High Tech Product Management

in Product
Product Management--what will this mean in a High Tech company? What's the function, and where will it belong? I've held permanent positions in an exceedingly number of high tech considerations, like PJM Consulting I have worked with many more in a consulting capacity.

Product Management is all over the map in High Tech. Most usually it resides in the marketing department. Typically, it's within the engineering/product development department. Occasionally you may see it as it's own function. And again, what does the term mean in an exceedingly High Tech company? Typically it is used interchangeably with the term "Product Selling". In this case, it means responsibility from cradle to grave of the product planning and promoting functions for a explicit product or product line. In different words, working with the developers to define the product (product coming up with), in addition to driving the other "3Ps" for the product--setting pricing, distribution strategy and promotional strategy.

In larger companies you may typically find this operate separated into two distinct jobs: Product Management because the Product Planning portion, and Product Marketing because the operate that manages the merchandise once it's released into the market--driving pricing, promotion and distribution. In this case both functions might still reside within the marketing department, or the Product Planning portion is typically in the engineering department.

The last variance on this theme that is sometimes seen is that the Product Management resides within the engineering department, but it only vaguely resembles the traditional definition of the term. During this case it's "Product Coming up with", but the job and talent set additional closely fit the definition of an engineering project manager, with very little weight place on exploring the market to match marketplace desires with engineering capabilities.

In High Tech, the Product Management function is most typically a "matrix" position: lots of responsibility for a product's success, with terribly little actual authority to ensure that success. Normally a Product Manager's success will be decided based mostly upon his/her ability to convince alternative stakeholders within the organization that the trail laid out is the best factor for the corporate (and also the individual stakeholders still!) Folks skills are so as necessary as having a technical grasp of the duty during a Product Manager's ultimate success.

In shopper markets, the Product Manager usually holds a lot of additional direct power--usually much sort of a mini-GM for his product line. Usually product development will even work for him. The term Brand Manager is typically utilized in shopper businesses instead of Product Manager. (During a massive High Tech company, a Complete Manager can fulfill more of a Marcom role).

Therefore what's the best approach to structure the Product Management role in your business? Well there very is not one best way. It depends upon your business, culture and personnel. However I do have my biases. I think strongly that the majority high tech businesses would profit by structuring the Product Management perform to be strong. Tthere is much to achieve by putting a sturdy, experienced Marketer with a sturdy technical background in an exceedingly Product Manager role where they are graded and compensated by the results of the P&L of their product line. I wouldn't go thus way as to counsel that Product Development ought to report to the Product Manager in an exceedingly High Tech company, however I would give them discretionary budgetary authority on at least some of the marketing budget for the product line. I might conjointly create sure they have management backing to deal with the developers from at least an equal position of strength. This lack of product management strength could be a huge downside in many High Tech corporations, particularly those founded by product developers.

The Product Manager's mentality ought to be that of a "mini-CEO" with his product line analogous to the general company for a true CEO. Too typically in technology corporations the Product Management/Marketing functions don't have the flexibility to face up to Engineering. This leads to a culture of building what suits someone's fancy, not building what the market will get--a very dangerous issue in the long term. A sturdy Product Management function can result in an advocate for that product line whose sole business "purpose in life" is for his product to succeed. This outlook ensures that the big image will always been looked out for, eliminating the potential for a product line's performance to be reduced by turf wars-- or sub-optimal tactical moves thanks to poor inter-department communication. The Product Manager is there to rationalize and orchestrate to ensure the merchandise line has the most effective likelihood of success.
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This article was published on 2011/01/05