Monday, April 20, 2009

The Product Management Manifesto

Reading: The Product Management ManifestoTweet this Post

Recently got forwarded this link to a product management manifesto that has been drafted by Brain Lawley, CEO & Founder of the 280 Group LLC. 

Now I havent heard much about manifestos in the software or product world, so pardon my ignorance the only other manifesto's I'd heard of were the ones we were taught in History classes around political movements.

and more recently the "GNU Manifesto" and very recently the "Agile Manifesto". Though I actually think that the agile manifesto is a pretty crisp presentation of agile principles and beliefs (if I may call them that) and in many ways powerful enough to alter your way of thinking around creating and delivering products to the market.

Started reading and the thought crossed my mind, is there really a need to  define product management through a manifesto though. 

Maybe its a brief research study worth having to see how many job roles have been defined through manifestos. Need to do my Google search on this pretty soon.

First off I think the manifesto has captured the essence of S/W Product Management really well. The reason I prefix the manifesto with the term "Software" is because time and again I keep reminding myself that product managers also exist in other industries like CG's, FMCG's, Pharma etc. They've been around in those industries way longer than there have been PM's in software. So us S/W PM's trying to define the manifesto for all of PM land sounds a little too far fetched.

After reading through the manifesto here are the 3 extracted points that I think would be part of my PM Manifesto if I were to draft one. Since I found them in there, this manifesto has my vote. 
  • Im dedicated to bringing great products to market. Products that delight my customers. Products that are massively profitable for my company. Products that help change the way people work and live.
  • I have a strong vision for my products and develop winning strategies that align with my companys goals and ensure that our investments of time, money and energy are well-spent.
  • Iam the voice of my customers and represent them in every critical decision that is made.

Having given it my vote, I'd also like to highlight that the last three points in the manifesto seem to be in there more for effects. You could apply them to other roles as well. But hey that's just my opinion.
  • I refuse to settle for mediocrity ...
  • I believe that Product Management is one of the toughest, yet most rewarding jobs ...
  • Though I have all of the responsibility ...

All in all I think its a good manifesto for a SW PM to identify with their role and help the organization understand this key role better. 

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