E-Book Review: Product Management Expertise

Ebook

Steve Johnson, formerly of  Pragmatic Marketing and currently consulting at Under10 Templates has written a nice and succinct e-book titled Product Management Expertise, which can be read in under 30 minutes. I would recommend it for everyone working as a product manager in India.

The central idea of the e-book is that Product Management has 4 key dimensions, and your firm should invest in hiring people for all four, and not make one person responsible for all of this.

So what are the 4 dimensions? Briefly:

  1. Domain Knowledge (What he has learnt on the job)
  2. Business Knowledge (mostly about the benefit of MBA)
  3. Technology Knowledge (preferably with an engineering background)
  4. Markets Knowledge (Has done non-engineering work before)

This is similar to the idea of multi-dimensional product management that I emphasize, but what Steve points out is that it is very difficult to find a single person, who is an expert in all these. And hence a firm should hire multiple people. This brings up a strong challenge of organizational design, which is successfully handled only by very large firms, and is extremely unlikely to happen in India.

[If you know of some firm that actually has all these roles in the same team here, send me a mail]

One other thing, domain and technology knowledge is all that is tested in interviews for offshore product management roles, whether in consumer (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft etc) or enterprise (IBM, Oracle etc) PM roles. So it is obvious how a prospective PM candidate for these MNCs in India should promote himself.

Previously, Steve has authored another well received e-book called “The Strategic Role of Product Management“, which is also a quick read, and worth a look.

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