The Best Thing A Product Manager Can Do is Learn From Failure

August 10, 2017 Amjad Sidqi

This week for Pivotal Voices, we’re featuring Amjad Sidqi, Product Manager at Pivotal Sydney.

Photo by Peter Huynh

I fell into the world of software and product management — I had a business background and wanted to do something where I was solving problems and adding value. Software was something I thought would be cool to get into so I did some studying which led to the opportunity to work for the International Police, Interpol over in France. While I was working there as a project manager I realized that though I liked talking to customers and trying to figure out what would make their lives easier, I didn’t like this whole process of writing down requirements, handing them off, and waiting for somebody to put something together.

Then I came across Agile. I was working on a project in the US at the time and happened to see a team practicing this completely different way of working which was getting them results. I knew right then that this was the way I wanted to work. When I got back to work, I started campaigning to be able to work in this way and eventually got my own development team. We had a few successes early on that made a big impact on the police community.

I think the best thing that you can do as a product manager is learn from your failures. In order to coach and enable clients to transform how they build software you need an environment that has a culture of experimentation and learning. It’s really important in this line of work to know what does and doesn’t work.

I think the best thing that you can do as a product manager is learn from your failures.

The philosophy of Pivotal Labs is that there’s always constant experimentation. We don’t get everything right all the time. We may try something out as an experiment and it may fail but that’s a great thing. We take it as a learning experience, so the fact that it’s failed, it’s great. We can move on. We can try something else. I think having that mindset and checking your ego at the door is what makes a good product manager.

The way we approach software development at Pivotal is unique in that we’re not expected to have all the answers. We’re actually going into engagements working together and learning together and as a result it keeps us honest. I think overall it’s just a really lovely way of working.

— Amjad Sidqi, Manager, Product Management, Pivotal Sydney

Change is the only constant, so individuals, institutions, and businesses must be Built to Adapt. At Pivotal, we believe change should be expected, embraced, and incorporated continuously through development and innovation, because good software is never finished.

The Best Thing A Product Manager Can Do is Learn From Failure was originally published in Built to Adapt on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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