Here are top 6 similarities between Chess and Product Management:
1. It’s all about taking Decisions – The most critical part for every Product Manager is to take Decisions. Be it creating a new feature or saying No to a customer, it’s the Product Manager who evaluates and take the Decision. Similarly in the game of Chess, it’s all about taking the decision. You have to decide before every single move (Should I kill that knight or fallback?). A right decision can make you win and a wrong one will make you lose.
2. Prioritization – Another major activity which we as a PM do is prioritization. It’s the responsibility of a PM to decide what needs to be built and when. (Should I build the feature A or Feature B first). Similarly in the game of Chess we priorities our every single move. Just like In the Product Management role, prioritization depends on many internal and external factors (effort, impact, cost), similarly in the game of Chess, every step depends on the opponent’s move and we have to act accordingly and line up our pieces. (Should I play the pawn first or open my move with the knight?)
3. Tradeoff – As the definition says a Tradeoff is an exchange where you give up one thing in order to get something else you desire. Taking an example from Product Management, (Should I built a feature A that will fetch new customers or Should I build a feature B that will keep my current customers Happy). In the game of Chess, there are many scenarios where you have to tradeoff your pieces. When in situation where a Pawn is in place to kill either Knight/Rook. Should I tradeoff my Knight or Rook? It’s up to the player to decide on various factors and make a move.