Language is a complex beast… According to the Linguistic Society of America, in 2009, there were just over 6900 distinct languages globally. The diversity in language whilst has many cultural benefits, throws up numerous challenges as we interact and transact across global borders. Even within the one language, the misunderstanding or misinterpretation of words can throw up numerous issues.
One such challenge is that faced by Product Management when communicating with their Finance teams. It’s no secret that the Product Manager often feels stymied by the Finance team and what seems to be archaic processes’ protecting the company’s purse strings. Justification for new product ideas is lengthy and is often more complicated than it needs to be.
Sometimes the frustration felt may be as simple as a translation issue. Finance may ask for certain information and Product may interpret the request slightly differently. As Product Managers struggle to make their point, the effects in the long run hurts the product and ultimately the company’s bottom line.
As an experiment, Adrienne Tan (Product Manager) and Stephane Chatonsky (Financier) thought it might be worthwhile writing a list of common words and the interpretation of the words by each group. Read on and tell us what you think. It was amusing that both the Product Manager and the Financier seemed to appreciate the concept of MVP.
|When Product Managers say…||Financiers understand…||What Product Managers Really Mean|
|Agile Development||“How do we become more Agile?”||Hmmmm? I don’t understand what you mean. Sorry.||I want to ship the right product to market quickly before the competitors|
|Business Case||“I can’t complete the Business Case accurately”||This is not ready to be invested into then||I can?t pin down my costs because I am iteratively developing my product.|
|AB Testing||“I want to run a couple of experiments”||Why is that? Is it going to cost more money?||I want to know which value proposition resonates with the market.|
|Minimum Viable Product||“What’s the minimum number of features I can release that customers will ‘pay’ for?”||I like the way you are thinking.||What is the minimum amount of resource we can use to generate the highest return in a product release.|
If you would like to increase your financial literacy to be more effective in your role, Brainmates’ 2-Day Financial Fundamentals for Product Managers course improves Product professionals’ ability to understand and explain the key financial terms that underpin the product’s performance.