Like all product managers who’ve lasted more than a year or two, the Cranky Product Manager has learned a few key phrases that keep her out of trouble. We all do it. Don’t kid yourself. “Weasel words,” some call them. The Cranky PM calls it “PM-Obfusco-Speech.” And here’s a “secret decoder ring” to let you translate it.
|WHAT WE SAY||WHAT WE MEAN|
|You should file a customer commitment.||Your feature request is stupid. Please stop pestering me and go away.|
|It’s on the long-term roadmap.||While not stupid, your feature request is such low priority that it’s not slated for a release and won’t happen within the next three years.|
|OK, Mr. Customer, I can see why you want that feature. We’ll need to take a look at how it fits into our product strategy and roadmap, and it’s good to know how important it is to you.||Notice that I did NOT say we’d do this feature. We might NEVER do it. But I want you to feel like Product Management listens to you.|
|It’s currently planned for Release X.XX.||Yeah, everyone is saying this is going to be in Release X.XX, but I won’t believe it until it actually ships.|
|Sounds like you are using the product to solve some really interesting problems. I’d like to learn more about your use cases.||No one else uses this product this way, it is not designed for your purpose, and we don’t do any testing for your type of use. Yikes!|
|This product will help you increase your ROI and decrease your TCO.||I have no freaking clue what the REAL business benefits of my product are, and I’m too lazy to figure it out.|