ZigZag marketing has a simple quiz to determine the product management strength of an organization. I’ve been in product management for many years and while a PMIQ score may be a bit overboard I get their point. Products teams can often be eclipsed by Marketing, Engineering or Sales. Without Product Management leadership, it's easy to get “product myopic” – ignoring portfolio management and the efficiencies of integration across products and product lines. Some organizations have grown up entirely without a formal product management team or process and believe products can be developed collaboratively by several departments. They reason that with all the teams represented, they can collectively establish the product requirements and let the engineers develop the product.
IMHO the ZigZag Product Management Framework (try the interactive model) sums up the role of Product Management to coordinate and own key areas in the full product lifecycle flow – from concept to launch. At the core of a Product Manager’s role is the “Requirements Value Chain” . This translates Market Drivers, Market Segmentation and User Stories into a clear Product Definition. Apart from very small organizations, its simply not possible for effective product planning to occur organically through collaboration by Sales, Marketing and Engineering groups; An experienced product owner is critical to building successful products.