Agile Development Conference West

The Roles of Product Management

The success of agile development methods has had a detrimental effect on product management. Agile methods’ intense focus on product development has ignored the business and marketing roles of product management. Product management activities extend beyond development to shepherding the product through the entire process—from idea to creation to delivery to customers. Furthermore, many product managers are overwhelmed—with too many responsibilities that require too many areas of expertise.

Steve Johnson describes four types of product management skills—technical, business, marketing, and domain expertise―and clarifies the different expectations of the product manager and product owner roles. Now that we’ve optimized development, it’s time to get product management refocused on the business. You need a vision, a roadmap, and clarity of team roles to succeed.