Great PMs ask the why
Great Product Managers take a step back and ask the why
Great Product Managers question the why. Here is an example question I use with my coachees to assess this.
You are the PM tasked to design a Google Refrigerator. You don't have any constraints on budget or time. Think big and design the best refrigerator possible.
Good PM candidates point out the current refrigerator use cases. They note its goal is to preserve food and chill drinks.
Their solution includes features such as automatically tracking fridge inventory, asking Google Assistant what's on the fridge, and auto managing temperature to ensure long shelf life.
A great PM candidate takes a step back and thinks about why people need refrigerators (to help their meal planning). A refrigerator's purpose is to save you time by going fewer times to the supermarket.
They switch the question from building the best fridge to how to improve the meal planning experience.
Their solution includes features such as automatically planning your meals based on your family dietary restrictions, ordering the ingredients that you miss and get delivered home, and integrating restaurant delivery for the times you don't want to cook.
To get to a full understanding of the problem you need to solve for your customers, start by thinking about the why.
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