The Dude has been at the product management game for a long time. Over two decades and counting, and one theme that has repeated ad nauseum is the adage that product management often has responsibilities tacked onto the role that really don't belong there. The Dude has written about this before, and he probably will write about it again, but this comes up over and over again.

When the Dude was initially interviewing, one of the conversation he had, initiated by his soon to be boss, was that the product management team was bogged down with tactical items, things that aren't in the realm of product management.

Yet, the idea of product management as the dumping ground of last resort persists. In a recent meeting, a small subset of the product management team, the topic of discussion was a list of activities that we needed the product managers to begin to do. As the Dude listened to the list, he was thinking to himself "hey, this is what the product marketing team should be doing" and he spoke up about it.

The response was sad, yet predictable. "The product marketing team really just creates collateral (data sheets, brochures, feature/benefit lists, etc.)" Nothing about understanding the product, the market, its matching to the segments, the outbound messaging and promotion strategy, triaging and handling sales queries. Instead, they were to do what the supposed marketing communications team should be doing. Alas, all the expected product marketing work needs to be done by, you guessed it, Product Management. Le Sigh.

Once again, product management collects the duties that belong to others and other groups (and these groups exist, and are adequately staffed) because they go undone, or incompetently executed.

No, seriously.