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40+ Lies PMs Tell Themselves

Published: November 01, 2016

I figured I’d start the ball rolling here. I’d love if you could contribute in the comments. No judgement (I’ve fallen victim to many of these).

1 g ZYVIBj2KWCjOiS2qumYw http://www.kera.org/2014/07/22/delusional-perspective/1. We can predict the future

  1. We can impersonate our customers
  2. The customer with the failed usability test is not representative
  3. The customer who loves the new feature is representative
  4. We’ll come back to it in a couple months
  5. Our roadmaps will remain accurate for more than a month
  6. The story is ready to be estimated as is
  7. No news from QA is good news
  8. By default, the team will feel comfortable giving you constructive feedback
  9. The customer will eagerly adopt the new feature
  10. Doubling the team size will double the output
  11. Apps are dead. The desktop is dead. Responsive is dead. [ — — — — ] is dead
  12. Sales understands how to sell the new feature
  13. We understand how to sell the new feature
  14. Product complexity scales linearly with number of personas serviced
  15. Eventually we’ll be able to leverage all of this data!
  16. It is “all about execution”
  17. Only you have (and need) the big picture
  18. We really have to make this backwards compatible
  19. Developers care mostly about clean code and bickering about PRs. They don’t care much for the impact of their work
  20. Customers will do all sorts of interesting things with our API, and we’ll have an easy time productizing all of it
  21. People will read your long, eloquent emails
  22. We’ll have advance warning before technical debt makes all forward progress impossible
  23. Crunch time is a healthy
  24. Usability doesn’t really matter in the enterprise
  25. This particular customer is representative. Build for them, and the rest will be easy
  26. The work we must do to close this deal “would have to be built eventually”
  27. The demo will work as expected
  28. We just need to “keep developers focused” and free from distractions, and everything will be OK
  29. We can just “put this product in maintenance mode” and shift all resources to something else
  30. If we give them too much freedom, the developers will “go rogue”. They need to be reigned in
  31. We know who our competitors will be in one year
  32. Developers disproportionately lack empathy
  33. Our idea is the best idea, our way is the best way, our design is the best design
  34. It is OK to tell the team a white lie to keep them on task
  35. Customers may suffer through the update now, but will see our genius later
  36. Being a jerk like Steve Jobs is a sign of genius
  37. Custom work can be easily productized
  38. We can start the next epic while feedback is trickling in from the last epic
  39. A developer without a story is wasting time UPDATES (From comments)
  40. If we build it, they will come
  41. Sales doesn’t know what the customer wants
  42. An unhappy customer is just “the wrong type of customer”; we didn’t build it for them anyway…
  43. There’s nothing else we can do until we get a response on ________. (best way to give yourself the break you earned! :D)
  44. We’ll release n-features on X-date!
  45. It’s easy, we don’t need any FAQs/documentation.
  46. It’s obvious, we don’t need user testing.
  47. There are a lot of things users don’t like. Rather than fixing each one, we should just re-architect it.