Question: Where should product management report in the organization?
I own a software development company that used to be an interactive ad agency. We have decided the need for a product director to guide our product development and life cycle.
After investing heavily in operations we are undecided where this person should report to directly — to us (management) or to operations (development/production). To whom should a product manager report?
Answer from Steve Johnson of Pragmatic Marketing: The role of product management spans many activities from strategic to tactical, some very technical, others less so. The strategic role of product management is to be “messenger of the market,” delivering market and product information to the departments that need facts to make decisions. That is why it is not surprising that 33% of product managers report directly to the CEO, acting as his or her representative at the product level.
Many CEOs realize that product management brings process and business savvy to the creation and delivery of products. Perhaps that’s why we’ve seen a shift over the years of where product managers report in the organization. Many organizations put the job within another department. Pragmatic Marketing’s 2006 product management salary survey reveals:
- 25% are in the Marketing department
- 12% are in Development or Engineering
- 8% are in a Sales department
I explore roles, titles, organization, and more in my new ebook, The Strategic Role of Product Management, available free from www.pragmaticmarketing.com/srpm.