Jason Knight on the Art and Science of Product Management [Product Alignment Series]
- Podcast /
- Product Management /
What does it take to build a world-class product management team that drives business outcomes? In the second interview in the Product Alignment Series I welcome product leader Jason Knight, who shares hard-won insights from over 20 years leading product initiatives.
He dives into the blend of empathy, communication savvy, and technical skills that the best product managers possess. Jason stresses that creating a healthy culture revolving around collaboration and shared purpose is crucial for product teams to thrive. He also advises product thinkers to relentlessly focus on delivering value to users, rather than getting distracted by internal metrics.
Part 1 – The Art and Science of Product Management
Great product leadership demands versatility. Jason learned this firsthand, transitioning from engineering into product. This interview is a must watch for any product manager looking to up their game. In our conversation, Jason explains:
- Why technical expertise isn’t enough for PMs
- How to get better at “weak” areas like marketing and sales
- Why speaking stakeholders’ “language” solves more problems
- The books that rounded out his own skillset
Product managers shouldn’t stall at the limits of their functional talent. Watch Jason describe how to intentionally develop excellence across empathy, communication, business acumen and technical ability.
Part 2 – Outcomes Over Outputs: Master The Product Management Mindset
Product teams get pulled between stakeholder demands for outputs and the need to drive real customer outcomes. How do you balance? I discussed this common struggle with Jason. He argues that while output metrics are easier to measure, product thinkers must frame everything around actual outcomes and business impact.
In our talk, Jason explains:
- Why outputs like features shipped can mistakenly be seen as real outcomes
- How to reframe outcomes in business terms stakeholders understand
- Why winning the argument with product theory rarely persuades non-product thinkers
- How focusing on problems teams have already acknowledged can be more convincing
- Why making product managers “business partners” is critical to realizing their value
It’s not easy, but nudging cultures from outputs to outcomes is key. Listen to Jason on starting small but staying focused on the customer and business results.
Part 3 – Secrets of High-Performing Product Cultures
What makes a high-performing product culture? Open communication and shared purpose. Don’t miss this part of the conversation with Jason about the ingredients for developing a flourishing cross-functional product culture. In our talk, Jason spotlights:
- Why strong relationships across teams like Sales sets teams up for success
- The importance of open, blameless communication
- Collaborating with empathy to understand different perspectives
- Fostering a “we’re all in this together” mindset
- Bringing disciplines together around shared goals
Watch Jason explain why mutual understanding, not just great execution, helps product teams thrive together.