Isn’t Santa really just a Product Manager?

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I used to do some fun holiday jingles requirements-style. I fell out of habit with it a few years ago, but luckily they are timeless and can just be reused! That said, I was trying to get in the holiday spirit to try again this year, and I found myself going down a different path. I have been thinking a lot about what product management is and came to the realization, I think Santa is really just a product manager in a red suit and white hat! Think about it, he figures out what all the boys and girls (his stakeholders) want for Christmas, leads a team (elves) to build the products, and sees it through delivery. Doesn’t that make him a pretty well rounded (no pun intended) product manager? Let’s break this down a bit further:

Santa’s activity What he’s really doing
He’s making a list He’s drafting the requirements
He’s checking it twice He’s reviewing his own work and hopefully getting peer reviews too. After all, he can’t possibly know every stakeholder’s requirements without some elf help.
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice This is clearly stakeholder analysis at its best. In fact, shouldn’t we all just rate our project stakeholders on this scale?
Santa Claus is coming to town Sounds like Santa, who usually works from the North Pole virtually, is doing a bit of face-to-face elicitation. And like any good leader, he’s coming to town to launch the product in person.

My holiday wish to you is for you to be as jolly of a product manager as Santa is in the New Year!

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