What is Product Management?
What is Product Management?
Product Management is a fairly new practice and career in the technology world, which is often poorly understood and poorly defined. In reality, there is probably no single definition for this role. In its most basic sense, a product manager is typically responsible for defining a product’s strategy and implementation and using all means to ensure successful execution of this strategy through any and all means necessary. But ultimately no product management role or product manager is the same. Some will describe the role as “facilitator” or “doer”. Some may describe it as a “jack of all trades” position. Another common description is the “CEO of the Product”. As you can see, there are many different views and descriptions. Given the vision and mission of Colorado Product, it only makes sense that we should create further visibility for both the role and its meaning. Here are some of our favorite definitions from various product management resources and quotes from industry professionals.
“The intersection between business, technology and user experience. A good product manager must be experienced in at least one, passionate about all three, and conversant with practitioners in all.”
“The role of product management spans many activities from strategic to tactical—some very technical, others less so. The strategic role of product management is to be messenger of the market, delivering information to the departments that need market facts to make decisions.”
“To discover a product that is valuable, usable and feasible”
“Help your team (and company) ship the right product to your users”
“As Product Managers, we are the CEOs of our products. We love products. We focus first on delivering value to our users. We know who we are building for and what we are building. We know why we are building it and where we are building to long term. We communicate the who, what, why and where clearly, concisely and frequently. We communicate with anyone and everyone who is interested, but most importantly to our teams. We let our teams determine how to build.” [more]
“As a product manager you get three jobs:
a) Project manager: keep the wheels on the bus, the trains running on time and over-communicating about status, documentation, strategy, vision, etc
b) Product manager: the actual feature and requirements spec’ing, working with your x-functional team to get things built and shipped
c) CEO: the buck stops with you no matter what the org chart says. When your product succeeds lavish praise on the team. If your product is struggling you don’t blame sales or marketing – you help them get on track.”
“As Product Manager, you will guide a team that is charged with a product line contribution as a business unit. This extends from increasing the profitability of existing products to developing new products for the company. You will build products from existing ideas, and help to develop new ideas based on your industry experience and your contact with customers and prospects. You must possess a unique blend of business and technical savvy; a big-picture vision, and the drive to make that vision a reality. You must enjoy spending time in the market to understand their problems, and find innovative solutions for the broader market.
You must be able to communicate with all areas of the company. You will work with an engineering counterpart to define product release requirements. You will work with marketing communications to define the go-to-market strategy, helping them understand the product positioning, key benefits, and target customer. You will also serve as the internal and external evangelist for your product offering, occasionally working with the sales channel and key customers.”
“Fill in the whitespace everywhere for everyone; QA a new feature, write the first blog post, make mock-ups your designers might think are amateur but will give them inspiration. Do the boring stuff that makes a difference and moves things forward.”
“As a product manager you have to have empathy for many different points of view. You have to be that person that can communicate with anyone while also driving conversations forward.”
“I don’t see the PM’s job as having all the product ideas. I see it as keeping the engineering and design teams firing on all cylinders.”
“Building. Communicating. Helping. Simplifying. Collaborating. (Sometimes) Crying. Leading,”
“Product management is an organizational lifecycle function within a company dealing with the planning, forecasting, and production, or marketing of a product or products at all stages of the product lifecycle.”