An unnecessary layer, says Helpscout's Nick Francis.
In Summary: Do Product Teams actually need 'managing'? It's the debate that refuses to die. The explosive growth of the Product Manager role silenced critics for a while but Nick seems keen to reactivate it with a vengeance. This is deliberately provocative, but reflects a firmly held view in the minds of some.
Help Scout don't have dedicated Product Managers. Instead, they split the PM's responsibilities evenly between designers and engineers.
Designers own the voice of the customer: handling user research, specs, prototyping and testing. Engineers are responsible for technical documentation, co-ordinating and communicating progress. All these activities of course, are over and above the day job of interface design and writing code.
In Nick's view, Product Managers are an unnecessary layer between customers and those building a solution and slow everyone down. When designers and engineers feel customer pain and are given the autonomy to solve it as they see fit, that's when magic happens.
Fiverr's Amitay Tweeto doesn't waste time.
In Summary: Time is a precious resource and, for Product Managers, the opportunity cost of allocating it wrongly can be high. When he realised how much time he was spending in meetings, Amitay decided to fight back and streamline his calendar.
Amitay is now 'default no' to meetings, meaning he refuses any meeting he doesn't immediately see the value in attending. Meetings (and group chats) have critical mass in his mind: more than 3 is too many as conversation will just meander aimlessly.
The best solution to random meeting requests? Go and chat to anyone who sends you an invite - usually the need for a meeting will disappear after 5 minutes of 1-to-1 conversation.
For more timehacking tips for Product Managers, check out this.