3 Tips for the Successful Internal Product Manager

To begin, what is an ‘internal product manager?’ An product manager is someone who manages the backlog of work for a team. They prioritize what needs to be done, gather the requirements, deeply understand the customer, and ensure the highest value things are being done. The internal product manager is specifically a PM who’s customers are within the company. It comes with a unique set of challenges and differences than the traditional PM that most literature and training focuses on, in that typically most material on PMs is focused on those with customers outside the company. I spend my 9 to 5 (or really 7 to 4) as a product manager inside a large organization for a tool we technically don’t need to sell because people don’t really have a choice in the matter of what to use. Management decides for them — for this aspect of your job, use this tool. So I don’t need to go out and evangelize my product, right? Well, yes and no, but I’ll save that for a different day. This article is going to focus on 3 tips for the internal product manager.

1. You still need to know your customer

2. You still need to advocate for your tool

3. Allow your customers to provide direction

Product Manager and Coach