Table Of Contents
Pg 2 - Introduction
Pg 3 - Execution vs Ownership
Pg 4 - Director, Product Strategy - Job Responsibilities
Pg 4 - Technical Product Manager - Job Responsibilities
Pg 5 - Product Marketing Manger - Job Responsibilities
Pg 6 - Pragmatic Marketing Framework
First 3 Pages
The Journal for technology product management and marketing professionals
The Pragmatic Marketer
Volume 7 issue 5 2009
Updating the Pragmatic Marketing Framework
The Product Management Triad
Top 10 Tools to Measure User Experience
The Strategic Product Manager and the CFO
The Product Management Triad
Some product managers have a natural affinity for working with Development, others for Sales and Marketing Communications, and others prefer to work on business issues. Finding these three orientations in one person is an almost impossible task. Instead of finding one person with all the skills, perhaps we should find three different people with more specialized skills and have them work as a team.
How do you organize product management when there are multiple people involved with
varying skill sets? How any product managers do you need? What are their roles in the
company? Is product management a support role or a strategic one? How do you use the
various product management titles such as product manager, product marketing manager,
program manager, or product owner?
Titles are poorly understood and defined differently by many organizations. Every year,
participants in Pragmatic Marketing’s Annual Product Management and Marketing Survey
identify hundreds of different titles for those conducting product management activities.
An ideal solution for many companies is the “product management triad.”
Some product managers have a natural affinity for working with Development,
others for Sales and Marketing, and some prefer to work on business issues. Finding
these three orientations in one person is very difficult. Instead, perhaps we should
find three different people who each possess one or more of these skills and have them
work as a team.
The product management triad includes a strategist, a technologist, and a marketer.
Start with a business-oriented senior product manager responsible for product strategy.
Make this person a director of products or product line manager (PLM). Now add
a technology-oriented technical product manager (TPM) and a marketing oriented
product marketing manager (PMM).
Let’s look at an example of how applying the triad had success for a company of nine product managers and nine products, one product manager per product. The salespeople disliked some of the product managers and loved others. The ones the salespeople loved were hated by developers. Applying the triad, they created three product lines with a PLM for each and then assigned a TPM and PMM to each product line. Now, for each product line, one person concentrates on product strategy and the business of the product line,
while another works with Development to build the best product, and another takes
the product message to the channel by working with Marketing Communications
and the sales team.
Warning: Some companies attempt to put these three people in three different
departments. They put the PLM into Sales to do business development; they
put the TPM in Development and the PMM in Marketing Communications. This
always fails. To work as a team, they must actually be a team. Having
the TPM and PMM report to the same person, the PLM, minimizes conflict
and overlap, giving the team a common objective. It has the added benefit
of giving a new director the chance to learn to be a good manager of two people before getting five or ten people to manage.
Product management teams provide career paths from entry-level positions to director,
all within the product line.
Execution vs. ownership
As shown in the graphic on the previous page, these three positions overlap. This
is deliberate. Execution of these tasks must be collaborative in order to succeed. For
example, Win/Loss Analysis is an excellent data source for Positioning and the Buying
Process. Your PLM and PMM ought to perform win/loss visits together to ensure you
gain the most value.
But do not confuse execution with ownership. Ownership of a task equates to
accountability. As the executive leader of a team structured this way, the PLM is held
accountable for win/loss analysis even when the TPM and PMM gather the win/loss data.
Does this model make sense for you?