Where should product management report to?
September 20, 2011 12 Comments
In an organization, where should product management report to? Sales? Marketing? Engineering? CEO? Customer Support? All of this is possible but where can it be the most effective?
Before we answer this question, let us make sure we are aligned on the role of a product manager.
In my opinion, the best spot for product management is to have it report directly to the CEO. Product is one of the most important functions in an organization because getting the right product/market fit is what brings in the revenues. So I would argue that this needs to be have a direct line to the CEO so that it is not only looked upon as a strategic function but also that it is held accountable for the company results.
Is there a second best place for product management? Every successful organization that I have worked for (B2B or B2C) has had product management report to Marketing. Marketing naturally is an external facing function that is responsible for identifying the target market, figuring out the product positioning and figuring out what will make prospects buy. There is a slight danger here of product management becoming “marketing” driven than “market” driven, but I think with the right leadership this can be avoided.
The slides shown below are my opinions on why it should not report into sales or engineering or customer support.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this via comments. Do you agree?