2003 What Do You Wish Your Management Understood About Your Role in the Company?

By Pragmatic Institute April 27, 2007

  • Ability to deal with people
  • Anything.
  • As such I spend a large amount of time sorting out issues that really I don't think are a part of my remit.
  • Being less deal driven and more market driven.
  • Better defining our role as strategic planners and experts on the market.
  • Breadth of responsibilities of role. Management typically views this job as product requirements and design. Not as much emphasis is placed on market analysis, win\loss analysis or customer feedback.
  • Can't get the job done with the minimal resources
  • Changes to scope after the spec is approved are a real killer.
  • Demands from multi people that can't all be filled by available resources.
  • do not make us responsible for everything that has not a defined role
  • Don't shoot the messenger! I am only the voice of the customer!
  • Efficiency and additional profit can be gained through a conscious product development structure
  • empower me to run the business and expect me to operate based on a well thought out plan
  • engineering really does listen to what we uncover in the research and is acting on it.
  • Engineering should not drive development. It should be market problem focused.
  • Fewer meetings would make this position more productive--as Pragmatic Institute says, 'the answers to our questions are not in this building.'
  • For once when filling out this survey I can say that my management demonstrates an extremely clear understanding of my role in the company.
  • Get back to reality, trust the experts, set realistic goals and expectations. We are currently managing everything by date instead of quality or market need which is not the way things should be.
  • Headcounts are insufficient for the number of different activities that are expected.
  • How all encompassing and demanding it is. No other role is asked to understand in depth the technology, the competition, the market, the customers, the pricing, the P&L, etc.
  • How hard we work. We've been trying to get add'l bodies hired for awhile now but the positions keep getting cut due to revenue constraints. We're set to launch 2 new products next year and most of our staff is doing double-time now to keep up with existing products and new products.
  • How important data for our own ROI and market analyses are for me to be effective.
  • How important it is that we be proactive about contacting customers and understanding market trends, versus reactive in responding to issues that should be dealt with by sales or support.
  • How important it is to freeze the requirements so that new features don't get thrown in at the last minute and bring down the quality of the system overall.
  • How important marketing is to the success of a product. Company is good at managing product development but very poor at telling the world about our dog food--even when we have the positioning right.
  • How involved product management is with every aspect of our business, and that budgets must be allocated based on potential profits, not the other way round.
  • How many internal as well as external customers that product management has (and who would NOT have the information/data/demo/research they need if product mgt was not in this role).
  • How many things we're responsible for covering, without the full support of the company to provide the systems/support/resources to deliver.
  • How much time it actually takes to develop a robust, functional feature inside a software product that will meet customer needs. Do not overreact to competition. Act like a market leader.
  • How much time it takes to actually do it right.
  • How much we contribute to revenue and profits. How we can be leveraged to help. How bonuses do motivate us and are not only for sales/field people. How hard we work.
  • How overloaded PMs are--we get the tasks that nobody else wants to do...
  • How PMs understand what are customers and prospects really need from the product. How much of Market Management we really do
  • How to better define my responsibilities compared to job description.
  • I am a strategist, not just a tactical worker
  • I am not sales support or Marcom.
  • I can handle more responsibility than currently assigned, and would like a clearer idea on how to advance in responsibilities, pay, and bonuses.
  • I cannot make Engineering work faster.
  • I don't make the product, I make the product better.
  • I don't think my manager or team (I am in product marketing on the product mgmt team) understands how closely I need to work with the marketing team. They make comments about how much time I spend working on 'marketing' projects. Since my role would typically report into marketing, this seems ridiculous. The sales and marketing teams really depend on me being their link to the product team and product information.
  • I feel like I am the one coordinating everything.
  • I know the market better than a developer and should have more authority over the enhancements than they do
  • I need more people
  • I need more people to help with PM and PMM. One person is not enough.
  • I need to get out w/ the customer more often.
  • I need to have a level of authority/control that coincides with the level of responsibility for product growth and profitability.
  • I need to visit customers and potential customers outside of sales calls.
  • I wear too many hats and don't have the time to follow through on everything I am responsible for accomplishing.
  • I wish management really understood the time required to gather meaningful problem statements and use cases. We are not at all staffed to do an adequate job. My calendar is stuffed with internal process activities. Very little time is available for thinking about the product/customer/market. I sacrifice a tremendous amount of personal time to do my job. If I had a reasonable employment alternative (no decline in salary) I would change career.
  • I wish management should provide me more resources. I should have team of at least 2 people who can take over the day-to-day activities and give me more time to think strategically in this cut-throat market.
  • I wish management would be more market-driven instead of engineering-driven.
