aspects of this blog I like? I never know how you’re going to tie in your pop culture du jour with some leadership or product management topic. This one, again, I didn’t see coming.

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