Ok, it’s Sunday, and I’m sitting here leisurely reading Medium, and then, boom!,
Mark Stephan

Hi Mark Stephan, thanks so much for taking the time to share such a thoughtful response, which I do indeed take in good spirits. Hope I didn’t peeve too much on your Sunday! ;)

I think the central point I was hoping to make was mostly about a problem that I have seen occur when the roles of PM and UX or design get merged. I guess that the PO side-note might have been a distraction. :)

You are quite correct, of course. Product Owner has a specific meaning and is therefore something of a “reserved word.” At the risk of re-peeving you, but to explain more of my opinion on the PO/PM point…

I think my dislike for “Product Manager” as a title, is that outside of the circles of people that really understand Product Management and/or Agile, having the designation “manager” does it a bit of a disservice in terms of how strategic the role is, or at least should-be.

For example, typical rungs of the ladder in most other job titles go up from associate, Executive, Manager, Director, Group Director of…, VP of… You get the picture. Once upon a time I was an Account Manager in a digital agency, and was not awarded the title “Account Director” until I had demonstrated that I had risen from just “managing” (getting shit done) to being able to strategically direct the business. The same is true for many other functions and departments too.

I sometimes wonder if the label of Product Manager has in some way contributed to the widespread misunderstanding about how strategic the role really should be. I state a preference for Product Owner, because I value the virtue of “Ownership” so very highly. I also would have preferred it if “Product Director” had become the norm for the industry, but I’m not about to take up that crusade! :)

Thanks again for your feedback. Chris.