  • I wish the company would develop a more traditional product role for the team. Often gets bogged-down in implementation and production issues instead of market research, competitive analysis, product evolution, etc.
  • I wish they better understood it, in general. I'm lucky to now have a GM (who I report to) who came from product management, so gets it, but the rest of the Executive doesn't as much.
  • I wish they understood that there is much more value to my set of products than they care to try to understand.
  • I wish they understood that what I do at work is just a part of my life. Work and the things we make and sell are not an all-consuming interest.
  • I wish they understood the strategic value that I could contribute.
  • I wish they viewed marketing as part of the product team--here development is the team and product managers are considered outsiders that are barely tolerated.
  • I wish they would set clearer definition or responsibilities.
  • I wish they would value customer research more.
  • I would prefer to really 'own' the product instead of, all too often, merely carrying the boss' water.
  • If I am expected to manage the product I need to be involved (or at least kept in the loop) in ALL strategic decisions regarding my product.
  • if I can't see customers, I can't discuss requirements and roadmap issues.
  • If we are responsible for company revenue growth and sales volumes, we should have the autonomy and authority to direct product/service development accordingly.
  • I'm not in sales!
  • I'm not sales support.
  • I'm not sales.
  • Investment in product management is the key to long lasting, successful companies.
  • Involved in too many day-to-day management activities to be an effective strategic thinker.
  • It is important to set priorities between marketing, service development/strategy and business development activities--balanced time in front of customers (without being expected to do full time sales support) might be very good for product managers!
  • it is necessary to both set goals for me and give me the power to accomplish those goals. Instead we have meddling and no consistent accountability.
  • It is not nearly quantitative enough
  • it touches about everything the company does but that it does not mean I actually do everything associated with the product.
  • It's hard to effectively manage several different releases that are in different places in the development stage.
  • It's important to meet with prospects and customers to understand their needs, as a step in defining requirements.
  • it's more important for the firm than is perceived.
  • Know the products.
  • Management has no operational excellence.
  • Management is starting to 'get it'. However, there still are a lot of people who think PM's just specify features.
  • Management understands my role at this point though I have only recently taken this role.
  • Many of the day to day activities Product Managers have to deal with. Many are dealing with 'out of process' issues that if are not quickly resolved could result in lost orders
  • Marketing is about segmentation; not all problems are solved with a hammer.
  • marketing is more than just a list of tactics.
  • More strategic than tactical
  • My manager has no clue about product management--refers to it as 'creating collateral'
  • My management understands my role. I wish other directors in the company understood product management as a role period.
  • My role is burdened by the amount of paperwork and political approval I need to get projects moving.
  • My role is to provide strategic focus to the product and not just handle customer/technical support functions
  • My role is well understood.
  • Need management to 'decide' on direction clearly and promptly, when necessary, and leave me empowered to execute
  • Need to understand Product Management in general.
  • not enough time to do what is necessary; but management does understand and new FTEs have been created for FY04
  • Operational shortfalls cause the greatest inefficiencies of the organization.
  • Our current role is that of Product 'planning'. It would benefit our company if management would assign the role of full product lifecycle management to Product Management.
  • our greatest need is to have a vision for the future, that my role is not just about fighting today's fires.
  • our role in the organization--and how much time is required to fulfill our role
  • Pro-active, ahead of the development cycle rather than reactive, or behind the development cycle.
  • Product Management and Sales Engineering are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!!!
  • Product management is a core business function, just like accounting, yet management sees it as a way to 'keep developers focused.' I wish there was a larger investment in product management compared to technology or sales.
  • product management is a strategic function... converse to tactical project management.
  • Product Management is about being the GM of the product... there is ownership, accountability and authority to make decisions... not simply blame!
  • product management is more senior than they think. It falls closer to the mid-management level due to responsibilities and accountabilities
  • Product management is more than spec writing and project management.
  • Product Management is not a part-time job.
  • product management is not engineering-driven, it is market-driven.
  • product management is NOT just a 'nice to have' function. It is the eyes and ears of the development organization.
  • Product Management is responsible for every facet of the product, yet no-one on the PM's core team reports directly to him/her. Therefore, products get released not because of a command chain, but because the PM influences and motivates the team.
  • product management is the pivotal link between development and sales and that I'm going to quit as soon as I get the chance. I'm far too underpaid.
  • Product Management is too big to also include MarCom, Sales Training, and Product Development oversight.
  • Product management is very broad and demands an intrapreneurial approach. Product strategies are useless if supporting teams and departments are not in place and pulling towards the same goals.
