The introduction of Agile has made it very difficult to fulfill traditional product management roles. Product managers have been turned into product owners with project management and dev management responsibilities. I know it does not have to be that way, but that is what has happened at the company. Results: “Inside-Out” products and pricing. More competition between people; more jockeying for position. It’s the eighties all over again…swimming with sharks.
Product management has increasingly become the clean-up crew. We take the messy promises that sales and executives have made to big customers and figure out how to deliver them in a professional manner that might benefit other customers as well. I have more experience so I’m more dangerous. The product I have been evangelizing for three years finally received development resources and we launched in May. It has generated more than $1 million in its first five months. Added responsibilities, more outsourcing of services, flattening of company (decrease in workforce).
As we re-tool our service delivery model, I have been given the “privilege” of more operational responsibility to find the right processes to support our products. Change is the name of the game. What hasn’t changed? Development changed to Agile/Scrum, required Product Management to spend much more time as Product Owner. Drastically—our company has gone from being VERY development-driven to being more customer/business-led. Fewer people to do more work. I got more responsibility, the company is reacting to my suggestions and I receive support for new ideas. I transitioned from Product Marketing to Product Management. Because I was so used to multi-tasking, I am the only person on the team that manages more than one product. Less strategic and more tactical due to resource constraints on the overall business. More chaotic, if that’s even possible. Much more fast-moving and changing. Clients are savvier.
Yes—my responsibilities have increased 10 fold without an increase in pay. I’ve gone from managing a small group of products to an entire division as well as our technology offerings AND managing all of our releases.