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Is it a good move in a career from a Product Owner to become a Technical Product Manager?

Top 3 questions to ask yourself while deciding a career move

This is totally dependent on what you want from your new role and future career progress. There are 3 things you need to explore:

1. What are your strength areas? – If you are thinking to become a technical product manager, then you should be comfortable with the technical side of product management, that would include working on technical products, APIs, Integrations, Data transfer, Data Audit etc. And these products might be SaaS products that have minimal User interface or User journeys. You would also have to be adept at communicating with the software engineering team at a greater depth while discussing technical solutions – which goes a level deeper than just explaining user stories. If this is your strength area, then there are many technical products that could use your expertise.

2. What do you want to do in future? – Do you see yourself working in this field for a few years? This is because gaining expertise and building that experience will need investment of time. Do you see yourself working on such technical-driven products or your interest lies with more customer-driven products? The technical products also serve the end customers eventually, but the difference lies in the ‘Driver’ behind the product’s strategy and its roadmap.

3. What do you love to do? – At the end of the day be it a role of Product manager or Product Owner or Technical product manager – you need to be happy working in that role. Both the roles have immense potential to do great work, there are amazing companies in various verticals to work for. The Technical product manager role would probably be in companies operating in Fintech, Banks, Big Data, Payments, SaaS sectors. While the general Product manager role is applicable to more companies across Publishing, Fashion, Analytics, Online recruitment, Retail, Travel etc.

And the best part is that it is not a One-way street – at least in my opinion. A capable technical product manager is always welcome in the normal product manager roles, in case you want to make a shift later in your career. Also, if you want to switch to a technical product manager role in a certain industry, you wouldn’t have ‘Missed the last bus’ – even if you chose to shift in future. You might have to study, brush up your technical skills etc., but as I said, it’s not a one-way street. So, explore your answers to the 3 points above and make a decision and go for it!!

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Onkar Singh Lohtham

Founder & CPO | Lead Trainer | Digital Skills Mastery

Onkar is one of the most innovative and experienced agile practitioners and trainers in the world. He has helped organisations build £multi-million products/services & win awards. His passion lies in training on ‘how to’ implement unique road map & commercial strategies, manage complex backlogs and lead multi-product agile teams from inception to launch.

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