  • product management is vital to a market driven organization
  • Product Management Managers understand role, but development does not. Development wants detailed technical feature requirements rather than market problems that development can then innovate to solve.
  • product management should be a strategic role rather than a tactical role.
  • product management should lead development and not the other way around.
  • Product Management's role in end to end life cycle management. Product Management's role in working with Sales and Marketing.
  • Product Managers are more valuable as strategic leaders Vs. tactical implementers.
  • Product Managers are not babysitters. Stronger operational execution would allow PMs to focus on the future of the product line? creating real customer value.
  • product mgmt needs to be staffed sensibly
  • Product Mgt should drive development efforts more. PM needs to be considered in all communications about our products. Too many closed-door decisions that we find out about after the fact.
  • product strategy decisions must be made product managers who know the market, not executives who know only the latest deals (and fads)
  • proper execution of Product Marketing and Product Management roles requires multiple individuals with complementary, but distinct skills.
  • Provided an incentive for entrepreneurship among PM's which is an absolute necessity to drive and sustain growth in a difficult economy. The alternative: everybody waits for direction from the top, which means you will ALWAYS react too slowly for the market;
  • Provided career growth opportunities for PM's. After all, we got into this because we enjoy managing a successful business. Having responsibility for product lines (end-to-end) keeps it challenging, provides measurable metrics for monitoring performance, and most importantly: builds management competency that is critical for the LT health of the company.
  • Sales channel support is not a minimal task. Asking Product Managers to be the primary contact for Sales Channel Support means time away from thinking more strategically.
  • Scope of work we undertake.
  • Since my management is engineering, they have no clue about (and therefore I am not properly evaluated for) gathering real requirements from the marketplace, the sales-support activities I am involved in, nor the marketing aspects of my job on a day-to-day basis.
  • Strategic planning is our job, not sales support
  • suggested growth path
  • That we have all of the responsibility, all of the blame, with little ability to affect resource allocation, influence other business unit planning, etc.
  • The activities we should be spending time on. The value of our perspective and knowledge to our products and their direction.
  • The amount of time I do not spend on doing front end marketing tasks (roadmaps, technology reviews, competitive analysis, customer needs)
  • The amount of time spent each day on interrupt-driven responses (sales requests, management reports, meetings) severely limits the amount of long-range strategy development and execution one person can accomplish.
  • The challenges facing product management due to the number of products and scope of responsibilities.
  • The challenges of vast responsibility without much authority.
  • The complexity of managing cross functional teams without any direct reporting structure.
  • The difference between Product Management, Technical Product Management, and Product Marketing
  • The difficulty in getting some work done when you do not have direct authority.
  • The everyday breath of my job, managing many tasks in a day-across many products.
  • The extent of overall product suite knowledge needed in order to give proper direction to product lines.
  • The large amount of time required to respond to customer's questions and issues.
  • The need for PM to focus on product strategy and market research verses only detailed product requirements.
  • The need to be more strategic.
  • The need to develop repeatable procedures and develop efficiencies and scalable processes.
  • The need to invest in sales training to sell services.
  • The PM function is critical to keeping the company product line current, relevant and competitive. PMs need to know that their work is appreciated and important to the overall bottom line. Sales and Marketing are only as good as the product they are peddling.
  • the PM is the CEOof the product and needs metrics to make sound business decisions
  • The product doesn't cost a lot but wins sales. Would wish to get more awareness due to its importance and not to the money involved.
  • The product manager has a better understanding of the customer and the competition. I should be given budget to run marketing and development projects the that will increase market penetration and position resulting in greater revenue.
  • The product managers need to spend more time with software developers if we're going to develop better software
  • The Product Managers w/ in our company drives revenue and profitability for our company. Sales, consulting, support, and engineering all act w/in their functional silos. PMs need more authority and compensation for this organization to prosper.
  • The quality and success of our products depends on our ability to stay on target and not let our position in the market get watered down because we're trying to do too much.
  • The real value that product management provides and a deeper appreciation for the amount of travel required by the job (we're sitting in a hotel room while they're at home with their families--where we wish we were!)
  • The requirement for PM to visit customers.
  • the responsibilities each of us performs are typically done by two or more people in most companies.
  • The role of a product manager is to be the customer/market expert and therefore must be interacting with customers and resellers daily. This means being onsite making customer visits to understand their businesses and their pains--to know what keeps them up at night and create products to make their life better.
  • The significance and relevance of being at the centre of all decisions that effect the future of the business through the generation of revenue.
