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Everything You Need To Know About Product Manager

Everything You Need To Know About Product Manager
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Sunday, May 16, 2021
product manager
Products are the lifeline of any business. Without products, there is no meaning of running a business. The sole purpose of any business is to provide products and services to the customer. But if there are no products to develop and services to offer, is there any meaning to start a business?

And here the role of the product manager becomes very important. The product manager's main role is to plan, develop strategies, and create products that the customers want and fulfill their needs and solve their problems.

The importance of product management is increasing rapidly since every business main goal is customer satisfaction. Providing quality products that fulfill their needs and requirements helps in satisfying the customers. It is the duty of the product managers to define what and when the product is to be built by the development team.

Let’s understand in detail about the product manager and product management.

What is Product Management?

Product management is a process of planning, forecasting, developing, and marketing a product throughout stages of the product life cycle. It also includes continuous improvement of the products. It guides the development team on how to develop a product that satisfies customers.

Product management reduces the risk of failure since it involves thorough research and planning about the product. It involves the best way to develop a product and promote it in the market.

Roles of a Product Manager

Product managers are responsible for developing a product. They are responsible for planning, developing, and marketing the product. They plan different strategies to develop products according to the customer’s requirements.

Let’s see some of the key roles of the product manager.

  1. Strategy
The product managers are responsible for planning short-term as well as the long-term vision of the product life cycle. They are the ones responsible for planning the development process that fits with the business model.

In this strategy phase, the product managers help team members to make strategic decisions that help in the product development phase. The product managers use different tools that help to simplify the planning process.

  1. Generate ideas
Another role of product managers is to generate ideas. The role of product managers is to develop ideas. But there may be more than one idea, so their job is to analyze those ideas and select the best idea that fulfills the requirement and fit with the business model.

  1. Features
Another role of the product managers is to analyze the features of the product. The product managers compare the features with the strategic goals and initiatives of the organization.

The product managers define the product’s features and instruct the development team to implement those features. They are involved in the development process so that the features are implemented properly.

  1. Product release
The product managers are also responsible for releasing the product. Before the release of the product in the market, the product managers test the product. If found any bugs and errors, the product managers tell the development team as soon as possible so the deadline is not missed.

The product managers must ensure that the product is free of bugs and ready to be launched in the market.

Other additional roles and responsibilities of the product managers are:

  1. Communication
The product managers must communicate with every stakeholder involved with the business and involved in the development of the product.

The product managers should communicate with the development team so that the product meets the objectives and requirements. They should inform superiors that the product is being built according to the company’s objectives. They should communicate with the marketing team to plan on marketing the product in the market.

  1. Market analysis
The product manager's job is to observe the market. The product managers identify the changes and trends in the market in order to adapt to the changes. The product managers must identify the customer needs and requirements.
market analysis
  1. Competitive analysis
The product managers collect information on competitors that threatens the existence of the organization. The product managers collect information on competitor’s products. Then, the product managers plan to create a unique product that outmatches the competitor’s products. They identify the strengths and weaknesses of the competitor’s products and use that information to create better products than the competitor’s.

  1. Customer needs definition
The product managers communicate with the customer and identify their needs and requirements. Then the product managers develop plans that define the customer’s needs and requirements. As a result, the development team develops the product as planned. So, the product managers should estimate cost and schedule the software development process.

  1. Requirements development
Once the product managers collect the necessary requirements from the customer, they must communicate those requirements properly to the development team. Additionally, the product managers must ensure that the product is being developed based on the customer's needs and requirements.

  1. Product roadmaps
The product managers define goals, milestones, and deliverables for product development. Every plan and strategy involved in the product development process is developed by the product managers.

Each phase of the development process must be documented and communicated to the development team, authority, and external stakeholders. The product roadmaps help us to know how the final product will look, its features and functionalities, and how a product will grow.

  1. Customer feedback
The product managers collect customer feedback, analyze information, and based on that information they improve the products. The product managers collect customer feedback from the initial version of the product and communicate those feedback to the development team. Such feedback helps to make the product better than before.

  1. Distributional channels
The product managers choose the best distribution channels. The cost, timing, and availability is communicated with the distribution channels by the product managers. They analyze the distribution channels and select the appropriate one. They select a new distribution channel if the negotiation fails.

  1. Pricing
The role of product managers is not limited to distribution channels pricing, but they look at every pricing related to the products. It includes product pricing, marketing cost, etc. They observe the market and based on the market trends, they define product pricing. They must plan for maximizing the profit of the organization when pricing the product.

  1. Promote product
The product manager's job isn’t limited to plan and develop the product and relax. Their roles go beyond the product development process. They must plan for launching the product in the market. They must develop marketing strategies to promote the product in the market and attract users to use the product. The product managers devise plans, implement them, and observe whether the marketing plans are going smoothly as planned or not.

  1. Monitor product results
The product managers monitor product performance after the release of the product in the market. They collect information regarding revenue, market share, profit, etc. They also collect feedback from the customers regarding the performance of the product.

