As one of the organizers of product camp Boston last month, I was pleased to see so many attendees. We had nearly 40 sessions ranging from marketing to product management to running a start up.
With so many takes and aspects of product management, it got me thinking: Can product management ever be standardized?
Those of you familiar with PMI probably heard of the PMP certification. This is an industry wide initiative that certifies project managers and is widely accepted. The PMP is constantly evolving and is updated by the project management community.
However, when it comes to product management and how it is implemented, no standard applies. Each company has its own definition of what product management is, making it hard to standardize this profession. Several for-profit organizations offer training and certifications for their Body of Knowledge (BOK) and methodologies, yet there is no accepted standard across all industries.
The question is whether there can be a one size fits all standard. Can a company in Hi-Tech run product management the same way a Bio-Tech company does or a financial institution? Furthermore, are companies willing to revisit how they run product management and invest in training and certifying their product managers?
To achieve a recognized standard there needs to be a clear (and hopefully non-profit) leader in the market that, through working closely with existing for-profit organizations, will come up with one certification that all groups support.