  • The value of strategic planning and product positioning.
  • The value of the PM vs engineering
  • There aren't enough hours in the week for me to do all that is requested of me. And thus, no time for what I want to do for the company.
  • There is a limit to the number of products that can be properly developed and launched in a year.
  • there is a need to involve Product Marketing in the Product Development Lifecycle
  • There is so much more I could be doing--so many roles for product management they will not give up. The company doesn't seem to understand how complex the role could be and how helpful that complexity would be for the company's growth in our industry.
  • there is too much to do and not enough time to do all of it.
  • There seems to be a lack of clarity as to what Product Managers should be doing.
  • They get it.
  • They invented a position called TPM, but they don't have a defined role for it in the PLC.
  • They need to know that as a product manager I own the strategy and should be empowered to make decisions accordingly.
  • they need to trust the market needs to make decisions rather than run on instinct or word of mouth.
  • They need to understand that I need to be plugged in and be more involved with our market and customers to determine how they could use our products better, and to create better products for them to use.
  • They understand... Execution in an extremely complex environment is the issue.
  • they won't really allow me to do product management
  • Think before you act. Encourage professional discipline.
  • Time spent on strategic activities is well-invested, even and especially in a small company
  • To be a thought leader, I need someone to take up the role of sales support! If my goals are tied to revenue, my first priority will be to help a sales person over doing research.
  • To do effective product management it's important to have a clear articulation of corporate vision, strategy, and distinctive competence from the highest levels in the company.
  • To read my reports and trust my recommendations rather than making emotional decisions that eventually turn out to be wrong.
  • Too many activities diverting attention from primary product marketing--managing mix to drive near-term results.
  • too many products with too few people can lead to quality and manageability issues and that once a product is out there and in use, it's very hard to no longer support it.
  • Too much diversity leads to lower quality due to distractions.
  • Too much responsibility and communication flows through one individual (me)
  • Too much to do! Need tighter role definition. Impossible to be successful when doing everything.
  • Too much work for one person to do well.
  • Too soon in the position to tell
  • Value of the role
  • we are a Marketing function (not sales and not development)!
  • We are more strategic than tactical...
  • we are not demo dollies; we know and understand the market/business better than anyone in development or sales
  • we are not sales Reps
  • we are product market experts and not product administrators
  • we cannot be project managers as well as product managers.
  • we could actually help development by providing meaningful input which will make their job easier.
  • we do have a pivotal role in determining what the customer wants.
  • we do more than presentations...
  • we don't get quota credit so that we can stay objective, but that means that we need to have bonuses that compensate appropriately us when the company is successful.
  • we don't rig the research results, but actually try to find out the truth
  • we fill the vacuum in the organization that make the products work
  • we have a lot of accountability, but little authority
  • We have a lot of duplication of efforts. I wish for a better definition of what Marcom does and what the Prod. Mkt. Mgr. does.
  • We have a much more significant contribution to the bottom line when we're working in a strategic rather than tactical fashion.
  • we need more resources to help with things like answering phone questions from prospects and writing specifications. Direct manager understands this but cannot get the funding from senior management.
  • we need the tools to do our job well--empowerment, support, respect. Too often, we are held accountable for things we have no direct influence over because the decisions are being made at the executive level for political reasons that enhance 'someone's' personal power base and not for sound business reasons.
  • we should not just take input from sales for product strategy.
  • What strategic areas product managers are / should be responsible for.
  • What the value of Product Management can be towards improved product quality, sale revenue, and customer satisfaction/retention
  • What would they do without me?' Reward me!
  • when at trade shows, there is no time to do the normal work load. just let us do our job and don't micromanage
  • while I enjoy my role, I need growth opportunities even in this difficult economic time. The company needs to be organized around multiple product lines, each with their own P&L.
  • Wish they would value experience and capability more.
  • without ownership and clear objective there is not much to be motivated for. That strategy is as important that reactivity. That I am way underutilized.
Pragmatic Institute

Pragmatic Institute

Pragmatic Institute (formerly Pragmatic Marketing) has continuously delivered thought leadership in technology product management and marketing since it was founded in 1993. Today, we provide training and present at industry events around the world, conduct the industry’s largest annual survey and produce respected publications that are read by more than 100,000 product management and marketing professionals. Our thought-leadership portfolio includes the Pragmatic  Framework, eBooks, blogs, webinars, podcasts, newsletters, The Pragmatic magazine and the bestseller “Tuned In.”

 

To learn more about our courses and join the growing international community of more than 150,000 product management and marketing professionals trained by Pragmatic Institute, please click here.

Looking for the latest in product and data science? Get our articles, webinars and podcasts.