Product Manager: What is it, Roles and Responsibilities
- Product managers are one of the most in-demand, fastest-growing jobs on the market.
- Glassdoor ranked product managers as the #3 most desirable job in America for 2021.
- The average salary for product managers in the US is $111 868 ( refer to our Product Manager salary guide).
- The number of product managers in the US grew by 32% between August 2017 and June 2019.
It doesn’t matter if you want to be a digital product manager as a career or just starting out in your career, it is important to know the roles and responsibilities of product managers and how you can become one.
Understanding your stakeholders, product development lifecycle, business goals, digital transformation, user experience, and other factors is essential. Let’s look at what you can expect as a Product Manager.
What is a Product Manager?
Product managers are responsible for identifying the customer needs and larger business goals that a product or feature will satisfy. They also articulate what success looks like for a product and rally a team to make that vision a reality. I have a deep understanding of the role of product manager after spending 10 years studying product management.
It is not difficult to understand what a product manager does. This confusion likely stems from the fact that the role has been around for a while. Product managers, unlike those who are more experienced in crafts like engineering and design, can still be segmented by their specialization.
Also read: The 5 Qualities of A Successful Data Scientist
Roles and Responsibilities
The digital product manager is responsible for prioritizing a product’s release and product cycle As well as for coordination of all processes necessary to get a product on the market.
- Identifying all stakeholders, internal and external.
- Determining metrics for success
- Customer feedback collected and interpreted
- Determining product features
Product managers must be able to cross any lines between the company teams working on a product, and its final trip to release. A product manager who is successful will be able to create strong cohesion between cross-functional teams. This could include the product team and engineering team as well as the sales and customer support teams.
To achieve this goal, a product manager must develop product roadmaps and determine the overall product strategy, product vision, and features that will be included in the product’s lifetime.
Parts of Product Manager Role
Digital product managers have multiple job responsibilities. This means they must wear many hats. Let’s look at some of the hats a product manager must wear to be successful.
1. Product Specialist
Product managers are expected to be market and product specialists. They are expected to be knowledgeable about the product and industry. The role requires them to know the customers, as well as the market and competition. Product managers are experts in their field.
A product manager must:
- Be able to understand the product roadmap and overall strategy
- You will be able to prioritize which features from the backlog will be added to the product
- Understanding the customer’s needs and being able to interpret their feedback
2. Business Specialist
Although product managers are not CEOs they can still act as CEOs of the product in development. They are able to manage the entire process including budgets and ensure that the company makes a profit. They should have strong business skills and industry knowledge and be able to blend them to get the best product outcome.
A product manager must:
- Understanding the stakeholders involved in the product (internal and externe)
- Understanding the key metrics that will determine the product’s success
- Do market research to gain a deeper understanding of the business trends and competition.
Product managers are expected to be leaders. This doesn’t mean that you have to be able to give orders. Product managers should be able to support and guide people as part of their skills and0 build strong teams throughout the production process.
A product manager must:
- To ensure that all members of the team are on the same page, coordinate cross-functional teams
- Use strategic thinking and the guidance of the product team to make decisions
- To ensure a strong product vision, work with the product team and the engineering team. Customer support is also important.
The fourth area in which product managers play a role is operations. They must be able to manage both the small and large details of a product’s management. You can learn how operations work so you know what to do and who to delegate it to ensure everything runs smoothly.
A product manager must:
- Get a better understanding of the product backlog
- Understanding the development process of the product is important.
- While product managers won’t be coding alongside developers, they will work closely with engineers to make sure they understand the product.
Also read: What is Data Engineering? Required Skills and Tools
Key Product Manager Responsibilities
The responsibilities and roles of product managers are varied and extensive. This role requires a strong business and production background. These are just a few of the responsibilities.
1. Establishes Product Vision and Roadmap
This is done by using the vision of your company and the desired product outcome to create a product roadmap and an overall product strategy in order to achieve the goals and vision.
Collecting and interpreting c is essential in setting the product vision. Cross-functional teams are also required to help determine the future direction of the product. This includes looking through the product backlog to determine and prioritize the new features that will be included in the product.
2. Analyzes Customer Needs
Product managers have responsibilities that include identifying, gathering, managing, and prioritizing customer needs and wants. A successful product requires a thorough understanding of the market. They must understand the reasons customers purchase products and what is happening in the market.
Product managers must participate in customer interviews in order to gather customer feedback. They also need to interpret the customer’s needs. This allows them to both take what customers say as a whole and draw conclusions from their feedback. The product manager will collaborate closely with customer support to identify key pain points that the product is not solving. How to respond to customer feedback.
3. Be a Champion
Product managers have the responsibility of advocating for customers. The product manager should advocate for the customer’s needs if there are any issues in ensuring that the product targets the market correctly. Engineers can think this way all the time. Customers will understand what they have created as a solution without any further guidance.
Product managers who are successful will be able to point to customer feedback in order to decide whether they deliver the best customer experience. Product managers will ensure that business goals are always in mind. They also play an important role in decision-making to ensure that customers’ needs are met.
4. Get Together
Product management involves many players. The product manager must ensure that sales, engineering, marketing, and customer service work together to achieve the business case and customer goals.
Product managers must be able to manage cross-functionality and ensure that teams work together effectively. To ensure everyone is on the same page regarding the product vision, it is important to establish strong communication guidelines.
5. Test Programs
Product managers will be responsible for managing the pilot and beta programs as the product moves closer to its final stage. They will also review all work completed and ensure that the product meets customer expectations. As needed, supervise iterations of the product.
To do this, a product manager must be familiar with an agile framework in order to receive quick feedback and adjust as needed. Product managers will need to be able to understand the successes of pilot programs and interpret customer feedback. How to improve the product in future iterations.
6. Act As An Innovator
Product management is responsible for creating new business cases and making improvements to existing products. That has been successfully produced and are looking for new business ventures.
A product manager should see themselves as the CEO of the product, as previously mentioned. Product managers can find out if customers have any needs that can be met through constant user research. Or if a completely new product would be a better idea.
Also read: What Skills Required to Become A Supply Chain Manager
Product managers are responsible for providing complete documentation and reporting. This includes market needs docs, business cases, and product maps to name just a few.
Other tools such as competitor analysis, product comparisons, and case studies may be required. The product manager role will also include documentation for presentations and data sharing.
Product managers need to tell stories and use metrics and data to communicate customer needs effectively.
How Product Managers Play Roles in Different Companies
The product manager role is relatively new. There isn’t a consensus about what it is. However, best practices have emerged over the years.
A product manager’s role in one company may not be the same as a product manager’s at another. A startup will likely have a product manager who has many responsibilities and is able to wear many hats. However, a larger company might be more focused on product roles.
These specialized roles can include product owners and technical product managers.
Want To Become A Product Manager?
There are many roles and responsibilities that you must fulfill, whether your goal is to be a product manager or if you are just starting out in this position.
Digital product manager skills are required. You also need to have a background in the product and business. Knowledge and skills required include product production knowledge, written and oral communication skills, and soft skills. Many people are interested in this job or have already been in it. However, not all have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Some have additional training and certifications in product marketing and business.
Product managers can provide a platform for advancement to executive positions. The position offers a great opportunity to learn more about engineering and development teams. Your chances of moving up will increase the more you learn and grow.