Product Management–what does this mean in a High Tech employer? What is the characteristic, and in which does it belong? I’ve held everlasting positions in some of excessive tech concerns, as with PJM Consulting I even have worked with many greater in a consulting ability.
Product Management is everywhere in the map in High Tech. Most regularly it resides inside the advertising branch. Sometimes, it’s within the engineering/product development department. Occasionally you will see it as it’s personal function. And once more, what does the term suggest in a High Tech business enterprise? Sometimes it’s miles used interchangeably with the time period “Product Marketing”. In this example, it approach duty from cradle to grave of the product making plans and marketing capabilities for a specific product or product line. In different words, operating with the builders to define the product (product making plans), as well as driving the alternative “3Ps” for the product–putting pricing, distribution approach and promotional approach.
In larger organizations you will often find this feature separated into distinct jobs: Product Management as the Product Planning component, and Product Marketing as the characteristic that manages the product as soon as it’s far released into the marketplace–driving pricing, promoting and distribution. In this example each features may additionally nonetheless are living in the advertising department, or the Product Planning component is from time to time inside the engineering branch.
The remaining variance on this theme this is on occasion visible is that the Product Management resides within the engineering branch, however it most effective vaguely resembles the traditional definition of the time period. In this situation it’s far “Product Planning”, however the activity and talent set more intently suit the definition of an engineering project manager, with very little weight put on exploring the marketplace to suit marketplace desires with engineering abilties.
In High Tech, the Product Management function is maximum typically a “matrix” position: plenty of duty for a product’s achievement, with very little actual authority to ensure that success. Normally a Product Manager’s achievement may be determined based totally upon his/her capability to convince different stakeholders in the organization that the direction laid out is the excellent element for the agency (and the individual stakeholders as nicely!) People talents are therefore as vital as having a technical draw close of the activity in a Product Manager’s ultimate achievement.
In patron markets, the Product Manager commonly holds a lot greater direct energy–frequently just like a mini-GM for his product line. Often product improvement will also paintings for him. The term Brand Manager is often used in patron organizations in preference to Product Manager. (In a big High Tech business enterprise, a Brand Manager will fulfill extra of a Marcom role).
So what is the pleasant way to structure the Product Management function to your enterprise? Well there in reality isn’t one satisfactory manner. It depends upon your business, tradition and personnel. But I do have my biases. I accept as true with strongly that most high tech businesses might gain with the aid of structuring the Product Management feature to be sturdy. Tthere is a whole lot to gain by using setting a sturdy, experienced Marketer with a sturdy technical historical past in a Product Manager function in which they may be graded and compensated by the outcomes of the P&L in their product line. I wouldn’t go to this point as to signify that Product Development have to file to the Product Manager in a High Tech enterprise, however I might provide them discretionary budgetary authority on as a minimum a part of the advertising finances for the product line. I might additionally ensure they’ve control backing to deal with the developers from as a minimum an equal role of strength. This lack of product management power is a big hassle in many High Tech businesses, mainly the ones founded through product developers.
The Product Manager’s mentality have to be that of a “mini-CEO” along with his product line analogous to the overall corporation for a real CEO. Too regularly in era corporations the Product Management/Marketing functions do now not have the capability to arise to Engineering. This leads to a culture of building what fits someone’s fancy, now not building what the market will purchase–a totally dangerous factor inside the long time. A sturdy Product Management feature will cause an advocate for that product line whose sole business “purpose in existence” is for his product to be successful. This outlook ensures that the large image will constantly been appeared out for, eliminating the capability for a product line’s performance to be reduced by way of turf wars– or sub-highest quality tactical actions because of negative inter-department communique. The Product Manager is there to rationalize and orchestrate to make sure the product line has the high-quality risk of success.
That’s my take–what’s yours?
Phil Morettini is the Author and President of PJM Consulting, a Managment Consultancy to Software and High Tech Companies. PJM Consulting executes special, strategic initiatives and can also deliver interim senior management in General Management (CEO, COO, Division Manager), Product Marketing, M&A, Distribution Channels and Business Development. You can touch Phil at the PJM Consulting Tech-wonders.com