Should Architects aspire to be Product Managers?
One of the interesting trends I am observing is that Architectures aspiring to be Product Managers. Have recently come across multiple PM who were architects and have also been approached my a few who are interested in becoming one.
Following are my thoughts on when Architects should consider PM as their career path.
- A true Business Architect with the ability to map the technology strategy to align with the Business Strategy
- Good understanding and hopefully first hand experience interacting with the real customer (not the business units)
- Good understanding of revenue and business model
- Passionate and believe about the role of the products in the customers life (whatever they are using the product for)
- Ability to influence cross-functional team and get everyone passionate and focused on the product
- Willing to change course mid-stream based on customer/market feedback
- Ability to ride up and down the market roller coaster
- Ability to keep singularly focused on an single product/portfolio
Do not take on the role:
- by assuming that PM get to define the product and every one else will follow without any questions (the PM is responsible for bringing every one on board)
- consider whether one would be a great Architect vs. a good Product Manager (focus on what one is better at doing - a great advise given to me by my manager)
- do not want to deal with constant communication with customers / leadership teams
- assume that the grass is greener there - doing what one does best shall reap the right rewards
Just my point of view and this could also apply for taking on a role of a Business Liaison in an IT organizations.