Most Product Management professionals believe that one of the responsibilities of the discipline is to own and control the product roadmap. In other words, Product Management decides (with the help of engineering, sales, client services, marketing, c-suite, and others) when to ship certain features. My assumptions were recently questioned when someone posed the question “Shouldn’t Product Marketing own the roadmap? They’re in charge of competitive analysis, differentiation, communication both internally and externally. Product Marketing should know what the product lacks, what competitors do better, and how the product needs to be better.” While conducting some preliminary research on my answer, I discovered that none of the blogs explain why Product Management owns the roadmap. They all take it for granted. Product Management should be in charge of the roadmap, and there are good reasons for it.
This post originally appeared on the Umbel blog. The Umbel Marketing team helped edit and refine the original content.
Salesforce isn’t satisfied with its $32B market capitalization. It wants a slice of the $42B business intelligence industry, currently dominated by major companies like Tableau, Domo, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. How so? Well, Salesforce recently introduced the Wave Analytics Cloud, a product that will let companies connect data from different systems, visualize that data, and allow users to make actionable decisions from insights found in that data. This is themain business proposition of many big data BI companies.
Of course, these visualizations are not meant to be incredibly sophisticated but to rather help standardize business operations. According to the New York Times, “the application was able to look at a national sales force, quickly sort it by people and regions, then figure out where there were big disconnects between budget targets and actual results”
Despite its splashy entrance and enormous brand presence, the Wave Analytics Cloud will face many of the same pitfalls that its competitors face – limited data access, lack of a dedicated staff to use its robust functionality, and limited actionability.
“One of my clients can’t launch their AdWords campaign without this feature” — Client Services
“What feature?” — me
“Dropping pixels in the Activators. They want to launch ASAP.” — Client Services
That feature was planned for an upcoming sprint, likely sometime in Q3 2014. I had spent a little bit of time researching product requirements, but they were not polished enough to hand to the engineering team. To make things more complicated, our Director of Product Management was out of town.