A decade ago when I started my career in product management, most tech shops gave this role an ambiguous label like consultant or analyst. At the time, besides being a source of an existential crisis my job description had two other problems: I couldn’t explain it to my mother, and it involved authoring specifications – the kind that made its author and readers want to die!
Now, most tech teams either include a product manager or are wondering if they need to. And while my mom still doesn’t get what I do, she is generally pleased that my title says “manager” of something. Also the artifacts that product managers need to produce have evolved to match the personality of the creative people who are typically attracted to this profession. (More on this in a forthcoming post.)
Still, on many days, I have to sit at my desk for hours.