  1. Management reporting
The product managers must provide regular reports to the authority. The product managers must report to the authority before and after the product development as well as after the product release. They must report about the development team, tools, and methodologies used in the development process, milestones and deliverables, product pricing, product marketing, and many more.

Even after the launch of the product, they must report about the market share, revenue, product performance, etc.

  1. Manage product lifecycle
The product manager's job starts from collecting customer specifications, development process to product launch, and product maintenance.

The product managers should revise every plan involved in the development process and the marketing process. They should improvise the plan, if necessary. They must observe the launched product, upgrade, and plan to discontinue when the time arises.

Product managers must again plan for the next product development process. This working cycle continues as long as the organization exists.

Pros of Becoming a Product Manager

The product managers are an important asset of any organization. They are the ones that devise the best plans for the organization in developing successful products. They are the ones that set visions, goals, and objectives for product development. Let’s see some of the benefits of becoming a product manager.
pros and cons of product manager
  1. Align market needs with organizational goals
The product managers ensure that the product is developed in such a way that fulfills the market needs. The product managers plan the best strategy that defines the organizational goals and objectives. The product must solve market problems as well as fulfills organizational goals and objectives. For this, they research the market closely, analyze the market needs and problems, and accordingly plan for the product development.

  1. Authority
The product managers have a certain authority that is delegated to them. They have the freedom to implement plans that do not violate the delegated authority. They monitor every activity starting from the product development process to product launching. But, they must not misuse their power and sincerely use delegated power for the betterment of the organization.

  1. Reduces the risk of product failure
The product managers devise plans that reduce the risks of product failure. They gather data from the market, analyze those data thoroughly, and select the best strategy that helps in successful product development. They observe every process closely to minimize the risk that may affect product performance. They ensure that the product development process is on the right track.

  1. Maximize the profit
One of the major benefits of becoming product managers is to maximize the organization's profit. They are the one that functions as a key role in developing the product.

Customer specifications, product features, product performance, product launch, product marketing, customer satisfaction, and product maintenance are the areas that they expertise on. Devising the plans that successfully addresses these areas help in maximizing the profit of the organization.

  1. Adapt to change
The product manager’s responsibility is also to observe the changes in the market and help the organization to take appropriate actions to adapt to change. The product managers observe the market trends and plan to implement suitable trends in the product development process.

Customers are also involved in the development process and this helps customers to change the requirement if needed. So, the product managers must implement the agile methodologies to implement the changes easily.

  1. Process becomes easier
The product managers help to simplify every process involved from the initial phase to the final phase of product development. They collect customer's needs and requirements that help the development team to start the development process. They analyze the market trends and accordingly devise plans to implement those trends in their product.

Product managers also choose the best agile methodologies to help the organization adapt to change. They are the one that plans to launch the product in the market. They also analyze the product performance that helps in further improvement of the product. In this way, the product managers help in simplifying every process.

Cons of Becoming a Product Manager

Becoming a product manager is not so easy as it sounds. The product managers face many challenges in the organization. Let’s see some of the disadvantages of becoming a product manager.

  1. Responsible for failure
The product managers and the development team become like a punching bag for the organization if the product fails to achieve its objectives and requirements. So, the product managers and their team must do their best in developing a product that meets its objectives and requirements. They must do their research and develop the product carefully. They must work carefully so that the image and reputation of the organization aren’t harmed.

  1. Tight schedule
Most of the product managers face the problem of a tight schedule. They must plan, start the development process, and launch the product within the scheduled time. But, sometimes errors and bugs may arise at the last moment and this may prevent the product from being completed. And within the planned schedule, the product managers and the development team must fix those errors and bugs.

  1. Limited resources
Another problem that the product managers face is they have to work with limited resources. The organization sometimes selects the development team and hand such team over to the product managers. This might create the problem of limited resources required for the product development process. The product managers have to work with the limited resources that they are provided. They have to develop the product with limited resources within the deadline.

  1. Sometimes, no freedom to choose a team
Sometimes, the product managers have to work with the development team provided by the organization. The choice of product managers is not considered sometimes. The product managers have to work hard to collaborate and communicate with the new team. It costs time to know the working style of the development team and sometimes have to compromise.

  1. High workload
As discussed already, product managers have many roles and responsibilities. In every development phase, the team changes but the product manager remains the same. For example, there is a development team for the development phase, the marketing team for marketing the product. But, product managers are there from the development phase to the marketing phase. They have to look after everyone and every activity. So, the product managers had to work harder than others. They have a high workload.

Characteristics of Product Managers

If you want to be a product manager then you need to have different characteristics such as leadership skills, communication skills, etc. Product managers play a key role in product development. So, product managers should have the following characteristics:
traits of product manager
  1. Leadership
The most important characteristic that the product managers should possess is leadership. They should be able to lead a team successfully. It is not easy to lead a team.

The product managers should understand the team members and their working style, behavior, and so on. They should build a good relationship with the team members so that they can trust each other.

Collaboration is important to make a product successful. For this to happen, the product managers should be capable enough to work with the team members and lead them successfully.

  1. Communication
Product managers must have great communication skills. The product managers should establish a communication channel so that collaboration and interaction with and between team members become easier.

