Knowledge Hub Discussions

Product Management vs Product Development

  • 1.  Product Management vs Product Development

    Posted 09-15-2020 16:18
    I have often heard and even used the phrase that a product manager should think of themselves as the CEO of their portfolio. The question is whether Product Management and Product Development should both sit under the same role and accountability and what are the pros and cons of separating them? This question struck me again as I reviewed the new section in the PDMA BOK called Product Innovation Management, which articulates very comprehensively the role of the Product Manager in full life-cycle management. When you look at all the demands within Product Innovation Management, such as life-cycle management, road-mapping, feasibility, demand and sales forecasting, financial analysis and P&L responsibility, project management, metrics and KPIs etc., then in any decent-sized portfolio does one person have the bandwidth to manage all this plus focus on new product innovation? And will a Product Manager get sucked into minor incremental improvements rather than driving innovative new products and enhancements? But by separating them do you lose the product CEO concept and overall responsibility and accountability that intuitively seems to work so well?

    What are your experiences in how to structure Product Management and Product Development to create an innovative portfolio and also manage it effectively throughout its life-cycle?

    Brian Martin