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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Product Managers: Time to Move on

Product managers must plan out career roadmap for themselves, and one of the most important aspect to this roadmap will be, when to move on from current job to next. This cannot be an emotional decision but definitely a decision derived from your vision for yourself.

When I decided to move on a year back, two most daunting question I asked to myself was , “Why should I move on?” and “Why should I stay?” And today nearly an year after that decision, I can confidently say that points that helped in taking decision were real strong and I made the right move.

Factors that influence such decision change and today when a close friend of mine sought my opinion on moving on, I crafted factors that helped him in taking decision for himself. These are not the only factor but these definitely are very important if you are seriously thinking about moving on. These factors change based on trends, technology & time so please do take a note of this that they have a expiry date that you will determine over period of time.

Move on if 3 or more of following 5 holds true for your:

In-bound role (Stuck in development center): I spent around 75% of time with engineering team, rest in meetings with key stake holders and very little in market place with customers and studying trends and competition. My organization is happy with my performance and they want me to continue in same fashion for coming quarters.

Cloud solutions (No Cloud No Rain): I do not see any opportunity to drive a cloud base solutions in next 6 to 18 months. My product roadmap continues to embrace philosophy of desktop solution and management is not keen to take any exposure on cloud solutions.

Focus (cost cutting will not increase revenue): We are working on features & process that will help company save operational cost. Most of our features are around reducing cost to deliver. We are not talking about increasing revenue or seeking out opportunities to increase revenue. Bottom line and not top line is what the focus is on.

Apps (they too are serious business): My company believes that Applications on Smartphone, Tablets and other smart devices are for fun & leisure, they really do not mean any serious business. Investment in such technology offers no good returns.

Thought leadership (who is on driver’s seat?): We deliver what sales pushes for or engineering believes we should. Sales & Engineering influence our roadmap most and we do not really waste time doing lot many research, market study, competitive intelligence etc.

Success of a product manager depends upon character that he/ she builds over time. This includes strong decision making ability for organization and for self. Read Not now, not ever – by @vivekv emphasizing exactly on how strong you need to be.


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