As you move into a new Product Management role, or move to a new company, your day to day life can be very different. The exact same title in two different companies can have radically different expectations. Product Management can cover a lot of responsibilities that vary across companies. One of the key factors to consider when looking to make a move is figuring out what you really like to do out of the many things that the Product Management role can encompass. From there, you can narrow down both the company and the role to make sure the place you choose is a good fit.
Considerations when thinking about Product Management day to day activities:
A generalized summary of the Product Management role based on the company size is as follows:
Small Company: 5 to 20 employees A company of this size usually combines a number of roles. The most senior engineer, or the Engineering Manager may act as Product Owner, and Product Manager as well. Other typical combinations will be combining Product Management, Product Marketing, or Marketing too. In this type of company, you will likely wear multiple hats, no matter what the title of your role is.
Company of 50 to 100 employees This size of company is large enough to have the typical corporate structure with separate functions including Engineering, Marketing, Sales, Support, Product Management, Finance, HR. In a company of this size, one Product Manager will likely do all the Product Management for the company. Product Management responsibilities can also include Product Marketing, Training, Technical Marketing Engineering and various other sideways roles.
Company of 100 to 300 employees Companies of this size will have the typical corporate structure more filled out. There may be multiple engineering teams working on different Products. The sales team will be larger, and the Product Management role can be part of a small Product team. A Product team can include one or two Product Managers, a Product Marketing Manager and a Technical Marketing Engineer or equivalent technical role.
Companies of 500 to 1000 employees At this size, the Product Team and Product Management teams will be built out and filled in considerably. There will be a VP or Head of Product, or Product Management and most likely a Product Manager per Product under the Head of Product Management.
Companies above 1000 employees A company that has got to around 1000 employees will generally be very similar to a much larger company as far as the Product Management role is concerned. A company of 70,000 people for example is often split into Business Units each of which can be around 1000 employees. At this level, if you join as a Product Manager, you will quite likely be on a team of between five and ten Product Managers reporting to a Manager or Director. For new Product Managers, this is an excellent environment to learn the role with other Product Managers available to mentor you and as you become more senior, you will find yourself being able to mentor new members of the team.