Product Management, what is it, and why does it matter? It’s common to see Product Management mentioned in the news these days. Still, not everyone knows exactly what it entails or why it’s such an important position within businesses that market consumer-oriented products. This article aims to clarify the position of Product Management, what it looks like on the job, and why you should get involved with this fast-growing career field if you haven’t already.
All you need to know about Product Management
Product management is developing, bringing to market, and managing a product throughout its lifecycle. In this sense, Product Managers are entrepreneurs. They’re responsible for creating products that solve problems or deliver value to their customers, from ideation to engineering and everything in between. These responsibilities include analyzing customer needs and trends (and determining how those changes will affect their business), marketing strategy, finance, design, business development, quality assurance testing, and internationalization (making certain products can be sold across borders). The role can be pretty broad but typically includes responsibility for all aspects of delivering a quality product or service that efficiently creates customer value at a reasonable cost while meeting the needs of all stakeholders involved.
To do so, Product Managers have four primary areas of focus: Strategy & Planning, Customer Development & Engagement, Systems & Processes, and Project Management. Areas like customer-driven research or market analysis are integral parts of this role. And if you’ve ever been on a call with one, you know they’re listening closely to your feedback and concluding what your input means for the future of their product(s). Ask questions about how you use them now and where you see things going down the road to get ideas on how they could improve. All these points combined mean they might also be coming up with new features they want to release soon too!
Why is Product Management Important?
Product management is essential because it helps companies develop products that meet customer needs and wants. Additionally, product management can help improve a company’s bottom line by ensuring that products are developed efficiently and effectively. Companies also rely on the work of product managers to forecast how demand for their products will change over time.
Say you’re working at a children’s toy store and notice that one particular type of toy sales have been going down in recent months. If you don’t know anything about the role of PM in your company, then you might assume this means the toy has gone out of style or isn’t famous anymore with kids. But suppose you do know what product management is all about. In that case, you might realize this could mean an opportunity to introduce new toys into the market with more variety. Hence, kids have something else to choose from and an opportunity to provide more education on these toys to parents and customers alike.
Areas of Product Management
Product management is the process of bringing a product to market, including everything from market research and product development to packaging and pricing. There are two main areas of PM:
Strategic Product Management (creating an initial idea for a new product)
Tactical Product Management (executing the plan for a particular project)
Product managers work closely with designers, developers, marketers, sales teams, customers, executives and engineers to ensure that their products meet or exceed customer expectations while still meeting company objectives.
Life-Cycle Product Management
Product management is developing, bringing to market, and managing a product throughout its life cycle.
The role of product management has evolved as technology and markets have changed, but the core objectives remain the same: to create products that customers want and need and to do so profitably.
Product managers are critical in an organization, connecting the customer and the engineering team.
They are responsible for ensuring that the product meets customer needs, is profitable, and can be built by the engineering team.
To succeed, product managers must deeply understand the customer and the technology.
Product managers work with marketing, sales, operations, engineering and other departments within the company to define requirements; establish pricing and timelines; set customer expectations; monitor competitors’ moves; lead cross-functional teams. And ensure that every decision is aligned with corporate goals.
Project Management vs Product Management
Product management is the process of bringing a product to market, including everything from researching and developing the product to manufacturing and marketing it. On the other hand, project management is organizing and executing a project.
The difference between these two terms can be seen in their names – product management refers to managing the product, while project management refers to managing the processes.
Some tasks that would fall under product management include brainstorming what the final version of the product should look like, analyzing feedback from users, deciding how to market and sell the product, getting buy-in for new features from leadership, tracking bugs with customer service teams and QA teams, and making sure production deadlines are met.
Most people assume that all managers do project and product management, but this isn’t always true. A manager could specialize in one or the other depending on their experience.
If you’re unsure which type of manager you are yet (or if you want to be), here’s a quiz to help you figure out which path is right for you!
Skills to Thrive in Product Management
To be successful in product management, you need to have a few essential skills. Firstly, you need to think of the best strategies. This means seeing the big picture and understanding how your product fits into the larger market. It would help if you also communicated virtually. This means being able to explain your ideas clearly and persuasively.
Additionally, it would help if you were organized and detail-oriented. This means being able to keep track of all the moving parts of your product and making sure nothing falls through the cracks. Finally, you need to work well under pressure and handle ambiguity. This means being able to stay calm when things get chaotic and being able to make decisions even when there is not a clear, correct answer.
These are just some critical skills that a good Product Manager needs to thrive in their role. These are complex skills for many people, but with time and experience, they can be learned.
Companies Hiring Product Managers
A product manager is responsible for a product’s strategy, roadmap, and features. They work with cross-functional teams to bring products to market. Successful product managers profoundly understand their customers, the market, and the competitive landscape. If you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career, consider becoming a product manager. Here are some companies that are hiring product managers.
- Airbnb – San Francisco, CA
- Amazon – Seattle, WA
- Apple – Cupertino, CA
- Facebook – Menlo Park, CA
- Google – Mountain
- View, CA
- Ripple Labs Inc. –
- San Francisco Bay Area