And the one word for Product Management is….

A few days ago, I asked people to share one word which they thought best described Product Management. There were quite few responses. So, if you participated, thanks for the input. If not, feel free to add your own words in the comments to this posting.

Given the open-ended question, there is really no way to quantify the results. What I tried to do was create groups of related words to see if any patterns or clusters emerged. Where two (or more) submitted words were very similar (e.g. Communicate, Communication), I picked one as the best example.

The words in bold are my own words that I believe best summarize those following words submitted by you. So, in no particular order, here are the results:

Deliver Insight: Clarity, Focus, Organizer, Communication

Plan the Future: Visionary, Strategist, Roadmap, Direction, Innovation

Coordinate the Team: Facilitation, Translation, Bridge, Junction, Middleman, Pillar, Catalyst

Lead the Effort: Owner, CEO, Leader

Identify Needs: Problems, Requirement, Definition, Customer, Listen, User

Show Dedication: Flexible, Quality, Passion

Another set of words described some of the negatives of the role:

  • Busy, Sleepless, Multi-Tasking, Chaotic

There was one submission that didn’t adhere to the “one word” requirement. There’s always at least one in the crowd isn’t there. That submission was:

  • “Mothering a Product”

And we did have a few responses from skeptics. 🙂 I’ve included them here for completeness. I’m actually pleased I got a few answers like this. It verifies that a diverse crowd reads the blog, including at least one Douglas Adams fan.

  • Bullshit, Unnecessary, 42

What’s interesting is that none of the words I use to describe Product Management were in the list of submissions.

Those words are: Balance, Optimization, Repeatable



9 responses to “And the one word for Product Management is….

  1. Pingback: What one word best describes Product Management? « On Product Management

  2. Brilliant. My word was innovation. I know it is a bit of a buzzword but every feature introduced is innovation there just happens to be varying degrees of success.

  3. I cheat. “General Manager” A product manager does what’s needed to run the ‘business of the product.’

  4. Steven

    Thanks, but I’ll ask you to try again.

    The requirement explicitly states 1 word. 🙂


  5. One year later, I want to change my one word to ‘leadership’.

    Adapt or die!

  6. Pingback: Variety in Product Management Blogs « On Product Management

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  8. The word that best represents product management changes depending on where your product is in it’s life cycle: development, growth, maturity, decline (the stages, not words to best describe product management). But I would say overall, long term, the best word is simply “profitability” because everything else is a means to increase that.  

    • JP,

      Great comment. Where Product Management needs to focus does depend on, among other things, the lifecycle stage of the product. What PM does in the early days is very different than what is done late in the lifecycle.

      “Profitability’ is another great word. It’s certainly very business focused which is where PM should spend a lot of time.