A Different PM: Moving from Project Management to Product Management

The core of most organizations’ IT strategies is project management. It helps to keep a project on track, within budget, and complete it according to its original goals and brief.
This is the theory anyway. However, the reality is quite different. Unfortunately, project management does not guarantee IT success. Projects still come in over budget, with inadequate resources, and do not deliver the value that they were intended to. Sometimes they aren’t even finished.
But, there is a shift. Product management, a different type of PM, has emerged as a more effective way to manage internal IT projects. Product management was originally used to manage digital and physical products within an organisation. However, it has become more common to use product management internally. It allows for iterative improvements and delivers more value. It also keeps projects aligned with business outcomes.
What is product management?
Product management is a technology and a discipline that has emerged. This is reflective of our product-centric world. People have come to expect excellence from their products since the invention of the iPod in 2000.
If these expectations are not met, people will be more than happy to move on. This is true for both B2B and B2C. Companies are now more focused on product than ever before, and product management was created to help these companies ensure that their products are good enough.
It has been a huge success and has led to a strong focus on product-led development, where product teams take on a more strategic, high-profile role within their company. It has also led to the development of product manager strategies and approaches for internal IT project management.
Integrating product management
No organization is going to abandon all its project management methods in favor of product management. There is a lot of progress already happening, with many companies including product management in their IT project management. If you are considering this route, it is important to be aware of the following:
Choose the right products – Choosing external products is easier as they have been created with a lot of effort and time. Focus on business capabilities when choosing an internal product. This will allow you to include multiple products.
It is important that business product managers, owners, and teams are empowered to make decisions and achieve defined business outcomes across the entire product portfolio. Once you understand this, it is easier to identify which products are affected and what improvements need to be made in order to achieve specific goals.
Fear not Agile – Scrum and Kanban! Perhaps Large Scale Scrum? Disciplined Agile (DA), or Large Scale Scrum (LeSS)? It can be extremely beneficial to move away from the Waterfall approach and choose an Agile framework that works well for your team.
An advantage to adopting an Agile approach to product development is the presence of dedicated and permanent teams. Their sole focus will be to iterate the product towards improvement and receive feedback, while mapping the work to the business’s goals.
This is true for value streams. Value streams can be a combination of products or capabilities across products. A platform capability allows billing across multiple products, for example. These teams will work together to achieve the product’s goals until its end.
Additionally, Agile teams also work on products or business capabilities (as product), before they even get started. They help to outline the benefits business users will enjoy as a result. This will help you get support from other stakeholder