“Getting Promoted” Talk at SV Product Camp ’13

SVPcamp

This year’s Silicon Valley Product Camp (the sixth!) again drew record crowds of product managers and product marketers to share, network, learn and have fun!  600+ attendees came to eBay’s Paypal/San Jose location. I ran a session on Understanding the Next Job Up… and Getting Promoted. We had an energetic (semi-structured) discussion about what individual contributor Product Managers do, how this is different from Director-level and VP Product roles, and ways to address various real-world (political) issues.  Some of the more senior attendees offered advice to newcomers.  We talked about how to signal that you’re interested in “the next job up” while respecting your current manager. Understanding the Next Job Up… and Getting Promoted from Rich Mironov   With a…

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Notes from the Unicorn Hiring Front

unicorn

When opening up a new product management position (or any job), it’s easy to over-specify what candidates must have. We risk finding no candidates at all, or missing those with unique skills and backgrounds, so it helps to clearly prioritize our requirements.

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What Hiring Managers are Looking for in Product Management Candidates

help-wanted

We did an analysis of job requirements and qualifications for posted product management openings. Previous PM experience, segment expertise and great communication skills are at the top of the list. What if you don’t look like the typical PM hire?

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B2B SaaS Companies Need Behavioral Expertise

B2B SaaS are missing the opportunity to understand and model their user base: boosting satisfaction and revenue by identifying how successful customers behave during their revenue journey

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Painters, Portraits, Software Architects

I’ve been tuning an analogy about painters for the last few months, which has become my litmus test for which companies see software strategically – and the kind of talent they attract.  First the analogy, in three parts: If you want someone to paint your house, you get a few quotes from house painters. Bids focus on size of house, cost of paint, prep time and ladder time. Good references help, but your decision is mostly about price and availability. If you want someone to paint a portrait of your loving spouse, however, you might prefer a modern-day Renoir to a Cassius Coolidge, even at substantially higher cost and less convenient scheduling. The quality of the work product really matters,…

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Podcast: Galvanizing The Product Management Career Path

I was honored to join Cindy Solomon’s Product Management Talk podcast series on April 16th.  Co-hosted by Adrienne Tan and  Nick Coster, we had a lively conversation about Galvanizing The Product Management Career Path.

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Measuring Product Managers (in Swedish or English)

I’m back from a week of product management workshops and seminars in Sweden, including a Product Leadership event hosted by Tolpagorni’s Magnus Billgren. In a half-dozen discussions with the heads of product management groups, I was struck by how familiar their concerns are.  We could have been in Sunnyvale rather than in Stockholm.  Topics that came up repeatedly: What metrics do we use for evaluating product managers, and how can we tell if they are doing a good job?   Are there PM KPIs*? Our agile development teams tell us that roadmaps are no longer needed, but our customers and sales teams still demand firm commitments.

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What’s A Vice President of Product Management?

My last two posts were about getting into product management and the climb to Director. This third post asks how Vice Presidents of Product Management (VP PMs) are different from Directors, why they are so rare, and where else Directors can look for organizational advancement. Product groups vary widely and are not rationally designed. (Sorry.) So let’s imagine a pure VP PM position generalized from my own tours of duty plus a half-dozen interim/acting VP PM roles.  Your organizational mileage may vary.  IMHO, /services: shepherding the short-term development efforts and long-term strategy work to keep a 3-12 month roadmap that’s coherent.  . They provide some order and structure and process to a chaotic situation, and keep things directionally on track….

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Moving Up To Director

In the second of three posts about the product management hierarchy, we’ll focus on technology product managers (PMs) who’ve been in their jobs long enough to consider what comes next.  (User story: “As a Senior Product Manager, I want to be promoted to Director so that I get more money and respect and glory.”) Let’s break this problem into a few parts: likely candidates for promotion; how the Director job differs from line Product Management; and ways to show that you’re ready for a bigger role. Persona You’re a promotional candidate if you’re already a seasoned PM, with 4+ years on a few different products, and are the “go to” person for competitive and technical info. You make time for…

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Getting Your First Product Management Job

Looking over dozens of discussions, presentations and Quora threads from the last few months, a frequent question has been “How do I get a job in technical product management?”  Here is the first of three posts split along job levels: How do I move into tech product management, especially if I’m currently a developer? How do I move up from an individual PM role to Director?  I’m a Director of Product Management, and want to be a VP. 

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