Technology Approach to Product Management

Question:"I just started working for a big software company. Product management reports to Engineering. First they sent me to product owner training. Now they are talking about moving to SAFe. What is going on here?"

Answer: Many software companies apply the Technology approach to product management.

At its core is the perception that product management is an extension of product development – even subservient to product development.

The Technology approach exhibits a mindset that considers all product-related roles, responsibilities, processes, and tasks from a technological or developmental viewpoint.

Product management practitioners are expected to be technically astute and indeed many are former engineers that now support product development and occasionally sales.

There are constant debates on role identity and hierarchy.

The main job focus is to determine product functionality and features and communicate these to product development.

At these companies it is considered acceptable for a product manager to also own the Scrum product owner role so don't be surprised if soon you will be re-trained as a SAFe Release Train Engineer (RTE).

All too common in a technology-driven company that's dominated by engineers.