March 2006

By Pragmatic Institute April 27, 2007

Are managers now experts?

In larger companies, titles proliferate. The role of product manager is often called something else. In one company, sixteen people in a meeting, each with a unique title, learned they all did basically the same job. Titles are meaningless if they don't illuminate. Years ago, a "manager" was above "supervisor" in the corporate hierarchy; a manager managed people. Then as titles began their escalation we started seeing senior managers, associate managers, and assistant managers as well as industry managers, marketing managers, product managers, program managers, process managers, and so on.

Nowadays, people who manage people are now called Directors and people who manage 'things' are now called Managers. In effect, the term manager can now be equated with "expert." If we changed the word "manager" to "expert," would titles still hold up?

Let's explore some of the manager titles in use today to see how they can be interpreted in this light. Read Managers as experts.

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Pragmatic Institute

Pragmatic Institute

Pragmatic Institute (formerly Pragmatic Marketing) has continuously delivered thought leadership in technology product management and marketing since it was founded in 1993. Today, we provide training and present at industry events around the world, conduct the industry’s largest annual survey and produce respected publications that are read by more than 100,000 product management and marketing professionals. Our thought-leadership portfolio includes the Pragmatic  Framework, eBooks, blogs, webinars, podcasts, newsletters, The Pragmatic magazine and the bestseller “Tuned In.”


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