Did Your Product Manager Really Say That?
Everyone I know in technology picks up jargon and funky talk as a way of fitting in or standing out in the office. Sometimes the “MBA speak” is used to obfuscate what is really intended or needed — allowing only those “in the know” to “parse” what the speaker really means.
Unfortunately, product managers seem to be the worst offenders. And partly it is not their fault because they sit at the epicenter of the business and converse with tribes from every direction. But if you know a product manager, it is time to help him stop. “Lean in” and intervene because the phrases can often be “counter-productive” — or worse, a “red herring” that distracts from what really needs to be said and done.
Now, I realize that if we were to “touch foreheads” we would “see eye-to-eye” that many of these phrases replaced other less interesting ways of speaking. And if swapped out their replacements, we might make a similar list in a few years. Imagine if we replaced “low hanging fruit” with “slow moving meat” because our friends in sales (“elephant hunters”) were carnivores. We would all “lose our cookies.”
Regardless, below are my top 35 most overheard phrases that product managers say. I am sure that every product, marketing, and engineering team can add many others to the list.
What’s the ask?
Skate to where the puck will be
A pig and a chicken
It’s not a bug, it’s a feature
Piece of the pie
It’s not personal
Nice to have
I will talk with the stakeholders
Take this offline
Move the goal posts
Bottom this out
It’s on the roadmap
We are in this together
Keep your eye on the ball
It’s in the next release
All hands on deck
Low hanging fruit
Ducks in a row
What would you add to the list?