The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles | On Product Management

58 responses

  1. Scott Gilbert
    March 31, 2011

    @onpm New post – The Importance of Differentiated #prodmgmt Roles http://wp.me/pXBON-2hF #prodmktg #leadership #prodmgmt

  2. AIPMM CapítuloMéxico
    March 26, 2011

    RT @mmb708: @onpm great article, thought provoking The Importance of Differentiated #prodmgmt Roles http://wp.me/pXBON-2hF #prodmktg

  3. Jonathan Breeze
    March 23, 2011

    How to de-risk your 'hero' PM ……RT @onpm: The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles #prodmgmt http://bit.ly/fT2CJr

  4. Pirasanna Sivalingam
    March 23, 2011

    RT @productmanagers: jpfozo: On Product Management – The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles http://bit.ly/eIJNRd: … …

  5. Susan Zheng
    March 23, 2011

    RT @productmanagers: jpfozo: On Product Management – The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles http://bit.ly/eIJNRd: … …

  6. ProductCamp Boston
    March 22, 2011

    RT @productmanagers: jpfozo: On Product Management – The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles http://bit.ly/eIJNRd: … …

  7. Prdct Mgmt – JP Fozo
    March 22, 2011

    jpfozo: On Product Management – The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles http://bit.ly/eIJNRd: … http://bit.ly/hddZPq

  8. peter scharnell
    March 22, 2011

    RT @jefflash: RT @onpm: New post – The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles #prodmgmt #leadership http://bit.ly/fT2CJr

  9. Ryan Hoover
    March 22, 2011

    RT @jefflash: RT @onpm: New post – The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles #prodmgmt #leadership http://bit.ly/fT2CJr

  10. Jeff Lash
    March 22, 2011

    RT @onpm: New post – The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles #prodmgmt #leadership http://bit.ly/fT2CJr

  11. Sarela Bliman-Cohen
    March 22, 2011

    The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles:
    by Saeed Khan
    Last week I wrote a post entitled How … http://bit.ly/hTgCAu

  12. Angus Robinson
    March 22, 2011

    RT @jpfozo: On Product Management – The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles http://bit.ly/eIJNRd

  13. Sarela Bliman-Cohen
    March 22, 2011

    @onpm New post – The Importance of Differentiated #prodmgmt Roles http://wp.me/pXBON-2hF #prodmktg #leadership

  14. Dan Broerman
    March 22, 2011

    Great start for roles in #prodmgt, anyone who has planned an org can appreciate this advice. thanks @onpm http://bit.ly/gVUms4

  15. Morten R Stengaard
    March 22, 2011

    Great read on "The importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles" by @saeedwkhan: http://goo.gl/tnNcT #productmanagement

  16. Paul Hainsworth
    March 22, 2011

    RT @jpfozo: On Product Management – The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles http://bit.ly/eIJNRd

  17. jpfozo
    March 22, 2011

    On Product Management – The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles http://bit.ly/eIJNRd

  18. Eric B. Hanson
    March 21, 2011

    RT @onpm RT @saeedwkhan New post:The Importance of Differentiated #prodmgmt Roles http://wp.me/pXBON-2hF #prodmktg #leadership

  19. Don Vendetti
    March 21, 2011

    Saeed
    Thanks for the reference to my post. Your inclusion of Solution Architects is a good expansion of the similar role definitions in Pragmatic’s PM Triad for complex B2B products. When I have had solution architects to work with, they have proven invaluable as both a strategic and requirements asset looking across multiple customers, as you indicate.

    Your diagram also has a nice split of more technical capability on the left side and more market-facing and strategic capability on the right. In creating a product management organization, this is exactly the sort of trade-off you’re often facing when hiring people and as my most recent post discusses: http://product-arts.com/joomla/blog/entry/product-managers-are-darn-hard-to-hire.

    A big challenge still exists in small and medium companies that do not have individuals to staff all of these roles. The needs do not go away, so somebody has to step up to the plate at various points. The problem then becomes one of prioritization of the PM activities, and it all comes back to the focus on business results at any given time. Which activities and focus will drive the highest impact results? You have to define the top 2-3 for any specific period, and then everything else takes a back seat for the time being.

