What is a Platform Product Manager?

What is a Platform Product Manager?

Platform product managers are expected to develop and manage the product road map including building a proof-of-concept, testing direct and cross-platform engagement. They are also expected to build strategic roadmaps with a sophisticated understanding of interdependencies between evolving technology changes, market demands, partner motivations, and regulatory challenges.  

These positions typically require strong technical skills concerning how to build and operate digital systems (cloud, APIs, advanced data analytics and high-volume datasets).  They also require an understanding of platform economics and, for more senior positions, experience running platforms at scale.  Finally, the posts consistently require the managerial skills needed to work across functions in within their organizations as well as engage and set the correct incentives for the ecosystem of complements that create value for the platform and its partners.

One example is a role posted by CVS, which has launched several platform initiatives as part of a multi-billion-dollar digital transformation to better engage and serve millions of customers. The company recently posted a position for a Senior Director B2B Digital Product Management – Rx Platform.  The positioned called for, in part, the ability to “Set the B2B platform strategy, vision and roadmap for Pharmacy features; make investment decisions, in partnership with senior business leaders, to connect the roadmap to business value drivers; [and], engage and inspire internal and external business partners."

Relevant Articles

McClean, Wendy-Lynn, "Platform Products: The Key to Success is (still) the User," Medium, May 3, 2019.

Jenkins, Wyatt, "Making the Shift to Platform Product Management," Medium, April 8, 2016.

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