By Greg Geracie
Reposted from Take Charge Product Management Blog
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to ask Therese Padilla, President of the Association of International Product Marketing and Management, several questions regarding AIPMM’s sponsorship of the product management and marketing body of knowledge (ProdBOK).
Our interview was focused on the history of this initiative and AIPMM’s impetus for initiating this multiyear effort.
Here’s an extract from our discussion:
Therese, what gave your organization the inspiration to sponsor the development of a product management and marketing body of knowledge?
Sponsoring a product management and marketing body of knowledge was one of our goals from day one. But it has taken time to collect all the necessary information and processes and have them developed and organized into a standardized body of knowledge. The start of our certification program in 2003 helped establish some initial momentum and those early efforts form the foundation of today’s ProdBOK.
From your perspective, why is there a need for a product management and marketing body of knowledge?
There was a lack of independent and openly available knowledge about the product management profession when AIPMM began back in 1998. We started collecting information and found that other than two books, there was not much to collect. Then in 2000 others began to populate the web with information; but much of the information incomplete, inconclusive, or inconsistent. So all the drivers to create a product management BOK were there – a growing profession, an inconsistent and incomplete repository of professional knowledge, and a need for consistent terminology.
How do you feel about the level of support the efforts receiving from the product management community in terms the BOKs development?
Greg, as you know, once we began the project to write the Guide to the Product Management Body of Knowledge and we reached out to thought leaders, bloggers, working product managers and product marketing managers, we received overwhelming support. Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think that a single person we asked turned us down. We found that everyone we approached was eager to participate.
Therese, what changes do you think will result from the BOK’s introduction?
I’m not sure what specific changes to expect, but I do know that we’ll constantly move forward as the demand for product management education continues to increase and the BOK will help standardize the language of the product management profession. The ProdBOK guide will also be continuously improved to meet the evolving needs of the community.
Why has it taken so long for the product management community to get to this point (of having a BOK)?
AIPMM has talked to a wide range of companies and interviewed hundreds of product managers. It’s clear to us that the way product management is practiced in companies varies. Even though the process, when it’s broken down, is universal and surprisingly intuitive, companies don’t necessarily call the process “product management”.
There is a belief that product management is a compartmentalized process, but it’s not. So the idea of developing a BOK to clarify this process and help create a common level of understanding was sometimes deemed impossible. If I had a dime for all the times I was told that it was a crazy idea to attempt this project, I’d have a lot of dimes. But as I mentioned earlier, once we decided to move forward contributors were excited to participate. I’m pleased to say it was just a matter of getting past the initial resistance and moving forward towards completion.
About The Author
Greg Geracie is the Editor-in-Chief of The Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge (ProdBOK) and the leader of this initiative. ProdBOK is an industry-wide effort to standardize the practice of product management sponsored by the Association of International Product Management and Marketing (AIPMM).