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Inbound vs Outbound Product Management at Microsoft

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  • 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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The terms “inbound product management” and “outbound product management” are tossed around freely in many companies without much clarity on what the job actually entails. Heather Hamilton, a prolific blogger, has posted two items with job descriptions for product managers at Microsoft in the inbound and outbound roles. What we see at Pragmatic Institute is that “inbound” listens to the market to determine what products we should have, while “outbound” tells the market about the products that we already have. In any case, a clear definition for the role, regardless of title, is sorely needed in many companies. The article Titles and Responsibilities is a good start. Also check out detailed view of titles and responsibilities.

Author

  • 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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