One important aspect of the implementation of product management roles and organisation, is the engineering partnership. The other day I found Julia Austins article on the topic that also touched the realistic options. To re-cap, these are either market oriented or engineering oriented. Either of these have their Pros and Cons.
My few thoughts on these two approaches:
Product Management driven Product development – While this indeed seems to be the more traditional approach, in which a “Product Manager” collects customer requirements. Nevertheless, it’s not necessarily a setup that is favourable for Waterfall development, nor is waterfall something favourable as as such for software development. It allows an organisation to maintain the customer focus through a dedicated person, that is incentivised differently than engineering.
Engineering driven Product development – This is an approach you can read a lot about from big tech companies recently. It requires a team that is well into the field the product shall serve, which often enough is not the case. In particular large and diversified companies will struggle to give find the right people at the right time, whereas smaller, growing companies can hire for the sharply defined purpose.
An compromise approach is sure the PM<>Engineering partnership to overcome the shortcoming, and the responsibility to maintain a customer focus is on the PMs shoulders