The product managers should also interact with clients and should be able to convince them to use their services. Product managers should select the best distribution channels and marketing strategies. So, to make the product successful the product managers should be great communicators.

  1. Strategic thinker
The product managers are the ones who select the best possible strategy to make the product successful. The product managers need to understand the organization’s goals and objectives and must align market needs with the organization’s goals and objectives. They should understand the market needs and develop strategies that fulfill market needs. They should develop the product strategy that aligns with the organization’s strategy and maximize the overall profit.

  1. Teamwork
The product managers should know working alone cannot make a product successful. They should understand the value of teamwork and must be able to lead a team successfully. If a product fails due to the lack of teamwork, then the product managers should take responsibility. So, the product managers should develop team spirit within the team members to make the product successful.

  1. Trust
Being a product manager comes with many responsibilities and one of them is to build trust. The product managers should trust their team and vice versa. Without trust in the team, the communication fails, collaboration fails, and most importantly the product fails. Lack of trust not only affects an individual’s but also the team’s performance.

  1. Problem-solving
The problems may occur at any time at any place. The problems may occur before and after product development. The product managers should be ready to solve the problems that may arise as soon as possible. The product managers should have a problem-solving attitude. The product managers should be ready to solve problems as they might arise at any time.

  1. Empathy
The product managers should show empathy for team members, clients, and so on. They should be polite and gentle when communicating with clients, team members, and so on.

The product managers should show empathy for team members as they might face different problems. Product managers need to understand that they also need a balance between work and their daily life. The product managers should communicate with them and ask if they have any problems and solve their problems.

So, the product managers should show empathy for every person involved in product development.

  1. No bias or favoritism
One of the main problems in any organization can be favoritism and biases. This shows the ineffectiveness of product managers.

Favoritism can act as a double-edged sword, it may be good as well as dangerous. But the practice of favoritism and bias prevents a project from being successful. Sometimes, this develops a feeling of demotivation within the team. So, the product managers should be extra careful when working in a team. The project managers need to trust every team member and lead them successfully.

Importance of Product Management

Every product adds value to an organization. Products are the lifeline of any business as they play a vital role in an organization’s survival. And the product management comes in since it helps to make any product development process successful. Product management is very important for every organization since every organization’s goal is customer satisfaction and profit maximization. Let’s see some of the importance of product management.
importance of product manager

  1. Clearly defined expectations
Product management helps to define expectations clearly. The development team and other people involved may not know about the expectations and goals of the organization. So, the product managers define expectations and such expectations are clearly communicated to the team members and other people. The product managers should ensure that the process is going smoothly and every team member is working together as a team.

  1. Understand customer’s needs
The product managers communicate directly with the customers to know their needs and requirements. Product managers need to be in constant contact with customers. This helps to define the strategy for the product development process. The product managers should spend time with the customers to fulfill their needs and change strategy if the requirements change.

  1. Know your competitors’
Product management helps to know about the competitors’ that help to survive in the market. It helps you to price your product after knowing the competitor’s product price. It also helps in identifying the competitors in the market, their products and services, their pricing, marketing behavior, and so on. By analyzing this information, the product managers are able to develop product strategies.

  1. Product roadmap
Product roadmap is a summary of the product’s vision, goals, milestones, and deliverables. Product roadmaps help to develop product strategy. It helps to know what you are building and why you are building. The product roadmap helps to communicate the product’s vision and strategy to every member involved in the product development process. It helps to know where you are heading and helps in developing strategies to accomplish goals, milestones, and deliverables.

  1. Prioritize tasks
Product management helps to prioritize tasks. Different tasks must be completed to develop a product successfully. But, it is very difficult to manage all the tasks at the same time. So, product management helps to prioritize the tasks and responsibilities. The product managers can delegate each task and responsibilities to team members. This helps to simplify the product development process and complete a project before the deadline.

  1. Prototype
Once all the needs and requirements are collected from the customers, the product managers can work on developing the prototype of the product. The prototype helps to further understand the customer’s needs and requirements. The development team can improve the product based on the customer’s feedback.

The prototype helps to know what needs to improve, whether additional features need to be added or not, and so on. As a result, the product can be improved and different new features can be added to the product.

  1. Develop a plan
After identifying customer’s needs, understanding competitors, product roadmapping, prioritizing tasks, and developing a prototype, the product managers can develop a plan that aligns with market needs and the organization’s strategy. The product managers can develop and select the best strategy for the successful development of the product.

In Conclusion

Product management is required at each phase of the business. It helps to create a product that fulfills people’s needs and solve their problems. It helps to align the organization with the market and find opportunities for organizations to survive and remain at the top in the market.

Product management helps to understand customer needs and helps to develop a product that meets their needs and requirements. It also helps in receiving customers feedback that in turn helps to identify their needs, know what needs to be improved, what needs to be changed in the product and implement those changes in the product and improve the product.

So, we can say that the organization cannot exist without product management.

Hope this article helped you.
Kiran

Just a guy who loves traveling, cooking, and writing.