    Thanks again,
    Don

    • Saeed
      March 21, 2011

      Hi Don!

      Thanks for the comment….I do like your definition I must say. And thanks for pointing out the business/technical focus of the roles. I definitely had that in mind when I created the diagram, but didn’t explicitly mention it. I’ve updated the diagram to make that more explicit.

      For small companies, you are correct, it’s a question of tradeoffs and the skills of the existing staff. Many companies go with a PM/PMM split to start the differentiation and then add other roles as needed.

      In an Agile environment, I strongly recommend a Technical PM with strong engineering skills. That person can hold their own with the technical teams, either with the Product Owner or acting as the Product Owner.

  20. OnProductManagement
    March 21, 2011

    RT @saeedwkhan New post:The Importance of Differentiated #prodmgmt Roles http://wp.me/pXBON-2hF #prodmktg #leadership

  21. William Toll
    March 21, 2011

    The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles http://ow.ly/1bRpck

  22. Tom Leung
    March 21, 2011

    Super thoughtful post. Totally agree. I’d build on your point about overly broad job descriptions by suggesting sometimes product leaders get carried away with the “mini-CEO” strategy and undercover a product with a single “hero” PM when in reality, few people in the industry really _can_ do it all and even if they have the capabilities, there aren’t enough hours in the day.

    We’ve found having a program manager and product manager co-located pair on each of our products has been very successful. We partner those guys with the engr manager and business manager and it seems to be a good set up for the 10-20 engineer products.

    -Tom

    • Saeed
      March 21, 2011

      Tom

      Thanks for the comment. I agree with the “mini-CEO” and “hero PM” point. We’d all like to think we are Superman/woman, but that’s not a recipe for business success.

      We have to start thinking about Product Management teams and rid ourselves of this notion of the lone PM. Yes, in the very beginning there is a single PM, but as the company grows, a team and then department needs to be created, not simply grow by cloning the lone PM who does it all.

      And WRT “program manager”, just for clarity, is that a “project manager” or is that more like the Microsoft definition of “Program Management”?

      • Geoffrey Anderson
        March 21, 2011

        One more thing about the Mini-CEO or hero PM concept. While we all want to think we are, and some of us are this, it is a very dangerous scenario, as it becomes a single point of failure. If that person get hit by a bus (or burned out and leaves for greener pastures), you are pretty much sunk.

        True people like this are rare, and it is not surprising that there aren’t a deep bench of candidates to take on the role when one of them disappears out of the organization.

      • Tom Leung
        March 21, 2011

        That is a super point Geoffrey. Totally agree.

      • Tom Leung
        March 21, 2011

        Hi Saeed:

        If we use the MSFT definitions, our Product Managers are more like empowered, decision-making msft product planners (typically MBA’s focusing a lot on research, strategy, roadmapping, and PRD’s and accountable for their product’s business and user goals) and our Program Managers are similar to msft program managers (focus more on shipping stuff and technical execution, specs, and engineering acceleration).

        Tom

    • Shardul
      March 21, 2011

      Tom,

      Great point on “mini-CEO”. I feel this is a tired metaphor that is misleading and doesn’t allow organizations to do what Saeed is astutely suggesting. I wrote about this recently, would love your thoughts: http://wp.me/pQmRk-1m

  23. ProdMgmt Talk
    March 21, 2011

    RT @saeedwkhan: New post:The Importance of Differentiated #prodmgmt Roles http://wp.me/pXBON-2hF #prodmktg #leadership

  24. saeedwkhan
    March 21, 2011

    New post:The Importance of Differentiated #prodmgmt Roles http://wp.me/pXBON-2hF #prodmktg #leadership

  25. saeedwkhan
    March 21, 2011

    New post – The Importance of Differentiated Product Management Roles http://wp.me/pXBON-2hF #prodmgmt #leadership

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