The Product Management Audit: Design and Survey Findings

John A. Quelch, Paul W. Farris, James Olver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In many companies, product managers are under increasing time pressure. They are generalists in a marketing world that is increasingly specialized and complex. There are more tasks to perform, more specialist skills to acquire, more fires to fight, and less time for thinking and strategic planning. If their general management skills are to be used effectively, product managers must be able to focus their time on the tasks that exploit these skills and help their businesses to grow. The product management audit surveys product managers on how they actually spend their time and how they would ideally spend it to really build their businesses. Data from the audit can help to establish time allocation priorities for product managers and uncover potential time allocation problems before they become critical. We will first review the changes in the marketing environment that are putting pressure on the product management system. Second, we will show how any consumer, industrial, or service company can conduct a product management audit to find out how product management personnel are spending their time and why, and how satisfied they are with their jobs, the support provided, and rewards they are receiving. Third, we will illustrate the type of data that the audit can generate and present key findings from responses to audit surveys by over 300 product management personnel from 20 strategic business units in six Fortune 500 consumer goods companies. Finally, we will explain how one multidivision packaged goods company used an audit to identify problems within its product management organization and determine the actions needed to correct them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-34
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Product & Brand Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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