Product Managers require a number of skills to succeed, but many have gaps in such critical areas as business savvy, market expertise, operational know-how, or entrepreneurial ability. As a result, the leaders of product management groups have to spend a great deal of their time coaching individual product managers on day-to-day tasks, frequently at the expense of other strategic priorities with longer-term implications.
Many leaders of product management departments address the issue in one of two ways: either by trying to hire a product manager who brings the full set of needed skills to the job, or by re-assigning products around the strengths of their product managers. But both approaches carry their own sets of problems: first, it can be difficult and costly to find experienced product managers with all the skills and market expertise. And second, moving people around doesn’t get rid of their weaknesses, it just masks them.