Pattern: The Product Manager role
Software teams need a strong Product Manager with a passion for the product and the skills and connections to help the team bring the product to market. The Product Manager acts as CEO of the product and is accountable for the product mission, vision and strategy.
Alternative Patterns / Anti-patterns
Product Manager and Product Owner (anti-pattern)
This pattern describes a role, as in a hat that is worn. In some companies the role of Product Manager is known as ‘Product Owner’. The point is that this role should be filled by a single person. Having both a Product Manager and a Product Owner for a single team is an anti-pattern as it dilutes the product vision and introduces communication challenges. For more on this see Marty Cagan’s blogs on this: Product Manager vs. Product Owner and Product Manager vs. Product Owner Revisited. Also worth a read is Anthony Marter’s Product Manager — Product Owner, a real world study
One Product Manager across multiple teams
This pattern is attractive to businesses because it leverages the role of Product Manager and thus eases recruitment pressure and lowers total cost of the Product Manager function. There are many variables to consider: the complexity of the products the one PM is across, where the products are at in their life-cycle, team maturity levels and the skills and experience of the Product Manager. With sufficient maturity and collaboration this pattern can work, and is preferable to the Product Manager and Product Owner anti-pattern.
Are you a Product Manager? Please share your experiences :)