Annie Dunham, ProductPlan’s Director of Product, says she always asks candidates to tell her about something they’ve recently learned. While other product managers are operating more on execution level, senior PMs begin to look more at the broader product process and gradually become the voice for the product team to senior management. A lot of a VP’s time is spent thinking about what needs to happen with the team today to be ready for what’s coming a year from now, i.e. Thanks for the thoughtful comment Rand! Associate product managers will be responsible for prioritizing tasks with a defined set of constraints, not necessarily defining which tasks they’re performing, but making scoping and prioritization decisions around the tasks or projects they’re assigned. Sales manager. at You’ll also know it’s time to move on to the next point on the product manager career path because you’re hungry for more. Though you might not need hands-on product experience, you’ll definitely need to be able to speak to basic product concepts and walk in with a hit-the-ground-running attitude. FIGURE 5 First and Current Position, OM Professional >35 Yrs PMs must have common business sense, marketing knowledge and be comfortable when dealing with numbers. Other areas of study include management, marketing, public relations, statistics, and advertising. A Career in Financial Operations An operations professional is an integral part of a financial organization and one that doesn’t get much attention, unless something goes wrong. Recently I am planning to shift my career into product development (Requirements gathering, proof of concept etc). Broadly this is someone who operates independently, leads the work of a product development team and is responsible for a product or customer journey. Product folks tend to make great GMs and COOs because they’re used to working across the entire company to move business objectives forward. I found this article to be very interesting. Possible points in such an article: advocating for the value of dedicated product leadership; examples of companies having succeeded through product leadership. While product managers can advance their own functions or departments, it is common for experienced product managers to follow career paths into general management or functional management roles. One thing that was clear from the discussion was that there is no ideal path; rather many creative ones. Product Management is an exciting and unique career path that covers the entire lifecycle from ideation growth and eventual retirement of the product. I am from a Software Quality Assurance/ Business Analyst background (10+) years. A PM’s background may be based on another branch of education, the product manager career path could involve other degrees if the products are heavily focused on those types of industries. Despite the many different company-specific permutations, it’s helpful to establish a general product manager career path to help you plan your next move. You can also demonstrate these qualities by thinking carefully about the types of questions you should ask during a product interview. It’s important to show you can hear all sides of a story, synthesize and assess the different perspectives, and arrive at a clear decision. The Marketing Career Path - Step 2 | Marketing Manager. Before we begin though, it’s worth mentioning one small caveat. You’ll regularly meet with your peers throughout the company—this is what’s happening and why, what do you need from the product, this is what product needs from you, etc. Add the fact that you are at a startup and chances are your roles and responsibilities encompass much more than your job title might communicate. It’s your chance to prove how well you take all parties into account, blend and evaluate the different perspectives to eventually arrive at a clear decision. The competencies required for a growth product are very different than for a mature product and one is not necessarily better than the other as the mature products are often the cash flow paying for the R&D to get to the next growth product. This article is very insightful and helpful within an organization that sees product management as a necessary role throughout the organization. All my doubts were cleared. Create beautiful roadmaps in minutes. I’d offer that a related article is needed that addresses how to succeed and grow in a not-so-perfect environment. Activities and responsibilities include budgeting for the product organization, ensuring that strategic product decisions align with business objectives, and protecting the product team from infighting and internal politics. This kind of question can reveal a lot about a person’s natural curiosity and passion for learning. Public relations manager. You’ll be completely on top of the above activities. For such a vital and pivotal position within many companies, the product manager’s job description is often not well defined.... Read →, Product management roles demand the ability to think about both strategy and tactics. Modern product management has its roots in the 1930s when Neil H. McElroy drafted a memo at Procter & Gamble to justify hiring for a new role: the first product managers. How is it solving a customer problem and moving the needle for the business? Some product organizations have associate and senior product managers, while others have only a single role with varying levels of responsibility. In this role, your product team is tactical, while you are primarily strategic. Junior/Associate Product Manager. Very insightful. You’re setting the aspirational product goals to inspire and push your team, i.e.