Friday Fun: Is product management a profession?

My friend Saeed has decided to start a little controversy. Is product management really a profession? Can it be defined? Can it be learned? In particular, why is it that we say we want to be strategic but all of the discussions and webinars and articles seem to be about tactics: product launch, templates, leadgen, running the agile stand-up, writing better user stories?

Saeed asks,

What have we done in the last 10 years to make our lot better? And I don’t just mean incrementally better? I mean significantly better?

What I hear from hundreds of seminar attendees over the years is that new product managers need help figuring out where to spend their time. Or to put it another way, three days of training is better than zero days.

Adam from Write That Down adds:

Is product management hard? No. The trick is not being the best marketer, accountant, UI designer, developer, sales person all rolled in to one. The trick is to make sure that features get built, marketing communicates them, support can answer questions, and sales can sell.

So let's sound off. Post a comment below or on Saeed's site about the results that you have seen based on strategic product management.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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