Skip to main content

Is ChatGPT a better product manager than you?


The last topic I want to cover in this long series is the big one - will AI take product managers' jobs?

It's a valid question. If AI can teach you to be a PM, can it do the job as well? The answer will depend on your definition of the PM role.

AI could be a product owner

Not sure if anyone did it already, but I am pretty sure a generative AI could pass a standard CSPO test. So if you think a product manager's job is to create a backlog of stories, participate in Scrum rituals and accept whatever engineers produce - you might consider just using generative AI for that.

Even better, ChatGPT and alike could handle some rudimentary product discovery tasks. It could analyse your competitors, create a questionnaire for your customers and define a simple A/B test. It could write a standard press release, design basic marketing collateral and even automate some parts of the selling process.

If you need nothing more from a product manager - save yourself some money, get an intern and buy access to ChatGPT.

You could be a better product manager with AI

If you're still reading then you might think product management is not really about writing stories, creating roadmaps and holding meetings. Real product management is about creating value for customers and businesses. It sounds ambiguous and that's the point. For every organisation, in any given situation, value creation could look drastically different. Good PMs are extremely adaptable and can pick the best-suited methods to reach positive outcomes for their customers and employers.

And such kind of creativity is something generative AI can't do yet. It could help you do some parts of it (the most basic and boring ones) but it couldn't synthesise it to a coherent whole. And surely it cannot create products with a "soul" or a "special sauce" or "magic", meaning intrinsic value that's so hard to articulate but users feel it when it's there.

Despite the above, you as a product manager, should use generative AI to supercharge your productivity. You should try and outsource all the mundane, easy and trivial work to an AI and focus on the unique value only you can bring. What is this unique value? While the exact quality could differ from person to person, I'd bet it would be in the realm of soft skills - empathy, communication and experience.

Consider this simple example. Say an AI could do product discovery. It could ask your customers questions according to a script. But can it "feel the room" and prone into the topics to uncover something the client is not saying? Maybe it could create a roadmap that would formally look right but can it galvanise the team behind it with a good story? No, you will need to do it.

AI will force us to up our game and that's a good thing! No more hiding behind "busy work", no more "copy and paste" solutions, and no more templated responses. AI could do all that. So we need to find our unique strengths and double down on them. We need to use technology for better outcomes. Product management is about people so the best product managers are big on soft skills while leaving "hard" ones to technology.

Popular posts from this blog

Product management and operations tools - Jira Product Discovery review

  JPD is a new player in the market of product management software. Jira (and the whole Atlassian suite) has been one of the most popular tool stacks for teams to deliver software products. Now they're adding a missing piece - product discovery.

Product Vision: an elevator pitch for your product

On this blog, I write a lot about making data-driven decisions . But what if you just starting to think about your product? You have a vague idea and nothing more. No point to go for prototyping or even talking to customers as you don't know yet who to talk to and what to talk about. In such situation - start from creating a product vision.

2 simple but powerful filters for your problem and product ideas

Nowadays lots of people and companies want to innovate. They want to generate new ideas and turn them into profitable products. But how would you separate good ideas from not so good ones? How would you make sure you invest only in good ideas?