Product Managers Play Tug-of-War

Scott Sehlhorst reports in Product Managers Play Tug-of-War: "63% of product managers report to marketing and 24% report to development. 22% of requirements managers report to marketing with 55% in the development organization. These reporting structures can over-emphasize the needs of new users and super-users, while shortchanging the needs of the majority of users. Product managers will constantly be playing tug-of-war to get time to do the right thing." Scott's post contains references to various studies that could be helpful if you're considering organizational issues.

Our take on the issue can be found in Where Does Product Management Belong in the Organization? In short, if product managers will support one organization primarily, which organization should it be?

And those who have attended Requirements That Work will remember that product managers need to work with proficient customers, as Scott points out. Going on sales calls won't do the job. Product managers, as experts on the market, need to have onsite experience with all users of the product--novice, proficient, and expert.

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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