Several weeks ago I wrote a post entitled: Why is Product Management So Undervalued until a Moment of Crisis?
This post caught the eye of the Silicon Valley Product Management Association. They asked me to expand upon it a bit. So rather than ending the post with a question I added the following commentary.
What is it about the product management function that leads organizations to underappreciate the role until they find themselves in a situation where they desperately need it?
One of the conclusions I have come to is that organizations frequently diminish their product management functions without intending to do so. In fact, I think there is a common indicator that acts as a red flag signaling that organizations have unwittingly undermined their own success.The key indicator that I’m referring to is a lack of connectivity between the tactical product roadmap (typically a 12 month view of prioritized and planned release activities) and the company’s business goals and objectives.
Product management organizations that lack a coherent product strategy, which effectively links the company’s business strategy to the day-to-day tactical activities, often find themselves in the situation of reduced responsibility and perceived organizational value. This inward spiral, from championing market needs to owning functional requirements, portends the type of under appreciation that has become so common and contributes to the eventual crisis that many organizations face as they lose line-of-sight on the markets they serve.
So if your organization is headed down this path beware. The lack of a coherent product strategy often portends a looming crisis to come – your organization might be living on borrowed time and your time to shine may be just around the corner.
Greg Geracie is the author of Take Charge Product Management©, the Editor-in-Chief of The Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge (ProdBOK), and the leader of this initiative. Greg is an Adjunct Professor at DePaul University and the President of Actuation Consulting a global leader in product management training, consulting, and advisory services to some of the world’s most successful organizations.