Is Your Organization Ready for Product Management?
Two new maturity models designed to guide you to decide if your organization is ready for product management.
Overlooking the obvious — if you have to ask, then you probably need it — there are conditions where you don’t really need a product management function. Similarly, there are conditions wherein you really need a PM function.
In this article, I’ll introduce two maturity models, that are being evaluated for their own maturity (like maturity inception!), which should help you navigate the question posed in the title.
Note: The below models are made purely from personal experience and have a sample size of around 7 organizations. There is room for improvement. Please let me know in the comments or reach out to me directly on Linkedin.
A former manager used to say:
“The best time to adopt product management was 2 years ago. The second best time is now.”
I don’t agree with this statement as, like almost everything in this article, it depends on to whom you’re addressing this.
A startup, with an established product-market fit and without product managers on board, can continue without the PM function. The reason is that the various aspects of the PM function are being taken care of by the founder and the team. It’s a lean organization — doesn’t need another layer between the SMEs and the Business stakeholders.
On the flip side, a services-oriented organization (in the bottom right quadrant of the PMF diagram):
Doesn’t need a PM. They need more delivery-focused managers. The below diagram demonstrates the key function of product management — one that is critical to the success of your organization. A PM may do more than this, but if they don’t do this, they’ll fail.
If the customer inputs and the business needs are aligned, the only thing the team has to do is deliver those.