Product management is the process of using data to bring a product to market and overseeing its success once it’s released. Product managers are responsible for defining the product vision and strategy, leading cross-functional teams to develop and launch the product, and measuring and analyzing product performance.
The role of a product manager typically includes several different skill sets. Each company will have its own way of defining what a product manager does on a daily basis, but overall the core responsibilities of a product manager are as follows.
Developing a product vision and strategy
Product managers are responsible for understanding the market and customer needs and using that knowledge to create a clear vision for the product. They also develop a detailed plan for how to achieve that vision, including setting goals, identifying target customers, and determining the product’s key features.
Leading cross-functional teams
Product managers are communication hubs, jack of all trades, they need to know about a lot of things and somethings a huge amount about very certain areas. Product managers work with teams of designers, engineers, marketers, stakeholders, executives, legal personnel, investors, sales representatives, and more to bring the product to market. They are responsible for coordinating and communicating with these teams to ensure that the product is developed on time, within budget, and to the required quality level.
Conducting market research & working with customers
Product managers are responsible for understanding the target market and customer needs, and for staying up-to-date with the latest trends and competition. This includes conducting market research, talking to customers, and analyzing data to identify opportunities for the product.
An important skill for product managers is being able to see through a customer’s requirement and figures out what feature they really need. Often times a customer requests a feature for a product that will end up causing turmoil within the product. A great product manager works with the customer to determine the root cause of their request and solves their problem.
Defining product features
Product managers are responsible for determining what features the product should have and how they should be implemented. They work with designers and engineers to create wireframes, mockups, and prototypes, and they use customer feedback to make decisions about what features to include in the final product. More information on this here – Defining Product Features
Managing the product development & launch
Most likely you have heard the term Roadmapping which is an outdated method of tracking the development of a product. Nowadays product managers use a method called Objects and Key Results (OKRs) to manage the development process. This is a tool product managers use to set mini goals for their product and provide the freedom/flexibility for their team to complete them. More information on this here – Roadmaps V OKRs
Product managers are also responsible for planning and executing the product launch. This includes coordinating with marketing and sales teams, creating launch materials, and overseeing the roll-out of the product.
Measuring and analyzing product performance
Product managers are responsible for tracking the product’s performance once it’s released. They use metrics such as the HEART or AARRR metric framework. HEART stands for Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention, and Task Success while AARRR stands for Acquisitions, Activation, Retention, Referral, and Revenue. Both frameworks provide vital information for the product manager on the success of their product. They also use this information to make decisions about how to improve the product over time.
Product management is a challenging role that requires a wide range of skills, including strategic thinking, leadership, communication, and problem-solving. It’s also a role that’s constantly evolving, as product managers must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in order to be successful.
Product managers are responsible for defining the product vision and strategy, leading cross-functional teams to develop and launch the product, and measuring and analyzing product performance. A product manager must have a mix of skills, including strategic thinking, leadership, communication, and problem-solving and keep themselves updated with the latest trends and technologies in the market.
Most importantly, product management is a mindset. A product manager improves existing products and creates new products through data and makes the best decision based on the available information. They think about concepts in a deeper way and are always wrong until they can prove it through data.