What are some Product Manager Pet Peeves?

Product Manager Jan 04, 2022

We all have pet peeves, and if someone denies having at least one, they’re lying. Truth is, people can be annoying sometimes, and be annoyed easily as well. And that’s OK. We’re all human, so naturally we’re going to do something that annoys others, and we’re going to feel annoyed by things others do to us.

Things like line-cutters, people who are too loud, being chronically late…those are general and global pet peeves. However, people with specific job roles or from certain backgrounds have pet peeves of their own, that in some cases apply only to their situation and to their day to day routine.

At HelloGuru, we love talking to Product Managers. We admire what they do and we look for ways to help them. That’s why we took the liberty of asking them what their biggest pet peeves are and we are curious to see if you, as a fellow PM, can relate to them.

Being called a Project Manager

This is an old one, but it seems like it will never cease to be a common pet peeve among Product Managers. Just because the initials are the same, it doesn’t mean that the role is too!

Product Managers work hard to get where they are, and Project Managers do too (as we all do), so the minimum sign of respect to what they do should be to remember their job titles correctly.

Being pulled into unnecessary meetings

A Product Manager’s time is valuable, just like the time of any of your co-workers. However, Product Managers do seem to be pulled again and again into meetings that could have been just an email or a slack message.

When people don’t understand what a PM does after explaining them numerous times

It’s not the simplest role in the world, we know. But when friends, family and others outside the industry ask Product Managers “what is it that you do for a living?” for the fifth time, it just gets annoying. Using analogies and similes don’t seem to do the job either. “The CEO of a product” is a common way to understand the term, but sometimes it seems like it’s not enough.

Piles and piles of spreadsheets

This is a big one. When Product Managers ask for some data, they usually receive a gigantic spreadsheet with tons of it, of which not all might be relevant. Worse yet, is when data from various sources is needed to gather insights. Here is when things get complicated. Product Managers end up with disparate and outdated spreadsheets, and with the need to create a huge one where all data sources are combined.

People who can’t take NO for an answer

Product Managers have a defined roadmap, and that roadmap took a great deal of time to build and hard decisions had to be made in the process. What gets done is a matter of priorities and return on investment, not because the PM simply didn’t want to build it for the next release. So please, we beg you, think about the next time a Product Managers says NO to a suggestion you made. Don’t take it personal.

When people want to become a Product Manager just because it’s trendy

This is an interesting pet peeve, and please don’t get the wrong idea. Product Managers do want students, young professionals and other co-workers to seek a career in Product Management. It will always be a benefit to have more people in this space, and everybody has something new to bring to the table. That said, there are occasions where recent grads look for a career in Product Management just because it’s trendy and cool, without knowing what the job actually entails.

Truth is, these people only end up shooting themselves in the foot. If you want a career in Product Management, you must really enjoy building products, but also know that the job is hard, and that it might not be as luxurious and cool as presented.