What's the most frustrating part about being a product manager?

What do you dislike the most about the role?

I’m new to product management and curious to hear what more experienced PM’s think. Thanks!


The most frustrating part to me is whenever upper administration thinks they know it all and later on you give them reasons behind why they’re off-base or wrong, just to be told to simply go with what they said. It’s so frustrating and absolutely invalidates the point of the gig.


I relate to this so bad… our board just wants to exit in less than 5 years, we’ve had 3 CEOs in 4 years, and i keep asking us to define a proper vision, so I can build a product vision that supports it…

Now we are doing a strategy meeting without any vision og goals before hand

I’m so tired man


Personally I hate PowerPoints and endless presentations. It’s really hard when you’re not in a product first org and stakeholders constantly push back.


Handling requests from from CXO for features that are for vanity and won’t move the needle for customer or business. Despite having no data / evidence to back up the idea or not allowing the the PM to get validate data to validate the idea but forced to build a vanity feature.
Every opportunity we pursue is an opportunity cost. We lose by not pursuing an another idea.
I’m not asking if your team can build this but I’m telling your team will build this for me. I heard this in my last gig enough to puke.


Being told by upper management to work on a project that you know is going to fail…


For me it would be dealing with product heavy CEOs, the reason is that they think they know best and while they might have the experience they lack any sort of confidence in anyone else but them, so you start operating as their secretary rather than a proper product manager

Also, endless meetings, I don’t dislike meetings if they have a purpose or it needs to be done to better clarify an idea, but sometimes it is just better to send a slack message or even a voice message, no need for a meeting.


When PMs become the dumping ground of ambiguity at the company.

  • Engineering leads cannot resolve their differences - ask PM to step in,
  • engineering team can’t solve a complex problem - PM didn’t define specs properly,
  • multiple teams need info on Product and are lazy to build a common information sharing mechanism Or want to avoid conflicts among themselves - schedule multiple individual weekly status meetings with the PM as if PM has infinite bandwidth,
  • PM VP assigns multiple product roadmaps to PM and expects weekly updates on roadmap preparation while engineering lead wants you to attend every engineering team meet and standup and get into technical discussions
  • when you discover to your shock that you are the first PM at the company to ask for particular metrics and logs to help make product + market fit decision, and none of the other PMs have bothered to collect such metrics before.

The answer to most of above questions is to LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’!!! that was the hardest part of being a PM for me and caused my blood pressure to shoot up, because I was an individual contributor before that.


@Naomi, This is very much to the point. Have been facing this a lot. As a PM, I was starting to think it was just the underdeveloped nature of the product function at my company.

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Playing multiple roles (e.g. PM + PO + Scrum Master + Agile Coach) on top of being a PM due to a lack of Agile maturity and budget constraints within the organization.