Greg Geracie is an experienced product manager, author of the best selling book “Take Charge Product Management,” as well as editor and chief of the “ProdBOK – The Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge.” He also co-authors the annual “Study of Product Team Performance.” He teaches product management at DePaul University and for the last 7 years he has served as the president of Actuation Consulting that advises many well-known organizations on product management and innovation practices.
Practices and Ideas for Product Managers, Developers, and Innovators
Highlights from the discussion include:
- People enter product management from many types of roles, but Greg found his experience in sales to be very valuable. When done well, both are concerned with solving customer problems and providing customer value.
- Greg, as a product manager, found his previous sales experience provided credibility with the sales team.
- The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the benchmark for professional organizations that create standardized terminology and processes for a profession. The popular “PMBOK: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” is the go-to reference for project managers.
- Product Managers in the past did not have a guide or reference book that summarized the product management body of knowledge, not until Greg led the creation of the “ProdBOK – The Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge.”
- The ProdBOK, created by 60 industry and thought leaders and co-edited by MIT professor Steven D. Eppinger, provides a foundation for the product management profession, standardizing terminology, processes, and tools, much as the PMBOK has done for project managers.
- The Association of International Product Marketers and Managers (AIPMM) sponsored the creation of the ProdBOK.
- The ProdBOK is organized in three primary sections:
- History of product management, spanning the last 70 years. The section also includes terms the practitioner should know as well as fundamental concepts.
- Product management processes from the conception of product ideas through product launch and finally to product retirement.
- Key product management tools most product managers should apply.
- Greg provided a useful perspective on product managers responsibilities – sharing that they are ultimately responsible for nurturing and maintaining value of the products they control.
- Product management covers the spectrum of activities from idea incubation, through development and launch, and finally ending with product retirement.
- Product management professionals tend to have strengths in specific areas and not across the entire spectrum. The ProdBOK provides knowledge across the spectrum.
- Greg’s book “Take Charge Product Management” is more of a step-by-step book for new product managers, with the ProdBOK being an important reference of terminology, processes, and tools for product managers at all levels.
- Strong alignment between a company’s business goals and objectives and the actual practice of product management is a key predictor of organizational success.
- Keys to successful product management include driving towards results, having the right people doing the right things, using the proper processes, incorporating metrics to track performance, and using the right tools.
- Greg shared an example of a large consumer products company that created a product strategy aligned with business strategy, allowing key stakeholders to understand how product management was conducted at the organization.
- Product management leads the value creation capability of an organization.
- Many organizations have product management capabilities that are not proactive and they are missing opportunities to optimize value creation.
- Useful Links
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
Listen Now to the Interview
Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.