I was asked very recently to define my role and what I should be responsible for. This is not an easy task for me to accomplish for two reasons: (1) if I go too narrow I could pigeon-hole myself into one area of product management and not be able to make as big an impact as I would like in others (yeah, I am a bit of a control freak and I love to have a hand in just about everything); (2) if I go too broad, I might not be able to meet all of the obligations of my role.
If you take a moment to examine the Pragmatic Marketing Framework, you will notice that product management is in fact a very broad role. One way to slice this framework is to focus on more strategic activities (top left quadrant), more technical activities (bottom left quadrant), or more tactical activities (right-hand side). No matter how you slice it though, if you are responsible for a portfolio of products, you just cannot do it all.
Then I found another better way – I analyzed innovation, product management, product development, project management and marketing roles at my organization and I discovered gaps where I can have the most impact and create the most value. I focused on the gaps and defined the role and presented it to management in order to obtain executive support.
A good lesson for all of you PM’s out there: executive support is very important. Since PM’s have no authority and A LOT of responsibilities, we really cannot accomplish much if we do not have executive support. So in the end, I realized that I can lead a number of initiatives, work with others to meet my organization’s needs and close the gaps.