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Internal Product Management

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What is internal product management?

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Internal Product Management Definition

Internal product management involves various processes within the company. Employees of the company become the consumers/users of the internal product management. This process is designed to improve the company’s inside processes and is expected to result in improved worker efficiency and lower cost.

Internal vs. external product management

Internal product management works on products for customers or end-users. And internal product management works on products for employees within their company. Internal product management aims to improve and maintain the processes within the company. 

Additionally, internal and external product managers have different relationships with stakeholders. Unlike external management, where you build a great product for customers, you work to increase efficiency and reduce costs in internal management. This leads to more communication with senior management.

What does an internal product manager do?

Internal product managers build products to satisfy internal users. Internal PMs ultimately aim to help people in their company work more efficiently by applying product management techniques to internal platforms. Internal product managers need to evaluate how workers use programs and methods and watch for any future problems. Such tools usually operate workflows and processes that employees leverage in their everyday work.

Internal product managers make an average of $100,495 per year.

Internal product manager challenges

Internal product managers have a unique job, so they face a handful of unique challenges, including:

  1. They need to explain the value of their work to upper management. Since internal product management doesn’t generate direct revenue, it can be a harder sell than external product management.

  2. Internal products don't have a marketing team, so it’s up to internal product managers to spread the word.

  3. Stakeholders’ demands don’t always align with internal product management solutions, so you need to balance their requests with your plans.

  4. It’s easy to deviate from the product strategy. It becomes easy to forget about initially planned development if you get overwhelmed by requests, bug/support issues, and user stories. 

Internal enterprise product management - examples

You can apply internal product management to a handful of internal products. These products are usually based on digital processes and aren’t sold. 

Here are a few examples:

  • Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

  • Claims Administration tools

  • Event Registration Systems 

  • Membership systems

  • Accounting systems

  • Corporate websites

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General FAQ

What is internal vs. external management?
Internal management refers to internal processes, workflows, and tools that assist employees in their everyday work, while external management focuses on a company’s customers.
What is the internal product manager's salary?
Internal product managers make around $100,495 per year, usually including $90,598 as base pay and $9,897 as additional pay.

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