Looking for advice.

started a new PM role 4 weeks ago only to realise that the entire PM function is done by various other people inside the department. I have tried bringing up the discussion with my line manager without making it into a complaint (since i’m so new, and i want to be flexible) but i’m getting the impression that even my manager doesn’t know what a PM is or does. (He asked me if the roadmap should sit with the scrum master amongst other comments)

Thoughts of approach?

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Make allies. Ask people their ‘pain points’ and then see if you can take it over and apply any Product Mgmt paradigm to it . Be careful that it isn’t interpreted as ‘lecturing’ , ensure your desire to ‘help’ is coming through. I’m assuming you want to stay in this org for a couple years at least - because building relationships and contacts within a biz takes time and effort.

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Tough stuff. Product Managment as a concept is relatively new compared to other fields, often confused with Project Managment or lumped into Business Analytics. In reality, it's a bit of both and more.

I'd say take this opportunity to thrive and show others the importance of a proper PM structure. If you like the company, use it to your advantage. Study the current playing field, and propose slight changes to make the PM department better. In the long run, people will notice your contributions. Good luck!

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Is this at a tech company? What’s your TC? This is what I wonder about some non tech companies with a PM title but not PM practices. Wonder if there’s yellow flags there

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Sounds like he is asking you questions. So take the opportunity to tell him how you have worked in the past and why it is better (if it is). Also be open to doing it the ways they are currently doing it if it is effectively. There isn’t a single approach to building products and product culture should evolve and get better overtime.

Being a great product manager isn’t having all the answers, it’s knowing who does.

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I’m also a new PM to a non tech company. The way they do things is so azzz backwards compared to how a tech company operates. When you have one on ones with your manager or whoever’s getting you up to speed, I suggest you pose things as “from my experience, it is a best practice that…” or “I would challenge “x” with a perspective of “y” as it would bring about “z””. I’ve been having the same issues. Like why in the world would you roll out a product with 20+ defects. It’s so mind blowing.

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What are their titles? I would continue to take my own initiatives central to my function as a PM (with allied support), and let ppl build trust/confidence in what I’m doing and prove success. Eventually they should back away from fulfilling the same responsibilities and let you take charge, especially since you have the title of product manager. Then they can focus on their primary responsibilities and function.

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