What does a product management organization do?

Product Management is a fairly known role within the product development organizations. However, the specifics of the role varies widely even with in silicon valley. In addition, organizations often split the role as “in bound” PM and “out bound” PM, making it more confusing. “Management team sponsors, Engineering team codes/builds, Sales team sells, Marketing team gets the word out, Doc team writes the product usage, then what does the Product Management organization do?” Product Management organization tries to define the What, Why and When of the market problem to help build a solution that can solve a problem for a set of customers.



  • What is the market? How big is the market?

  • Who are those customers? What do they do now?

  • Which products should the company focus on?


  • If we don't solve the problem what happens to the customers/users?

  • If we don't solve the problem who are taking the value from the customers?

  • What is the long-term profitability forecast in the industry and market?


  • What features should be part of the product?

  • What is the feature priority?

  • What is the approximate feature release timeline (that makes you successful) ?

Simply put, product management organization leads the What and Why at the beginning of the product. The When part is a continuous iterative process to define, refine and redefine the product features based on the adoption. Clearly, development teams needs autonomy on How part of the feature building and serviceability phase.

In other words, product management org helps the organization by partnering with engineering org to build a product that solves a customer's need to make sure that it's economically viable. By doing so, the product management organization increases the chances of product success in the market. Lastly, product manager avoids to create a great product that no one uses.