What does a Product Manager *Really* Do & How is the Role Changing?

    Interio Rabbit Chronicles / November 16, 2021
    What does a Product Manager *Really* Do & How is the Role Changing?

    Rather than getting fixated on certain products, tasks, or roadmaps, the best product managers use key user research techniques to constantly engage with customers and test their assumptions. Strong PMs aren’t afraid to change course when necessary, even if it means rolling back on work done or realizing their vision wasn’t spot on. As the user base and market grow, many product teams experience pressure to overload the product with tons of new features. Novel features can help products reach new market segments or cater to edge cases—but without careful planning, the clarity and integrity of the original product vision can get lost. Product managers occupy a unique role within the product team. They need to be practical ‘doer’ types willing to roll up their sleeves and make product delivery happen.

    But whatever happens, the product roadmap should always be aligned with the product vision. Fortunately, Le Wagon can offer both through our 9-week full-time Web Development course. This bootcamp is also available in 24 weeks part-time for those who need a more flexible schedule. In this course, you will work on projects with a team, learn from experts in the industry, and network with your peers — other up and coming software professional softwares.

    Jira Service Management

    It should be clear by now that communication is key to product management. PMs are constantly telling the product story to a range of different stakeholders and feeding business information back to the product team. The product manager keeps all of these different priorities in mind but prioritizes what’s best for users.

    what does a product manager do

    Very important to iterate as you go – even if you aren’t calling it ‘agile’. Collect feedback, listen to your teams, stay focused on your user. Feature-wise, every new piece of a digital product requires deliberate decisions.

    Atlassian Team ‘23

    The goal is to create a product that’s valuable to customers and meets their needs (as opposed to what’s easiest/most exciting for the dev team/stakeholders). Yet, it’s also important to make sure the product is feasible and fits within the overall roadmap and strategy. As you work day in, day out with the development team as a product owner—defining and iterating the product as you go, solving problems as they pop up, and closely managing scope so you can get the product out on time.

    Product managers need to know the lay of the land better than anyone else. More than likely, product managers are dropped into something that already has momentum. If they start executing without taking the time to get their bearings, they’ll make bad decisions.

    Learn the Fundamentals of Product Management

    I know a junior product manager that is nearly universally respected by her team even though initially many of its members would have traded her in for a more seasoned leader given the choice. She took each person on the 30-person team out for coffee and listened to them. Whether or not a team is adhering to a certain agile practice (and which one), can further muddy the waters when it comes to what a product manager does.

    what does a product manager do

    They’ll turn an uninteresting commute into a learning platform or that refreshing afternoon walk into a master class. There are plenty of frustrating events in the life of a product manager, and many of them are entirely out of their control. Product managers also need a solid understanding of fundamental business and economic policies. If they’re unable to turn the underlying unit economics into a profitable and scalable business, they’ll have a pretty short career.

    What’s the difference between a product manager, and a digital product manager?

    Although experience generally matters more than education in product management, you will need to master the foundations before landing a role. This can include how to conduct effective customer research or how to prioritize different product features. Still, product management has emerged as a competitive field — so, consider the following steps to maximize your shot at landing a product manager role.

    what does a product manager do

    As an example, an API product manager might have customers who are all engineers. That might mean that the product manager needs to be much better at technical skills. Understanding users begins with user empathy, being able to feel what a target user feels. This skill helps a product manager begin to predict how a user may react to a new product. By talking to a few target users, great PMs can quickly transform their mindsets to that of any user type — young or old, female or male, etc. — and begin to feel like those users do. Empathy can help teams make accurate decisions with rough precision.

    Anand is the SVP of Product at Path and has been teaching Product Management at Stanford University for 6 years. Prior to Path, Anand was the VP of Product at Pilot and held product leadership roles at Gusto, Dropbox, and Zynga. If you can’t quickly identify the key factors that will make or break your company, you’ll drown from analysis paralysis, or you’ll be too overwhelmed with inbound work. You have to know when to decline work and when to delegate work – you can’t do it all yourself, so prioritizing your work is crucial. If you’re empathetic but you can’t communicate, you won’t be able to share context between the three groups, and that will lead to a breakdown in trust. If you’re communicative but you don’t have empathy, you’ll also destroy trust because you won’t shape the message to target the needs of each group.

    • Once they have analyzed all this data and determined a strategic direction, the product manager’s job is to communicate this strategy to many stakeholders and to earn buy-in from decision-makers.
    • Some are grizzled veterans making a career change from more technical disciplines.
    • A product manager oversees the step-by-step process of designing, developing, launching, and improving products.
    • It should be clear by now that communication is key to product management.

    Product managers are often responsible for coming up with new ideas and finding ways to improve the product. This includes everything from running discovery research sessions to finding new ways to solve customer https://wizardsdev.com/en/vacancy/product-manager/ problems to developing radical new features that will make the product more valuable. Staying up to date with the latest industry trends is a must, as is having a strong knowledge of product research techniques.

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