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.
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….
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…
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.
On March 5th, Shreyas Doshi had the SVPMA podium for a talk on “How To Get That Next PM Job” This was an astonishingly wonderful talk: crisp, funny, and relentlessly on-point. When I wasn’t applauding and smacking my forehead, I was jealous.