Project Management

Product Management

last edited by: Marcus Udokang on Sep 19, 2020 1:30 AM login/register to edit this page
Keywords: Content Guidelines Knowledge and Skills

What is Product Management and who are the Product Managers?

A product can be anything we see around us. It can be an intangible service offered by a travel agency or any tangible goods like a soap bar.

Product Management is a term commonly used these days for the activities and approaches followed to build a product. It's a very wide term having a lot of importance when it comes to taking end to end responsibility for a product development, delivery, improvements, maintenance and even retirement. There are different ways this term is used. An R&D team works on a product but the phase of their effort for the product is very different from the Technical Support team which is resolving the issues found in the product. The people responsible to deliver their part are doing nothing but product management but having their own scopes very limited to a specific deliverable. However, there are companies or products which are very specific about having the ownership of a product very much defined and concentrated to a single central point of contact called the Product Manager. It completely depends upon the product scope and company size to decide how many Product Managers should be managing it but there should always be a central ownership with someone. This product manager works with all the cross-functional teams such as R&D, development, operations, sales & marketing, finance, legal, and even with customers.

One of the very critical and key aspects of Product Management is customer-centricity. Everything starts with customer and their business problems or business opportunity they are looking for. The need of the customer is not always known. However, Product Managers play a key role here to map the customer's need with the solution either already available or they have the skill to deliver the solution needed to the customer. I recently saw an advertisement of a beard wash of the same company who sells the face wash as well, but the use case here is very different and specific for the people who loves to be beard. Before having this product in market, the customers were having options to either wash beard using a soap or a regular face wash. In short, in most of the cases with B2C or even B2B business, the customers don't exactly know what they want. They just know that they need something, and they explore options. In some cases, they don't know whether they want something unless they come across the product. It's Product Manager who plays a critical role here to map these needs with the product offering.

There is a big list of activities that well defines Product Management, but it's not limited to: 1. Market research 2. Business case building 3. Customer engagement 4. Stakeholder management 5. Product definition 6. Scope definition 7. Roadmap ownership 8. Product knowledge building 9. Communication management 10. Quality expectation setting 11. Marketing 12. Progress tracking 13. Budgeting 14. Product demos 15. Documentation 16. Compliance management 17. Fostering innovation

Product Management is a way of contributing to building the product whereas Product Managers are the servant leaders. An effective product manager is the one who has clear definitions and goals for the product and the one who doesn't work in silos. Building a product is a teamwork. It's not only product manager's job to build it but the product managers are ensuring that every team delivers their part to their best to achieve the common goal. Remember, successful products like HERE Maps, iPhone, AWS or McDonald's are not great just because they have great leaders but because they have a great team and they know how to best utilize their knowledge and skills to build great products.

last edited by: Marcus Udokang on Sep 19, 2020 1:30 AM login/register to edit this page

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