Cognitive biases in product management

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Zeda.io welcomes you all to another edition of the weekly Newsletter. This week we have curated a list of Cognitive biases which are often seen in organizations and product managers are trapped by them. We hope this will help you to become a successful Product Manager and also help you in gaining some knowledge and upgrading your skills. If you enjoy reading this newsletter then don’t forget to share it with your friends.

Also if you are new to our channel, here are the links to the last 3 newsletters for you.

  1. Metrics that matter to PM the most

  2. 7 Upcoming Webinars you can't afford to miss

  3. 5 tips for nailing Prioritization as a PM

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Product managers work across multiple domains of product. They are involved in-depth with 3 major domains design, technology and business. They interact with various people from different teams. Product managers have to make major decisions based on their interaction with these teams. But in this process, Cognitive biases can ruin the game. 

Cognitive biases are basically an error in which you understand a piece of information in a certain way that may be far from reality. 

We’ve listed below some cognitive biases that we see often in product management, so you can try and avoid them.

  • Anchoring- This happens when one relies too much on one piece of information. For instance, a product team is evaluating the user quality of the updated version of the product with the previous product version. So that previous version has been set as a standard which is wrong. 

  • Curse of Knowledge- Not all people are equally knowledgeable in an organisation or team. This occurs when a highly knowledgeable person can’t think of the problems from a less knowledgeable person’s point of view. 

  • Information Bias- This is the tendency of seeking information even when it can’t affect the action. Product managers are often observed saying this “let’s do one more test” or “one more feedback” instead of launching the product. 

  • Bandwagon effect- This is the behavioural bias that makes you take an action which most of the people around you think is right. You might not want to try something new and instead want to walk on the path followed by most of the people around you. 

  • Negativity bias- In this phenomenon, people mostly recall their negative experiences compared to positive ones. They compare any situation to what wrong had happened in the past. Or this could even happen when a lot of negative feedback has been received by the product owner or the product manager and the whole thinking process turns negative. 

  • Confirmation bias- It’s a tendency to search for favour and recall information in a way that supports the previous beliefs or values. For example, to validate your decision you may choose the same tool you used previously and gave you positive results. 

  • Fundamental attribution error- This is a tendency to reach conclusions about the cause of somebody’s behaviour being due to internal factors, such as personality, and to discount external factors that may actually play the greater role. 

These were a few cognitive biases that are commonly seen in product management. Therefore, to keep your product strategy alive, and make relevant decisions, always think from first principles, adopt a devil’s advocate position and continue asking “why?”.

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