The Business Role of Product Management

This is part four of a four-part series on the importance of product management for organizations. The four parts are: · What is a “Product”? (link here); · Why Product Management (link here); · Why Every Company Needs Product Management (link here); and · The Business Role of Product Management (this article) In the first three articles we: Defined a product as “a solution for a persona’s problem, including all components necessary to fully solve that problem and the persona’s experience throughout the process.” Made the case for why product management by defining product management as making sure the company is doing the right thing, specifically in terms of adding value to the market, adding value to the organization, and adding value to the team. And, made the point that as every company sells a product, every company (not just technology companies) needs product management. In this fourth and final article, we are going to share a preview of our eBook The Business Role of Product Management, which is available to download here. The Business Role of Product Management “The signature of greatness is a disciplined and consistent focus on the right things.” — Jim Collins Modern product management started at Proctor & Gamble in 1931 as Brand Management, introducing a role that had absolute responsibility for a brand, managing the business and go-to-market aspects in a customer-driven approach. Hewlett-Packard brought this approach into technology with product management. Putting decision-making as close as possible to the customer, with product management serving as the voice of the customer internally. As the role of product management grew and evolved, but the central core of managing the business of the product remained. Even companies without formal product management are doing product management, those activities are just spread across multiple functions, without a central person with responsibilities for all of the key business decisions for the product. Someone is making decisions on what should be built for what markets and personas. Someone is providing requirements to design and development to help them build the product, and information on the product and value proposition to marketing and sales. Someone is managing the product through its lifecycle and evolving its strategy. The question is this: is “someone” the right person? You need someone who is systematic, market-focused, and transparent. The “someone” who owns it is the one who writes it down and keeps it current. (Uh-oh, did a bunch of stuff just get “un-owned”?) The role of product management thrives in being the glue for the organization. Being the fulcrum point that manages decisions about the product and enables the entire organization to successfully build, manage, and maximize the value of the product to the company and the market. The business role of product management is responsible for: Engaging with the market to understand market segments and personas and discover market problems to solve; Partnering with leadership and strategy to focus the product strategy on the opportunities that have the best chance of success and creating value for the company and customers; Enabling design and development to build successful products with context on the market segments, personas, and problems; Enabling sales and marketing to go to market successfully with context on the market segments, personas, value propositions, and differentiation; And managing the business and strategy of the product throughout its lifecycle, including defining growth opportunities in new markets and with new products. You can read the entire eBook, including additional sections on The Strategic Importance of Product Management, The Two-Dimensions of Product Management, and The Business and Strategy Gap in Product Management, here. ------- If you liked this post, join the Product Growth Leaders Community here to join the conversation and see more.

The Business Role of Product Management