A career in Product Management has been booming for people in the tech industry. Be it fintech, EdTech, or crypto, and product manager opportunities are abundant. To become a product manager, you must be good with collaborating with people, crunching numbers, and technical knowledge, it will rain job offers. If you're keen on pursuing a career in product management, you should be well-aware of the roles and responsibilities of product manager to be able to perform the tasks as efficiently as possible.
Who is a Product Manager?Product Manager is a role in Product Management that defines the role as a strategic to Product and is market driving. The Product Manager connects the business strategy, design, and Product potential to the user's needs to build a relevant, feasible, and valuable product to its customers. This role is named differently in different available Agile frameworks.
This role focuses on optimizing the Product's value to attain the business goals and user needs while maximizing the returns on the investments.
Roles and Responsibilities of Product ManagerProduct Manager aspirants don't have clarity regarding the roles and responsibilities of a Product Manager. Therefore, it is essential to understand the job nature of a product manager so that there's no ambiguity and misconceptions. Here's a list of the Product Manager's roles and responsibilities-
- Analyzing and deciding the ideas - Collects data to brainstorm ideas for new products and features, including archiving ideas and choosing the ones to work on
- Market Research - Analyzes market data and competition to determine how to create better products that have a competitive advantage
- Product Strategy -
- Sets the product vision, product roadmap, product planning, and product positioning
- Draft, maintain, and edit the product/product line strategy and release schedules
- Explains the product vision to the product marketing and sales teams to gain market share
- Requirements Management - Writes the product requirements for the engineering and customer support teams to develop new products or improve existing ones
- Product Operations and Executions -
- Maintains equilibrium between customer needs and stakeholder-defined restrictions
- Monitors product performance in the market
- Manages the product development lifecycle
- Keeps the customers in the loop for their feedback to improve the Product
- Represents the Product and the team members in front of the management
- Product Quality - Oversees quality and testing to see product bugs are fixed to ensure improvements
- Coordinates with various stakeholders for product launch
Skills Required to Become a Product Manager Becoming good at any profession requires unique skill sets. Product Management is no different. Here is a list of the skills needed to become a Product Manager-
1. Basic business acumen: A product manager needs to be well aware of the business basic terms that are important for the business. They don't have to be a degree in finance or business, but just the working knowledge would suffice. For example, they should know the difference between profit and revenue, cash flow, budgeting, P&L account, and balance sheet. As a product manager, one should monitor the details of the product development process. You should be aware of the factors that affect product development, however trivial it may seem.
2. Product Management Expertise: Product Management is a pool of knowledge, but knowing frameworks, processes, and methodologies will help you excel as a Product Manager. Product Management involves research (market and user), strategy, funding and budgeting, product development and operation, pricing, launch, communicating plans, coordinating the development, and reflecting on feedback and data analysis. Agile, Scrum, and SAFe are popular frameworks that support the process and tools for Product Management.
3. Prioritize according to business value: As a Product Manager, one must practice saying 'No' to many desires. Only requests that meet customer needs and offer business value should be prioritized. Since a product manager is an interface between engineering, marketing, sales, and design teams, you must say no to many wishes, even at the cost of antagonizing yourself.
4. Pro in research and analysis: Making data-driven decisions should come second nature to a product manager. Most interviewers have reported that product manager candidates make decisions based on gut instincts, not data. Here are some of the skills that you, as a product manager, should build-
- Conducting market and user research
- Use tools to gather and analyze data.
- Interpretation of data
- Write use cases and flowcharts.
- Dig deep into product analytics and identify the source of user issues.
- Develop and use wireframes and prototypes.
- Boost SEO efforts
- Conduct A/B testing
- Chart out the technical specifications of the Product.
- Understand the SDLCs
6. Emotional Intelligence: A high degree of emotional intelligence is what makes great product managers. Product Managers with a high sense of empathy can turn customer pain points into requirements to create a product. Product managers in the 1% can find their way out of extrinsic and intrinsic problems and build a great product. Connection management is one of the critical competencies a product manager is supposed to have.
They deal with external and internal stakeholders and help bring the best out of the team members. It also helps in conflict resolution, negotiation, and working with others to achieve a common goal. Are you also the one under the impression that product managers and product owners are the same, or do you ever wonder what the difference is in the roles and responsibilities of product managers and product owners? If yes, do not skip the blog without reading the below paragraph.
Product Manager vs. Product OwnerProduct Manager vs. Product Owner is a search term that has seen sharp interest in the past decade. We often get questions like 'Is Product Managers and Product Owners the same?' and 'What's the difference between a Product Manager and vs. Product Owner?' Here's a table outlining the difference between Product Manager vs. Product Owner-
|The Product Manager has a razor-sharp focus on building a revolutionary product. They are strategic and farsighted.||The focus of a Product Owner is short-term. Their expertise lies in building products that satisfy customer needs in the present.|
|The Product Manager role lies at the intersection of Product, engineering, design, and marketing. They are in charge of product vision, customer search, cross-functional collaboration, and feature prioritization in the sprint backlog.||The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the development process, translating product vision into the product backlog, and representing the customer's needs in front of the development team.|
|The Product Manager is instrumental in creating the product roadmap and minimum viable products.||The Product Owner takes ownership of creating user stories, backlog, and epics and implementing them as per the roadmap.|
|The Product Owner looks after the metrics like Net Promoter Score, conversions, revenue, innovation index, churn rate, etc.||The product owner measures success using successful sprints, time to market with cycle time, and lead time, etc.|
Click on the link to learn the difference between a product manager and product owner in detail.