How a Director/VP of Product Management Can Develop His/Her Team

Just saw a nice blog post by Marty Cagan. If you are a:

  • Director of Product Management
  • VP of Product Management
  • Or aspire to be one of the above (I think that should cover just about everybody in product management, don’t you think?!)

, then check out Marty’s post.

Having said that, there is one point about which I don’t fully agree with Marty. That point is…

I Really Prefer to Focus on Strengths

The one point in Marty’s article I don’t fully agree with is:
Identifying gaps & Creating development plans to fix weaknesses

I’m a big believer in the Marcus Buckingham school of thought when it comes to managing people – i.e. I really prefer to identify and emphasize their strengths, rather than identifying and fixing weaknesses (exception: fresh college grads with an open mind).

Basketball analogy: (since the playoffs are underway!)
If you’re coaching Carmelo Anthony who can’t/won’t defend or pass the ball – I think it’s far better to emphasize his strengths (one of the best offensive players in the world), than try to “fix” him by getting on his case about defense and passing.

How You Can Do So Too

If your company is of sufficient size, then there are usually many different types of projects/products – where product managers with different strengths can excel. One of the most important roles a Director or VP of Product Management can play here is – fit the right product manager to the right project/product.

If your company is a small startup, then someone else (hint: founders, execs) should cover the product manager’s area of weaknesses. If that’s not possible – the only viable option might be to get someone better.

Editor’s Note:
Interested in an affordable, enterprise-quality software to help you manage requirements? Check out FREE 30-Day trial of Accompa or Sign Up for a Demo.

I'm your author, Michael Shrivathsan, an expert in product management with successful experience at several innovative companies in Silicon Valley, USA over the past two decades. I'm also a USPTO patent recipient. For my day job, I'm the VP of Product Management at Accompa, we make the popular requirements management software used by Product Management, Business Analysis, and related teams.

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