RE: Product management and the technical communicator

Subject: RE: Product management and the technical communicator
From: "Peter Swisher" <pswisher -at- arisglobal -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 16:17:05 -0500

I actually made the jump into PM about 5 years ago. Feel free to e-mail me
any specific questions you may have.

Things to watch out for:
1) PM work is generally more strategic. You'll have to devise marketing
strategies, presentations, build product feature sets, defend those feature
sets to internal departments, sell those feature sets externally, and so
forth... While creating the documents you mention are part of the job, they
are a small part. When I first started, feeling like I accomplished
something was quite difficult. The same types of deliverables, such as
writing XX pages a week, just weren't there.
2) Supervising the documentation group. If possible, give this task to
someone else. It'll hinder your development as a PM.
3) Your butt will be on the line as a PM. Most PMs have full P&L
responsibility for their products. Make sure you're ready to accept that
4) The hours are typically longer. It's not a 9-5 job. Sometimes TWing isn't
either. It all depends.
5) As a PM, you are the hub of all product activities. You'll have to like
talking with and working with other people in general and each department
w/in your organization specifically.
6) Make sure your company has a good understanding of what a PM is. Some
don't and that can make your life very difficult. For example, some may
expect you to be a salesman as well.

It's an excellent field to switch into. Since an MBA is usually required for
a PM, making an internal responsibility change is the best way to break into
the field. I'd research the responsibilities of a PM and see if it's
something that interests you. You may have to pick up an MBA if you ever
want to become a PM at another company. You can start your research with: (Probably the #1 accrediting group for
PMs. See if your company will spring for the classes before you start)

- Pete
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Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2004 10:38 AM
Subject: Product management and the technical communicator

Product management and the technical communicator: From: technicoid

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