Product Management versus Marketing and Development

Some good comments on product management from former colleague Cadman Chui over at Red Canary. From some followup comments by Cadman:

I believe Product Management should reside neither in Marketing, or Development. If a product manager falls under marketing, they end up being biased into doing a lot of communications style work. If a product manager falls under development, many times they end up project managing release schedules at too much of a tactical level.

I think most readers of this blog would agree.


2 responses to “Product Management versus Marketing and Development

  1. I’ve long been an advocate of product management in its own department for the reasons you and Cadman report. Frankly it seems even worse for companies who are implementing an agile model– as product managers get pulled into more and more agile development meetings. But an org chart does not really make a difference; it’s the execs that do. If your VP of Dev gets the strategic role of product management, then product management will be a success. Likewise the VP of Marketing or anything else. Execs who value product managers are golden, regardless of the department!

  2. I agree that product management should be its own independent department. I’ve worked in both types of organizations (“under dev” and “under marketing”) and each sees the role of PM much differently…biased toward its focus. The best scenario is when Execs give the PM role autonomy in its own direct line. When such is not the case it’s incumbent upon the PM organization to establish themselves as an independent voice in the company, especially with the department to which they report. Becoming the product expert / company thought leader is the best approach I have found to gaining autonomy as a product manager.