Should I choose a Tech PM or a Business PM as a mentor?

I just transitioned from Business analyst to a PM role in analytics. I would like to choose a mentor and I have two options- Technical or Business PM. The tech one has been in his role for at least 10 years and has a lot of experience with agile. The Business one is in his role for ~ two years but has delivered few complex & important projects. My work would be similar to the Business one.

What I would expect from them: As a start I want to make sure I apply the scrum methodology the right way and they can coach me on delivering a product from scratch- setting up workshops, asking the right questions.


I’d say pick the one you believe will be able to teach you the most, both hard and soft skills.


Business first - tech second.

If you’re hired to work as a Business PM your decisions should be business focused first and tech second.

Having an appreciation and understanding of both is rare and valuable - just remember what your role is.


People always say work on your strengths, but I prefer to learn to strengthen my weakness with a good foundation at the very start.

I have a certain amount of confidence in business sides of things so I would prefer to learn more about the tech side. build a good team relationship, understanding the needs of both sides and solve their conflicts, and know what is efficient etc. ultimately, with both combined, you can be a commanding good leader respected by both.


I advise against taking both. Take the business one.

Business PM role is fairly complex and contains lot of ambiguity and uncertainty. While theoretically, knowing the tech pm job strictly better than knowing to delegate to a tech pm, in practice this fraught with trouble. Since you are going to be business PM; learn to work with tech and tech PMs as one of your stakeholders.


Here are my two cents

It is always better to learn new things or at least get an idea of the environment you might one day go in to or at least have an influence at some point of your career. Every company relies on tech small or big so its always better to have a tech mentor at initial phases of your life so that you can become a complete PM, anyhow your core strength lies in Business PM assuming your educational background is as such.



Remember it’s not just about you picking them. The best mentor relationships are mutual. So what do you think you could also bring to the table? Maybe it’s business insights for the Technical PM. Or customer insights and analytics for the Business PM. Either way, make sure to consider how to make the relationship two sided for it to work!


Do you have to go with one and ignore the other? Better to learn from both


What is your product and domain? If it’s fairly technical, definitely go with Tech PM. Otherwise Business PM.


As a BI Product Manager - Go for the tech if you have to choose. Really know their stack, processes, and timelines. You are going to need his insight as you develop your stories and understand what will fit into your sprints. Your business acumen will grow with experience.


I would recommend you to pick Tech PM for two reasons,

  1. You will be having access to business PM more often as the nature of your work is similar to his. You will be learning from him as you go. And very likely that you both agree on a lot of aspects. He is on your team already.
  2. The tech PM on the other hand is a treasure trove of information. He will give you significant insights about what challenges they face, so you will be able to empathize with the people in tech roles. Knowing what motivates them allows you to bring them along with you on your product vision.

It makes more sense to go with the business one since you’ll be in that path. You can always ask the tech PM for some advice during lunch


Eh, better be paying for lunch. Advice during lunch is a service. :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much for all your replies. I have finally chosen the Business PM as my mentor. The technical PM is a gem of a person and is always there for any technical advice I might need. Thank You once again.