20 June, 2016

Where should a product manager spend their time

Excellent insight from an expert product manager, Gerrit Vermeire who is Director of Product Management at Barco.



“I want to absolutely avoid product managers acting as an expert helpdesk i.e. doing things other people or proper documentation can handle. They should focus on the things nobody else will do if they don’t – such as defining the overall mid and long term strategy, creating the big picture, understanding the market problems and translating them into solutions and products on our roadmap. I want to drive the bulk of my product managers’ workload into the ‘fuzzy front-end’ – as shown in the picture. These are the more strategic activities of generating ideas, understanding what customers want, finding out what can be built and what could be commercially successful.”
Also Gerrit comments on managing a portfolio with multiple product managers

“If I make product managers fully responsible for a too limited set of products in the portfolio there is a danger they don’t see the big picture. Similarly if we split things by current and next generation or pre and post launch, we don’t get continuity through the whole life-cycle and risk missing a lot of key information.”
“What does work well is to off-load some product management activities to a separate product marketing team. They know their vertical markets well and drive the sales enablement activities during product launch. They have the insight to know which customers are best to talk to and can focus on managing the relationship. My product managers can turn up to customer meetings with new product ideas and get great customer feedback.”

Do read the rest of the article on ProductFocus website.

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