Back to Product Management

Talent Development

A critical function since the early days of technology, product management is assuming greater importance due to the rise of data in decision making, expanding focus on customers and design, and changes in software-development methodologies.
Despite their critical role, product managers often lack formal talent and career development programs. McKinsey helps companies fill this gap to build a world-class talent management program for product managers across four areas.

Clearly articulated leadership development model

Organizational enablers for continuous growth

Product Management Academy with tailored learning journeys

Strategic hiring program with top-management focus

Principles for the Product Management Academy

The Product Management Academy leverages key adult learning principles along with McKinsey’s experience in running top executive learning programs through McKinsey Academy. This program offers the training necessary for new graduates or employees transitioning from other functional roles into product management to develop contemporary product management skills. It has six key elements:

Tailored content

Customized learning journeys for critical transitions such as functional transitions (for example, engineering to product manager), career progressions, and capability shifts

Links to business contexts

Lessons grounded in day-to-day business outcomes and challenges

Reality-based situations

Learnings tied to participants’ organizational and personal needs that are applicable to everyday work

Deep capability building

Focus on critical behavioral changes (for example, underlying mind-sets and root perspectives) and existing obstacles to help transform work styles

Implementation plans

In-depth follow-ups to ensure that changes are sustained, such as feedback, coaching, and senior counseling on systems, processes, and structures

Quantifiable progress

Learning objectives tied to specific behavior changes from baseline to gauge improvements

Delivery format for McKinsey Product Management Academy

The McKinsey Product Management Academy is a customizable, capability-building program offered in various formats, depending on the needs of an organization. We have found it to be effective for both mature software companies and start-ups.
Sample forum-and-field based end-to-end learning journey
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at:

Connect with our High Tech Practice