Product management is an important organizational role that involves creating a balance between what users want with the product, and what is technically possible and keeping delivering value to the company as well. It is an intersection of business, product development, user experience, and marketing.
"Good product managers take full responsibility and measure themselves in terms of the success of the product."
These words from the classic Ben Horowitz and David Weiden memo "Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager" epitomize product management and what companies continue to expect from their product leaders today.
Project management is defined as a role in a product development team that foresees the successful execution of a product’s lifecycle.
This process includes:-
Identifying and prioritizing potential products and services.
Formulating visions for these services accordingly.
Working with the customers to fulfill their high-level needs and serve the purpose of the product.
Managing functional dependency between services and identifying them.
Marketing the product to potential users.
Constantly monitor the market to identify future user needs.
What is Product Management?
"The success of a product depends upon its product management."
Without a product manager, a group of developers will have difficulty explaining the various aspects of a product and how it serves varied interests that exist across different organizations.
"A product manager serves as the intersection of business leaders, user experience teams, and engineering teams and links them with the shared product vision."
A product manager serves as the intersection of business leaders, user experience teams, and engineering teams and links them with the shared product vision.
Product v/s Project Management
It is very common for people to misunderstand a Project Manager with a Product Manager. Both even have the initials "PM" in them as well. But the roles of both are different in many ways as:-
Prioritizing user needs and products.
Adding new features to an existing product.
Research is an important aspect.
Breaking down the work into different segments.
Defining the vision of the product.
Updating the product with newer versions.
Working with sales and users to meet their expectations.
They need to work on designated projects and improve as per the given feedback.
A product manager aims to give out maximum quality while keeping the risks minimum.
A project manager aims to finish an assigned task under a given deadline with the given resources.
Types of product management roles
There can be different types of product managers required for a particular service like-
Data Product Manager
Data product managers create use cases with the help of business analytics teams and data scientists that organizations use to measure the success of new projects.
For example- Organizations like Flipkart reduce the prices of products on occasions like Diwali which benefits the organizations in different aspects of the market.
2. Growth Product Manager
This role fundamentally aims to extend the reach of the product by taking different initiatives in the market.They do short-term experiments that help them analyze the market for the product.
For example- Spotify has been giving out its premium content for free for the first 3 months so that the user gets to know more about the product without paying.
This kind of initiative attracts users and helps the organization gain popularity among customers.
3. Technical Product Manager
This role helps improve the core functionality of a product and works with the developers hand in hand. A background in engineering is required for this role. They are dedicated to ensuring that the foundation of the product is solid.
For example- If the software runs but takes a lot of time to load its contents, a technical product manager identifies the bottlenecks in the core functionality of the bootuprocesses.
What does a Product Manager do?
The roles and responsibilities of a product manager vary from product to product.
However, the following fundamental tasks are critical in improving a product’s development lifecycle:-
A product manager analyzes the needs of the users and the status of the market since the primary focus of a product manager is the end-user. Gathering information about the user's needs and analyzing product-market fit is of the utmost importance to a product manager.
2. Defines Roadmap, Product Requirements, And Success-
Working with project management teams, each new product build will be divided into various incremental steps that will be carried out over a set period based on available resources.
3. Tests and prototype launches-
After a minimum amount of work has been done on a product to make it functional, some versions are launched to test the market and analyze how users are reacting to the product. Product managers are responsible to identify any errors that may arise during the launch of the product.
4. Analyze results-
After the successful launch of a product, the product managers use different tools to create reports and present results that meet the expectations set beforehand in the research phase.
How to start a career in Product Management?
Product management is a career that caters to a wide range of backgrounds and skillsets. It is a great option for those who are interested in technology.
Some of the skills needed for a Product manager are:-
A user-friendly mindset is important to understand the pros and cons of the product. Product management is ultimately about human beings. So, being in tune with the needs and desires of users are the grounds for bringing a product into the market successfully.
Product managers convey the vision across different teams. They do not have authority over them. They must rely on influence and persuasion and lead an example to keep everyone focused.
3. Creative problem-solving skills
A product manager should be a problem solver for both end-users and their organization. Solving difficult problems in a grip is an excellent quality of a product manager.
A product manager leads several teams together and shares a common vision among them. Collaborative nature is required since you will be connected virtually to almost everything a company does. The ability to listen, understand, and communicate what is important back and forth is essential.
5. Self Management
The responsibilities of a Product manager can vary every day. You'll need a level head, the ability to work under pressure, and a clear sense of your own and the company's priorities. Prioritization skills can make or break a successful product launch.
The role of product management means several things to several people. It's all about diversity. The role mainly comprises developing the product's strategy and communicating it with the people, may it be stakeholders or the users, or the internal teams within the company. Then, they make sure all the decisions that take the product into a corner are taken.