3 groups of people that are sacred for product managers to succeed at their job.
Marty Cagan is urging companies to give Pms direct access to three groups of people! Without them they won’t be able to build great products.

On the latest episode of Lenny’s Podcast, Marty Cagan talked about how he’s always urging companies to make sure product managers are given the right access:

These are the three groups of people that product managers must always have direct access to – in order to build great products.

1. Direct access to customers

To develop a product that adds value for customers in a way that makes it more attractive than existing alternatives, the product manager must be able to identify what those problems actually are. (Desirability risk.)

2. Direct access to engineers

To assess what is technically possible at any given time, product managers need to be in day-to-day conversation with engineers. Cagan says that if you don’t have a regular exchange with them, you’re not a PM. (Feasibility risk.)

3. Direct access to stakeholders

A good product not only delivers value to customers, but drives value back to the business. But what does that mean? To be able to take these questions into account, product managers need continuous exchange with the company’s stakeholders. (Viability risk, et al.)

In the podcast he sums it up with the following sentence:

“Good product is solving what’s just now possible (that’s why the engineers are so critical) for real users and customers (that’s why that’s so critical) in ways that work for the business (which is why the stakeholder access is so critical).” – Marty Cagan

Don’t put anything or anyone in between Product Managers and those groups

According to Cagan, no one in the company should take these accesses and responsibilities away from product managers, no matter how much they might want to help. As Cagan says:

“[If] you get cut off from your customers, you’re screwed as a product manager.”