How deep should be the technical knowledge of a PM ?

Martin Delobbe
2 replies
In more details, do you think a PM should transition from tech to product management by filling its business gap or from business to product by filling its technical gap ? Or do you think it is a completely different mindset and if so what should be his/her learning path ?


Ilia Pikulev
Technical skills are good for PM, but they can actually be harmful for the product itself. Just imagine that you have to do PM, but you see some technical problems in the product and instead of telling your technical team to make the change, you actually start telling them the technical bits of what they need to perform, or, even worse - do it for your team! Just imagine how much time you would spend on that instead of PM! In ideal world, I would say that it is always safer to split these two paths instead of bringing them to crossover. If you are asking specifically about the crossover case, though, I think it is better if the one has got the technical background and they start doing PM, rather than otherwise. As an example, for me, it is better to tell a builder - now you manage a team of 5 people, rather than telling a manager - now you mix a solution for the concrete slab :)
Martin Delobbe
Thanks a lot for your answer @ilia_pikulev ! I like your point about being careful to not engage too much in the tech if you're a PM coming from a technical background. It is clearly an attention point to keep in mind. I also like your analogy, I think that, as a builder becoming a manager you also have more empathy about other builders and you know what it takes to make something really well.