Where should product managers fit in the org structure?

2.2k views3 Upvotes6 Comments

Former Chief Technology and People Officer in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I believe the broader organizational strategy or construct is important to architect and would then inform where product management as a function fits. I have operated in organizations where product management was part of stand alone function, was part of marketing, was within engineering, etc. Similar to most other organizational models, where the function sits is important but it is far more important that the collaboration, empowerment, decision making process, alignment with engineering, etc is clear and working effectively. 
Fractional CIO in Software, 2 - 10 employees
Product managers sb in the sales team representing the customer to the organization.  PM should be advocates for the customer so that the product can thrive.
Director of Information Technology in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Product Managers should be in sales or adjacent to. Their job is be customer centric.
Vice President Of Product & Technology in Finance (non-banking), 51 - 200 employees
Product Managers belong in the Product vertical of an Org. They act as the bridge between several departments. They liaise with Customers, Engineering, IT, Marketing, Sales, Support, Customer Success and Execs.
CIO in Energy and Utilities, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Product managers could be part of sales or marketing function. They need to be closely interfacing with customers to understand their challenges, needs, etc. Then bring those feedback to the organization and collaborate with the different departments in fulfilling/solving those challenges. 
Chief Information Officer in Services (non-Government), 201 - 500 employees
Product managers should be placed where they are a conduit between sales and customer support/success.  

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Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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