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Product Management Role in Agile by Pierre Blum (SWIFT)

Product Management role has evolved with the paradigm shift from Waterfall to Agile methodology approach in the software development industry. Two different roles which are requiring specific skills have really emerged with (1) Product Manager delivery - focussing on the relation with IT and (2) Product Manager Commercial - focussing on the relation with Sales and owing the P&L. During this session, Pierre Blum, head of Software Product Management at SWIFT will share his experience on how the split has been done. 

One of the challenge of a product manager is the wide spectrum of skills required to perform such function. There are very few people who have the right balance of skills and each of the product manager will have a preference toward more “technical” job vs “commercial” one. At SWIFT, we have split the role in two with a Delivery Project Manager (facing IT) and a commercial Product Manager (facing Sales) and we have decided to group them from an organisation perspective all the delivery PM in one team and all the commercial PM in an other team. The benefit was to leverage the skills of those  product managers across the different products of the portfolio, have more consistency approach towards IT or Sales and more homogenous team. The challenge of such organisation has been quickly the creation of silos vs a business unit organisation where everyone focus on a specific market/product. We are still working on making more bridge between those silos. The second challenge was the perception of the job function of a delivery PM vs a commercial PM in a Marketing organisation. Clearly, the commercial PM has more visibility in terms of tangible achievement (Product launch – large win – press release …) vs delivery PM who is working in a back office environment type of work. The third challenge is the difficult position of the deliver PM who is under pressure from the Commercial PM to deliver more and faster and IT who has not always the right skills or bandwidth required.      

Pierre Blum is a dynamic senior manager with 20 years experience in the financial services industry, Business development, Product Management, Program Management, Back office integration, Professional Services and Customer Services.
Solid international experience and strong analytical skills. Able to quickly identify problems and successfully implement solutions.
Proven track record for recruiting and leading teams to deliver projects on time and on budget.
Ability to align in-depth knowledge of technology with sound business and commercial sense and strong people management skills
Team player, decisive and able to learn quickly.
Specialties: Financial services, Consultancy, Business development, Program Management, Product Management, Back office integration and Customer Services.