Jr, Mid-level and Senior, what is the difference in Product Management?

Hello, Launch community!
I’d love to hear your insights on this matter, what is the maturity level you’d consider to place a professional as Junior, Mid-level or Senior?
What skills/responsibilities/supervision do you expect on each level?

I’d love your input!

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Hi Henrique,

I watched a great (but unfortunately internal) talk by a Google PM recently where he shared a slide entitled “Establishing Great: PSHE” which covered this topic. I wish I could find a link to an external version, but I’m unable to right now. All credit goes to this unnamed Google PM, but I’ll summarize the takeaways.

PSHE stands for Problem, Solution, How, and Execution. It’s the Y axis on the chart below. Along the X axis are Scope categories, including feature, feature group, product sub area, multiple product sub areas, product, and product line. You can think of PM advancing from junior to senior and higher along these lines. I’ve illustrated in the chart below what that might look like.

Here’s a brief outline using Junior, Mid-level, and Senior bands (which will vary per company/context)

  • Junior: at this level you’re more focused on execution for one or a group of features. The problem is defined for you as is the overall solution and how to execute on it. As you progress in the junior band, you start to focus more on how to execute better, growing collaboration, management, and other related soft skills.
  • Mid-level: at this level, you’ve executed multiple features or feature groups, have honed your skills for how to execute, and are scaling up your impact to whole sub areas of a product or multiple sub areas. You begin to focus on identifying and clarifying high-level solutions from which feature and feature groups are derived.
  • Senior: at this level, you’ve moved to defining entire solution areas and discovering new customer problems which may lead to entire new solution areas. You can deal with and work through significantly more ambiguity which is required for problem and solution identification.

Beyond senior, I think the evolution continues into two dimensions: (1) growing others around you to be great product managers as they evolve along the journey in the graph above; and (2) growing business and revenue impact, e.g., discovering and defining entirely new markets and product lines and driving others to execute on those to profitability.

I hope that helps!

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I appreciate your feedback Brendyn!

I’m currently in a Junior position and I’m trying to drop the training wheels and move to a mid-level.

As I like to treat my career as a product, I’m trying to discover what features I should work on myself to be able to move my career.

If I may inquire further, is there any hard skill set that should be mastered before moving? As I find soft skills are pretty much experience and refining, it takes time to hone, but hard skills are something that can be worked on from the early stages and they are more immediate.

Right now I’m working on my Discovery process, trying to make it continuous and scalable, I figured I should master Roadmapping, Grouping Features, and making clear and precise documentation so the dev team can follow, is there anything else I might’ve missed?

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