Captain on the field
With any team, especially football (American), you train, practice, prepare both physically and mentally, all so you can execute at the highest level every week during the game. But, no matter how much game film you watch, or how often you run through the playbook during pregame, there still needs to be someone on the field calling the plays and making the tough decisions when the game is on the line. For football teams, this is unequivocally the Quarterback. Calling an audible (this is when they change the play last minute) when the initial play is not the optimal one. Trusting their teammates to do their jobs. All in the spirit of competing and winning at the pinnacle of their sport. There is a reason that almost every quarterback in the NFL wears that C for “Captain” on their chest.
Product managers serve the same role in any successful product and engineering team. The Captain in the conference room (or Zoom room), they have to be more prepared with data and customer understanding than anyone else. They are the ones the rest of the team relies on to drive everything in the direction that will correlate to the most success. If the executive team are the coaches, helping to mentor and prepare the team and drive the overall company direction, the product managers are the Quarterbacks, ready to call an audible at the line and make the toughest decisions: what will bring the most value to their customers?
Leading the team
Not only are PMs the ones who have to be armed with the most information, but they also have to dictate in which areas the development team focuses. Think of your backend devs as the offensive line, laying the foundation and setting the tone for how the offense/codebase is built at scale. Then come your fullstack and frontend devs, your skill players who score big points and give your app the look and feel that brings customers in the door and keeps them there. They are all extremely skilled at their jobs, and contribute to the success of the team, but at the end of the day, it is the PM who calls the plays and runs the offense through the engineering leaders and their teams.
With product usage metrics, call recordings and transcriptions, competitive analysis, and customer conversations, product teams have more data at their fingertips than ever before. With the ever-growing access to differing forms of game film, the analysis to best prepare what will bring value to customers becomes more and more difficult.
Productize brings data science to the forefront, showing the most valuable plays to run at any given time. By automating the pregame preparation and analysis that helps lead to the highest chance of success, it allows the Product Managers to focus on leading, on being the Captain, and guiding the team down the field when the game is on the line. Isn’t it about time we put a C on their chests too?