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Your job title doesn't matter

 


It doesn't matter if your job is product owner, or product manager, or product leader. Whether it's a business analyst, designer, or engineer. If you care about solving problems for your customers - you are a product person.

Let's take a pause from the series on product failure reasons and briefly talk about a big issue in and around the product management community - the constant dispute about job titles. Scroll a LinkedIn feed for a minute and you'll see yet another post about how product owners are not product managers, how project managers differ from product, why you must be technical to build successful products... and so on in perpetuity.

Those sorts of debates have taken place since the beginning of times for product people. And they made sense then. As a product community, we had to define our roles, set clear boundaries and fight for a seat at the table. It made sense to compare ourselves to other, more established and "clear" roles to showcase what unique value we can bring to an organisation.

But it was then. Now this constant bickering about job titles is not helpful. It confuses our employers (do I need to hire product owners or managers or leaders?) and it weakens our community by invalidating the work of some, just because they have a "wrong" job title (ah, you're only PO, go write user stories). We should stop arguing about job titles and adopt a more helpful definition, for example: anyone who works on solving customer problems in ways that work for their organisation is a product person.

Yes, that would make a lot of people into product people and that's exactly the point. Great products are created by great people, plural, not one PM, one PO, or one product leader. Every product person is vital for overall product success and should not be denied merely because of their job title.

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