As I worked toward my Certified Usability Analyst (CUA) credential and especially since I became a CUA, I am often asked whether I am moving the direction of my career from Product Management to User Experience. Part of me thinks that maybe I am reaching one of those points in my career where I can take one direction vs. another, but another part of me also believes that I should not have to choose between UX and PM.
User Experience (UX) is a part of good Product Management (PM). A product designed without thought to user experience or usability is less likely to be a truly good product. A truly successful product will be one that keeps the end user in the forefront of the product process from concept to launch.
I enjoy the creative process involved in UX, but ultimately, I am a pragmatist instead of an idealist. I have to be the realist when no one else will. As the product manager, I hold responsibility for the overall success, including the user experience. I am ultimately accountable for decisions and execution, instead of recommendations. I have to play a very diplomatic role of managing conflicting ideas and priorities while making progress and getting things done. I need to be the uber-collaborator — to sweat the details, coordinate everything that goes into a successful product, communicate/champion/evangelize internally and externally, and still keep an eye out on the big picture.