I’ve always liked the Major General’s song from The Pirates of Penzance.
Here’s how Gilbert and Sullivan *may* have described high-tech Product Managers.
I am the very model of a high-tech product manager,
I’ve information customer, partner and competitor.
I know the product roadmap and I wrote the full requirements,
From strategic to tactical, all detailed in my documents.
I’m very well acquainted, too with matters very technical,
I understand development, agile, lean and waterfall.
On MRDs and PRDs I’m really eager to create
All the information that will make our products really great.
I am very good with customers and early stage prospects;
I listen to them carefully and track all of their change requests.
I then prioritize them into releases point and major;
I am the very model of a high-tech product manager.
I will answer all questions that will save an opportunity;
I really wish the reps would use a real sales methodology.
I always ask the prospects about the problems they must solve;
And then I’ll help the SEs create solutions that can evolve.
I bring this insight to HQ and deliver it accordingly;
I need the engineers to implement it all whole heartedly.
Then I can move along and start helping product marketing,
To understand the new solution and adjust positioning.
I define new offerings and also write the business case;
competitively speaking, I’m not satisfied with second place.
In short, in matters customer, partner and competitor,
I am the very model of a high-tech product manager
I have worked in other jobs as a sales rep and a marketer;
I even spent two long years as a database developer.
But I would wonder constantly what kind of role was best for me;
I thought and thought and talk to others, then I found some clarity.
I really am a business person, with fondness for technology
I blend it all together to create great product strategy
I think Product Manager was the job that was meant for me.
Yet I wonder if others think I’m easy going or cranky?
I only hope the role will grow real soon into maturity.
But still in matters customer, partner and competitor
I am the very model of a high-tech Product Manager.
And here are two versions of the song. The original, and my favourite spoof of the original.