One of the best things I read last year was Ben Horowitz book, “The Hard Things About the Hard Things”. He has a specific passage on product managers that’s really helped me crystallize what I believe a good product manager does. Stanford has posted the passage on their website for those who are interested.
Since reading Ben’s book, I’ve been thinking about product management quite a bit. How it’s set up in organisations, what type of individuals should lead product focus, what their responsibility should be, how much involvement they should with other parts of the organisation.
However, a confusing part of product management is where the product management function fits (i.e. reports to) in a large and growing organisation. I’ve seen it in the engineering group, in the marketing group and on it’s own reporting to the CEO, and it heavily depends on the size and the industry that the organisation is in.
That said, I haven’t come across a good piece of research that identifies exactly where Product teams should sit in different organisations. Does it depend on whether the company is an ecommerce company or big data? Fashion or Marketing? Does it depend on the size of an organisation? People?
I have my own ideas, but I wanted to gather as much data as I could about how different organisations are set up before I post my thoughts on where and how product groups should be organised.
So, if you have five minutes to spare (and it really shouldn’t take you more than that), I’d love for you to fill out the form I’ve put together and give me your feedback either by email if you want to stay anonymous or by comment in the thread below. I’ll put all the research and comments together and write a post once I have a significant amount of responses.