Paul’s 1st Postulate of Product Management

This is the first post in a series of my Postulates of Product Management. Thankfully for me, postulates can’t be proven or disproven so take this as another way of saying “opinion.”

Development will always look for the easiest solution to any given requirement.

Note that this is not necessarily a bad thing. In many cases you will want them to persue the easiest solution because of time-to-market or cost reasons. However, there may be times when the easiest solution is not the right solution.

For example: there was one time where I had given requirements to development for a widget. It was similar to but more advanced than a product we already had. The requirement was that the widget accept 4 inputs from external systems. Looking for the easy way out, development proposed extending the existing system (which only accepted 2 inputs) to 3 inputs and we’d “only have to sacrifice 1 input and can do this really quickly.”

As a Product Manager, you need to make these tradeoff decisions. Don’t water down your requirements to make anyone’s lives easier.

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  • Reply Product Beautiful » Blog Archive » The Games We Play October 2, 2006 at 12:39 am

    […] Why do we need to strike the right balance in requirements? Because of the 1st Postulate of Product Management. PM must create a sandbox of requirements that Development can play in. Do you want a sand castle? […]

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