It can be easy to get caught up in the role of a Product Owner: gathering feature requests from stakeholders (internal and external), prioritizing them in your team’s backlog, and working with your development team to make them a reality.

Don’t get me wrong, these are all critical responsibilities of a good Product Manager. And critical components of Strategy, because Strategy without Execution is just dreaming.

However, we need to be asking the following questions of the feature requests we receive:

If the answer to two or more of those questions is “No”, then it’s probably worth considering if the feature request should not just be de-prioritized, but removed altogether. After all, if we spend all our time on no-benefit or low-benefit features, then it’s the equivalent of treading water.

Without a doubt, the ability to prioritize is critical for Product Managers. However, we also need to be asking ourselves “Does this help take us in the direction we need to go?”