Continuing to answer Quora questions to do my 200WaD while marketing Canny.
If you're on Quora, your upvote would help my answers get seen. Thanks in advance!
Your volume of requests will always exceed your engineering capacity. That's partly why your job as a PM is so challenging.
If you don't want to be perceived as that guy that says "no" to everyone, it's as simple as saying "no, because…". Show them why their request won't be prioritized right now. Show them that it's not personal. If they want what's best for your team, they'll understand.
At the same time, you don't want to be constantly reasoning with requests. You have other job responsibilities that need attention.
A great way to balance both is by getting all your team feedback in one place. Everybody's ideas get written down and preserved for everyone else to see.
The two main benefits here:
Instead of having private 1-to-1 conversations, all requests go into one place.
Less pushing back
When you say "no" in a 1-to-1 conversation, you feel like you have to justify yourself.
Everyone can understand that resources are limited and not everything can or should be prioritized. When everything is on a level playing field, people can justify for themselves why their request won't be prioritized.
Many teams use Canny to keep track of internal feedback. It becomes their single home for team feedback.
As your product org grows, it becomes opaque. People not working in product don't understand why certain decisions are being made. Adding a little transparency will go a long way in making your life easier.