What do you understand by “doing strategy”? When that happens, how do we make sure that PMs are still engaged with their work by giving them the freedom to strategize within their area of expertise? I occasionally see people with the title “Product Strategy,” but I’m not sure what they do other than perhaps a higher level product strategy across a team of PMs. This position is most frequently referred to as “Group PM,” but that title tends to be more formal and denotes a senior position.
The only other situation in which “Product Strategy” makes sense is if your product is highly specialized and you need to combine product management expertise with industry leadership. That person has a formal responsibility to determine what the most crucial high level things to target are and why, though they are typically a little closer to the research and go-to-market teams. I’ve also seen this duty occasionally delegated to product marketing teams for no real reason other than “well, you’re already conducting market research/competitive analysis.” It’s incredibly confusing.
I appreciate you explaining this to me @Pankaj-Jain. I come from extensive execution. All along. I’ve been solving issues, promoting adoption and engagement, and working with GTM on the release constantly. It has been a never-ending cycle. I sometimes feel like I can’t scale because I’ve been too involved in the execution and I keep getting asked to do the same thing.
I’ve been wanting to pick up some strategy on the job. And by strategy, I mean determining the best course of action based on a variety of considerations. I only do that for the small portion of the module that I own, but even that depends on the general direction the organization wants to go in. I want to delve into how the organization determines what its strategy should be for the quarter, year, etc. I’m currently stuck in this situation.
So. I was unsure if the Reforge course would enable me to accomplish that.
I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re bored @MalcolmSequeira. Over time, many PMs get bored with their small problem space and want to either broaden their area of expertise to a slightly different problem space or try something new. new eyes on a different set of issues. If you’re trying to decide where to go, smaller businesses typically have more generic domains.
The courses on reforge have excellent content if you’re good at learning independently. There are, in my opinion, better options if you prefer interactive learning, but the cost does increase. However, learning “strategy” won’t make your current situation better. At the very least, you probably need a new job or product.
Another way to get there is to find reasons to be in front of your CPO / VP and communicate your opinions and recommendations with the current strategy. You could also discuss strategy with 3rd party products that they have an interest in. For example, my VP is into crypto. After meeting him I would occasionally share updates regarding zkevm’s and my thoughts on layer 2s. We built a great relationship and he put me on his strategy team.
You could do a similar thing with your GTM leadership. If sales and/or marketing keeps mentioning your name it will get the attention of senior management.
It’s unclear what you hope to accomplish in a new position at a new organization. As a PM, everything you do drives strategy.
You are implementing a quality management strategy when you create acceptance criteria and approve releases. When you choose how to prioritize your work, you are establishing a plan for what is crucial. The creation of a roadmap is a long-term product strategy.
Perhaps you should step back and consider your product from a wider perspective. Have you told anyone at your current company that you want to own a full charter as you stated? Do you observe others doing the work you want to complete? Can you develop a strategy with your manager to take on more of the work you want to do?
You don’t seem to understand what product strategy is very well, and as a result, you probably haven’t developed the necessary skills to drive strategy and persuade others. That’s where you should start, and it’s much simpler to do in your current position and company. You will make mistakes, but in your current job, hopefully, you already have some rapport.
I appreciate your response. For the aforementioned, I’m a very good executor; when I set out to do something for a particular quarter, I simply complete it – I get along well with my design, development, and quality counterparts. I have a gut feeling that my organization wants me to just keep going because I’m good at execution. I currently live in this reality. For a quarter or a year, I do roadmapping, but only for my module. The one I own also has a core module. But (what I own plus a sizable portion of what someone else owns) is not where my interest lies. The aforementioned has been discussed with my manager and a manager up one level. Somehow I have a feeling since I have been very good at execution, they have kept me just at it.
The Reforge Strategy Course is an online program designed to help professionals develop strategic thinking skills and apply them to their work. Reforge has generally been well-regarded for their training programs in various areas of expertise.
Switching from product management to strategy roles is indeed possible, but it may require some effort and strategic planning on your part. Here are a few steps you can take to increase your chances:
Identify transferable skills: Review your product management experience and identify the skills that are relevant to strategy roles. These may include strategic thinking, data analysis, market research, and cross-functional collaboration.
Expand your knowledge: Take courses or engage in self-study to deepen your understanding of strategic frameworks, business models, competitive analysis, and other key concepts related to strategy. This will help you build a solid foundation for transitioning into strategy roles.
Seek out strategic projects: Look for opportunities within your current role or organization to work on projects that involve strategic planning, market analysis, or business development. This will allow you to gain hands-on experience and demonstrate your abilities in a strategic context.
Network and seek mentorship: Connect with professionals working in strategy roles through industry events, LinkedIn, or other networking platforms. Seek mentorship from individuals who have successfully made the transition from product management to strategy. They can provide guidance, advice, and potentially open doors for you.
Tailor your resume and cover letter: Highlight the strategic aspects of your product management experience on your resume and cover letter. Emphasize any projects or initiatives where you contributed to strategic decision-making or worked closely with the strategy team.
Be open to entry-level or transitional roles: Recognize that transitioning into a new field may require starting at a lower level or taking on roles that bridge the gap between product management and strategy. Be open to these opportunities as they can provide valuable experience and help you make the transition.
Remember, breaking into strategy and people management roles may take time and persistence. It’s essential to continually learn, network, and showcase your skills and passion for strategy to increase your chances of success.
I have been doing roadmapping, and strategizing for the module I own. but not beyond that.
I want to own the entire charter, not just a small portion of it. You will typically align everything you want to do with what the charter requires with the tiniest bit. Therefore, I always feel limited.
Consequently, you want to manage the whole product, not just a portion of it. PM lesson one: communicate. It sounded like you had no prior product experience, and that was extremely unsettling. Additionally, be aware that managing an entire product won’t be all that different; you will still need to negotiate at a higher level and align with what the executives are saying (which can be frustrating when they don’t even know what they want).
The fact that you said you hadn’t done strategic work. Everything you do in product is strategy. Every decision you make to get something done is strategy. Just because you’re doing it on a smaller scale doesn’t mean you aren’t doing it.