Quick Introduction to product management

Estimated reading time: 3 min

Introduction

Product management is a crucial function of any organization or company building new products or updating existing ones. It can include planning, forecasting, and pricing. We can say that it is the way to organize the planning, production, marketing, and other tasks related to the creation and distribution of a product. It involves the coordination of teams, data, processes, business systems, and more.

Role of a Product Manager

Product managers have a variety of functions and roles. The product management function can be hub of many activities around the product. Product management bridges the gaps within the company between teams of different departments. For example, product managers can translate business objectives that are set for products by Marketing or Sales into engineering requirements. Product managers deal with many teams without direct authority over resources managing operational tasks. 

In most technology companies, most product managers are versed in many skills including programing, IT, UX, UI, sales process and more. At the end of the day, the product manager is the focal member of the organization who is ultimately responsible for making business decisions about her product. PMs create product strategies that solve user challenges and drive revenue. They drive their roadmap to build products users love.

Responsibilities

Product managers wear many hats. The responsibilities of a product manager include performing market and competition analysis, development of the product strategy, and executing with different teams to get the product shipped on time. They are responsible for managing products across the organization.

Product management requires a significant understanding of company products, market, competitors, customers and prospects.

Product managers perform different roles in the organization. Which can be external like gathering of customer research and competitive intelligence, product marketing responsibilities and launching new products as well as making sure their product is adopted.

Internally, Product Managers are responsible for product planning as well as execution throughout the Product Lifecycle. They gather and prioritize product features and customer requirements. They make sure that priorities are in line with the company’s strategy, vision and help to reach sales goals and delight customers.

At the end of the day, product managers are responsible for ensuring the success of products.

How do you become a product manager?

Product managers came from different backgrounds. Now there are product management training courses and even product management courses. You don’t have to go to school to become a product manager. Here are some tips that can help you to see if product management career is right for you.

Skills of Product Managers

Product managers interact with many people, so it will be important to sharpen your soft skills and communication skills to successfully interact with your stakeholders. They should have the ability to express their business case, features, roadmap or anything related to their goals in order to successfully engage other teams to build and launch products. Moreover, the product manager should have the ability to talk to the customers and she should have the best convincing ability. She should know how to sell the new products and she should know when to delegate. She should be able to support and influence the other people in other department as well as in her organization. There is a need for a variety of skills for product managers. They should be innovative, thoughtful, and organized. They should have a focus on the needs of customers and a strategic vision. They should work to align and drive action. They need might require technical skills, they can design the UX designs to build the wireframes and mockups.

Tools

Product managers touch many areas of the business, hence are using many tools used by other organizations as a contributor or using different tools for managing the product. Product managers use presentation decks, and general project management software for the most part. However, this doesn’t scale, more and more product managers are using dedicated product management software that helps them with managing roadmaps, capture ideas, and prioritize features. There are a wide variety of tools are available to make product management easier. The goal of any of these tools is to help product managers build products based on market data. eProduct is such a tool, it is an Evidence-based product management solution to manage the full product lifecycle from ideation to launch. It helps product managers understand their customers’ needs, prioritize these needs based on evidence, and then drive the execution to deliver on what customers need and release on time.

History of product management

The concept of product management was created in 1930s by Proctor & Gamble. Modern product management was started in 1931 with a memo written by Neil H. McElroy at Procter & Gamble. He started to hire more people to do this function. Product ownership is the main concept of product management as McElroy explained.

Career of Product Management

Product managers have such a pivotal role within the organization engaging with many teams and touching many areas of the business. They can advance their careers to many paths. It is common for product managers to follow career paths into general management or functional management roles. A senior product manager can share some responsibilities as the product manager but on a higher level. Senior Product managers have a solid background in product management and manage junior product managers. Many product managers are now in C level taking responsibility of full business units or the whole organization as a CEO.

Next: Product Manager vs. Project Manager