It is always difficult to have an outside perspective when sitting on the inside.
Is there a “right way” to organize a product management organization? How can I get rid of my bottle necks? What is the “best practice”? Is our product management organization set up in the best way? These are questions that I receive as a consultant from time to time. Not so easy to give a quick answer to though!
Product management is a complex operation with a finger into every part of a technology company. There are touch points with local offices around the world if the operation is global. Where does the responsibility end? What areas and topics should we take responsibility for? What areas should we let others take care of? How do I know where my organization’s challenge areas are?
To be able to address these questions there need to be a reference. Something to relate to as there are no absolutes in how to run product management. There are best practices for how to do product management but the implementation may look different from company to company for a number of different reasons. A number of factors will impact on how to set up organization and the ways of working in the organization.
To identify challenge areas - a good starting point is to do an assessment. The reference when doing an assessment is the Tolpagorni Framework that is based on the ISPMA.org framework but elaborated to cover not only software companies. Interviewing key stakeholders inside and around the product management organization to pinpoint challenge areas. Using a questionnaire as a structure combined with in depth questions depending on topics identified - provides with the needed input to identify potential challenge areas.
My experience is that this type of limited assessment provides a structured input based on an outside-in perspective. Use it to formulate continued improvement plans!