PART 2: What do people look for in a good Product Leader, Designer, Scrum Master and Technologist.


This article is part of my learning journal. If you are interested to read them all, jump to my main index page "What I have learnt about product management, agile, and personal development at a big bank".

hands with red paints to make a heart shape

After working in a big bank for 7+ years with a variety of roles across operation, technology, design and product ownership, I took my personal learnings and also ask around people I have worked with on what they are looking for in a good product leader, a good designer, a good scrum master and a good technologist. By no means this is an exhausted list, it is only learnings I took from my perspective. The common theme and the most important factors I believe, on top of respective skills in their fields, is interpersonal relationship and genuine care and interest in others.

I will break down the topics based on the role:

1. A good product leader

There are many discussions on product manager vs product owner, I found these 2 article (The product manager vs product owner, and product owner vs product manager) pretty good explaining the roles. However, I prefer to call it product leader, who foremost cares about people: customers and the team.

A good product leader should have holistic thinking: who looks into a product development from DVF lens, pays attention to on-boarding and retention experience, besides feature development, and is non-comprisable on analytics. One would proactively look into market trend, competitor analysis, and objectively understand what is our existing product situation. And work with the team to create opportunities, build a roadmap, prioritise backlogs and shape the experience our customers are looking for.

Whether a product leader is facing externally to stakeholders or internally to the team, it's important to provide direction and context, and makes sure s/he reminds people the vision of the initiative often. When leading a team, it's important to have an open discussion with the team on roles and responsibilities, and make sure you help your team to keep their career pathway open, and help them to learn whatever interests them.