Background Note | HBS Case Collection | December 2011 (Revised January 2015)

The Product Manager

by Jeffrey Bussgang, Thomas Eisenmann and Robert Go


Describes the role of product manager (PM) in technology companies, detailing 1) PMs' responsibilities; 2) different ways to organize the product management function; 3) how PMs interact with other functions within technology companies (e.g., engineering, product marketing); 4) how the nature of the PM role varies depending on context (e.g., early- vs. late-stage startups, business- vs. engineering-driven cultures); and 5) the attributes of effective PMs.

Keywords: Product Marketing; Product Development; Product Design;


Bussgang, Jeffrey, Thomas Eisenmann, and Robert Go. "The Product Manager." Harvard Business School Background Note 812-105, December 2011. (Revised January 2015.) (request a courtesy copy.)