Not only are you now responsible for making strategic decisions about what to build and why, but you feel you are forced do so in an alien environment
How could I possibly lead product design, when the very products themselves consisted of a complex network of logic beyond my current understanding?
Now that I have had time to reflect on that thought I have come to realise how counterproductive it is. Of course, you have to be interested in technology as this is the medium through which you are providing solutions, but you only have to understand what is possible and what is not. The granular detail of it all can be left to the experts, whilst you focus on doing what Product Manager’s should do; Product Management!
Here are a few helpful tips…
1. Lead the Product not the Tech
Your role is to articulate the users high level needs into workable and deliverable features. This involves understanding their pain points and communicating them to the engineers…
2. Embrace your ignorance
Facilitate good product design by offering a perspective that places the user above the technology.
3. Learn, but Learn the Right Things
You will need to learn about how to create an optimised product delivery cycle, how to be ‘agile’, how to record and respond to customer feedback, how to prioritise features, how to measure success amongst many many others things.
4. Know something about everything (and everything about nothing)
Know enough to make sure that sufficient cross-domain knowledge is being transferred between parties and ensure that the right questions are being asked, and that the correct assumptions are being tested. Your role is to make sure that the right questions are being asked, and not necessarily to answer them all.