Job titles, seniority, and hierarchy in product management are all a bit hazy. It makes it challenging to compare jobs, plan your career, and hire the best people. In this blog, we will go through the product management levels, giving you an overview of each product job and some valuable resources.
Levels Of Product Managers
Most successful product teams and organizations have developed a standard that can be used as a blueprint for your own. Let’s have a look at some examples:
1. Associate Product Manager
It is an entry-level product position for someone who has never worked in the industry before. It also has a different meaning in the context of an Associate Product Manager (APM) program. A recent graduate is the typical APM. The goal is to grow these applicants into full-time employment through a combination of training and hands-on experience with real projects, similar to most apprenticeships.
2. Junior Product Manager
Although a Junior Product Manager is new to the profession, they do not need as much hands-on experience as an Associate Product Manager needs. They operate with a product development team on their own, sometimes on a smaller product or area, and are led and mentored by a Senior Product Manager. A Junior Product Manager often has some previous job experience and can come from any background. The most prevalent backgrounds are engineering, design, and business. Some of the top product managers have come from customer service, quality assurance, or business analyst positions.
3. Product Manager
A product manager’s most popular job title can cover a wide range of experience, responsibilities, and talents. In general, this works alone, manages a product development team, and is in charge of a product or customer journey. Because it’s the most prevalent title, it’s crucial to think about what product they’re in control of. For example, a product manager for Facebook’s news feed, which affects billions of people, is likely to be more senior and experienced than a product manager jobs for a startup.
4. Senior Product Manager
A Senior Product Manager performs the same roles and responsibilities as a Product Manager, but with an old title to represent their contributions, the relative importance of their product, or the fact that they mentor junior product managers. It is a hybrid function in some organizations. The Senior Product Manager works directly with a product and is also responsible for line management.
5. Product Lead / Lead Product Manager
It is a newer position, usually held by a Senior Product Manager in charge of its most important product. It might range from a Senior Product Manager to a Vice President of Product. The difference is that they are not in charge of different product managers; instead, they are excellent product managers who want to remain hands-on and delegate people management to others. Recognizing who excels at leadership and creating incredible goods is equally vital and beneficial to a company.
6. Product Director / Group Product Manager
The position of a Product Director or Group Product Manager begins to shift. It progresses from an individual contributor who owns a product and works directly with engineering and design teams to someone who has taken a step back from the day-to-day to lead other product managers and align the company. People management soft skills become a vital element of the work – managing people is even more difficult than managing products!
7. VP Product / Head of Product
It is similar to a Director, although it is more typical in larger organizations with multiple products and management layers or startups as the most senior product person. This position entails overseeing the work of other product managers. It is known as a Head of Product in many firms, but I’m not a fan of that title because there’s no way to elevate a Head of Product because they’re already the Head!
8. CPO / Chief Product Officer
A Chief Product Officer (CPO) is an organization’s most senior product executive. They frequently oversee many product management teams and represent products in the C-suite or management team. They’re in charge of overall product strategy and alignment both inside their teams and throughout the company.
The VP Product is in charge of the team, processes, and getting things done, whereas the CPO is in order of the organization’s product vision, architecture, and overall alignment.
There Is No Such Thing As A One-Size-Fits-All Solution
Of course, most businesses do not require all of these stages, how this will fit into your business. A single Product Manager may be assigned to a startup. A handful of Product Managers might report to a Head of Product/VP of Product as your company grows. Only when the firm and its product line expand, you will need to consider adding more levels. Like everything else in the product, these team structures and groups should be aligned with consumer demands. You may then incentivize and organize teams under your company’s objectives.
To Sum It Up!.
The whole structure should allow you and your teams to explore the following questions: Do your team’s titles appropriately represent their jobs? Are they clear enough, so job seekers looking at your open positions understand what you’re looking for and if the work is right for them? PALARINO PARTNERS, having clear and consistent job titles for product management will help all better understand the professions, responsibilities, and groups. Think free to reach us via visiting our website.