My background is primarily in enterprise services/sales engineering with a focus on AI/ML however I am trying get into Product Management and as part of an interview process, I am have a take home challenge that looks like

"We want to include feature X into our product Y, how would you 1 - Describe this to the dev team 2 - the business stakeholders"

As an additional background Feature X and Product Y are AI/ML enabled.

A - Given my limited background in PM, I assume, the best way to address #1 is a PRD and generally falls into the Product Design aspects. #2 is more about Product Strategy and consists of value proposition for specific persona/challenge, differentiation etc.

B - Based on my research so far, feature X already exists in their offering addressing some key KPIs for a specific type of user persona that Product Y is seemingly designed for

Given the very short description of the task and in light of B above, what clarifying questions can I ask or assumptions I can make?

For example,

Is feature Y in the case (Y') an improvement over what you have? Does feature Y' optimize something else other than the KPIs the existing feature Y optimizes?

Should I assume the question is about how would I go about building it if it didn't exist?

Any other thoughts?

Thanks a lot!

  • 1
    Welcome o pmse. "what clarifying questions can I ask or assumptions I can make" seems very broad. You may want to edit to focus on a specific goal, to avoid close votes.
    – Sarov
    Sep 24 '21 at 21:23
  • Is this good subjective?
    – MCW
    Oct 26 '21 at 11:58

Don't ask clarifying questions; make assumptions and state them explicitly

Welcome to pmse!

You can even cover two scenarios with two different assumptions, if needed. Also, assume that the feature doesn't exist now.

There are two key aspects you are being tested on:

  • Dev team and business people don't speak the same language. As the Product Manager it is your job to speak business language to the business stakeholders and technical language to the dev team.
  • While talking to the dev team, someone coming from an engineering background tends to wade into the 'how' of building a feature. As the Product Manager you should stick to 'what' you want to build and 'why'. And leave the 'how' part entirely to the dev team.

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