The division of responsibilities between product development, product management and product marketing has been structured a little differently everywhere I’ve worked. Sometimes there’s one person — the quintessential producer with a capital P — while in other shops there are dedicated directors or managers for each functional area. Regardless of team size or structure, wherever there’s been a lack of clarity about who owns which tasks, market value and esprit-de-corps has suffered.

Recently while discussing product management with the senior managers of division of Thompson Education, I learned they had organized their technology product development teams according to the Product Marketing Triad that was developed by Steve Johnson at Pragmatic Marketing. I hadn’t been aware of this framework before and was impressed by how clearly the the tasks are defined and divided between strategic, technical and marketing roles.

Ah, life should be so simple! Realistically every company, team and project are different, so I would argue for more flexibility in assigning tasks to roles than is suggested by Pragmatic Marketing. Nonetheless, their framework is the best starting point I’ve come across and a welcome addition to the product management tool kit.