Require product manager portfolios

The organizational diversity, which I often experience in practice, leaves nothing to be desired. There will be your own Staff or central departments for product management created - for some very close to the board of directors and therefore important, decried as a sideline by others, because far from the specialist area and customer. On the other hand, you hang Product management gladly under that marketing, the distribution or creates additional rolesdecentralized product responsibility in the respective departments. All well and good. In general there is no right or wrong.

So that Product management anchored correctly and successfully in organizational terms everyone has to touch their own nose first. Can you say ad hoc how you are positioned in your company? What use do you bring? How is your department organized, which services do you offer your internal and external customers through which channels? Do you know your own core competencies? Do you know your own processes? And what are the expectations of you and your colleagues? Experience shows that such questions are asked far too seldom.

So think about yourself - take the time, whether in a workshop or in another form, to make the positioning of your own area transparent. Organize yourself. If you succeed in this, then you will also be able to organize your product management as a whole correctly and align it in a target-oriented manner.

Organize yourself - with the positioning canvas

In this context, the Positioning canvas proven. On this canvas you can display the design areas and the respective fields of the positioning completely and clearly. My tip: Just print out the canvas and hang it on a pin wall or in the office. Complete the canvas alone or as a team. You will find out in which fields you are already very well positioned and which areas still contain white spots that still need to be filled. On this basis, discussions quickly arise in the team or among colleagues about the "correct" perception of the benefit creation, the tasks or the different roles, interactions and the associated expectations of you as a product manager and of other colleagues. Duplicate work can be identified, overlapping roles and misinterpreted expectations can be made transparent. The positioning canvas therefore also serves as a benchmark for the degree of maturity of your positioning and organizational anchoring in the company.


Blank canvas

Develop functions and positions properly

At this point I would like to emphasize the added value of the positioning canvas again. It should serve my colleagues and me as an important basis for argumentation and discussion for the correct and transparent organizational alignment and anchoring in the company. At the same time, it enables the current level of maturity of the organizational positioning to be determined and shows the development potential of a function or position.

The need for development in the 'white spots' becomes clear in the positioning canvas. The task portfolio of a position can be filled relatively easily compared to the other design fields, for example. Corresponding methods and techniques or the corresponding support from suitable media are, however, often underrepresented. Product development (task) is easier, for example, if suitable project management methods (Methods & Techniques) are used. If, for example, a ticket system (Systems & Applications) is ready that the ongoing product maintenance (task) then a product manager can make his roll perceive as a development partner, problem solver and interface manager more professionally (see example below). Depending on the focus of a function not necessarily all fields have the same meaning exhibit. It may well be that, for example, clerks do not need any methods or techniques at all to carry out their tasks and internal marketing can be neglected due to the operational and executive type of job.


Derive positioning measures - the maturity portfolio

The transparency gained about the positioning status enables a comparison with the desired target status of a function. With the help of Utility analysis the individual degree of maturity of a function can be determined and Positioning measures be derived. The specific requirements for the various functions of a company can be taken into account with the different weighting within the scope of the utility value analysis.

The results of the benefit analysis can be Transfer to a portfolio for a better overviewthat compares the degree of maturity of a function with the degree of maturity of other functions. Please notethat the maturity portfolio only allows comparisons of functions that have the same distribution in terms of the weighting of the design content, otherwise the benchmarks for comparison will be distorted. For example, it is possible to compare the maturity levels of only internal cross-sectional functions with one another, such as organization, project, product or process management, since these have the same distribution in terms of importance / weighting of the design fields. Possible Need for optimization for individual functions can do this in terms of the Professionalization of the design fields identified and prioritized (see figure below).

As always, I am happy to receive any comments on this tool. Just leave a comment right on this page. Write about your own experiences in dealing with questions of positioning and organizational anchoring. Help us to develop the idea further. I look forward to your contributions!

Tags: Canvas, organization, positioning, product management, product manager