Product management and the technical communicator

Subject: Product management and the technical communicator
From: <technicoid -at- cableone -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 08:38:11 -0700

I'm considering a foray into product management and would like to hear from anyone who has gone
from technical communication into product management. The required skill set seems to be pretty
similar to that required for a technical communications consultant: assess your customers'
needs, define the business requirements, determine the options available to you (given the
technology, current state of your product, and overall product and marketing strategy), and
propose a set of features to meet the business requirements. I guess some models (like
Microsoft's) include the drafting and maintenance of functional specifications as well.

I currently supervise a small documentation group and will probably have to continue to do so if
I take on any new responsibilities. The current product is an accounting/POS system for a niche
market. Although the system is complex (a matter I'd like to address over time), changes to it
are relatively small in the scope of a single project (at least in terms of the user
experience). We have additional products that supplement our main product's features.

Frankly, I need a new challenge, and this path seems to be one that the company's needs
currently dictate. I see a lot of potential for improvement in this product and a few
opportunities for future products.

Any suggestions, caveats, or tangential comments?


technicoid -at- cableone -dot- net

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