While searching for appropriate designations in a software development organization---not your typical outsourcing man-hour based company---I was wondering what could possibly be a "good title" for a person who looks after development of multiple products. While one can always come up with stuff like "VP Engineering," I was more interested in the lowest place in an org-chart where someone can manage development of multiple products. I, myself, could come up with only "Software Development Manager Product Line A" or "Group Development Manager Product Line B."
A quick search on the Internet led me to a slightly out-dated organizational chart of Microsoft. There are a few interesting things to observe:
- The titles for managing development of multiple products in a single product line include CTO, Vice President, Director, General Manager and finally PUM (Product Unit Manager). I guess Product Unit Manager fits nicely to what I had in my mind.
- There are some high profile people who don't fit in the hierarchy and MS calls them "Distinguished Engineer"---interesting! That further strengthens the idea that a strong engineer does not equal a good manager; so you can promote the engineer while somehow not giving him a team.
On a closing note, my search also led me to cogmap.com, which has a sort-of-wiki of org charts of some famous organizations. There is always some fresh, interesting concept out there! Check this org-chart of Google.