What do Product Managers do?
Product Managers are responsible for the development and delivery of products in an organization. They are often referred to as "CEOs" of a product as they make product ideas come to life. By hiring PMs, businesses can better coordinate their many departments, release more market-driven products, and improve their product turnaround times.
In order to make things happen, PMs have a few core responsibilities. First, they have to organize concrete plans to develop the product. This involves setting a product vision, building a roadmap to communicate product strategy, and identifying deliverables for each stage of development. Second, PMs also have to implement prioritization. This is crucial, as rather than building any product or software, PMs can conserve time and resources by deciding what is worth creating. Third, PMs have to work with others frequently. This includes working with different stakeholders, such as interviewing customers, or collaborating with different departments, such as engineering and design teams, to review their product strategies. Overall, this job scope is systematic and interpersonal, and a person who can juggle all these differing responsibilities will make for a good PM.
Job Description Template
Being a PM can be the meaningful career you desire, where you hold the key to driving product innovation and improving the lives of many customers. As a PM, you will gain valuable opportunities to interact with numerous stakeholders and develop diplomatic skills, and learn to balance trade-offs to ensure products are profitable for the business.
We are looking for a capable PM who has the ability to prioritize and tactfully reject diverse ideas, forecast possible product successes or failures, work well with other teams, and make choices based on the needs of potential users. Hence, if you are a confident decision-maker, a skilled communicator, and an empathetic individual who can place yourself in customers’ shoes, you will thrive as a PM in our company.
- You will develop an overall vision and lead the strategy, outlining, execution of the product
- You will collaborate with other departments, such as engineering, marketing, finance, etc., to ensure that the product specifications are met
- You will be responsible for collecting and examining customers’ feedback (desires and pain points) to develop the product
- You will need to write the product specifications to guide other departmental teams on the desired features of the product
- You will plan for the launch of the product with marketing and sales teams, which involves creating marketing collateral and campaigns
- You will pinpoint, communicate, and prioritize problems of a product to solve, balancing both customer and departmental input
- You will specify, manage, and refine product backlog to recognize which priorities to set in product creation or development
- You will need to ensure the effectiveness of the product development process by grasping the limitations of each department
- You will pilot new products to gather customer feedback, and to minimize any risks depending on the business’ desired goals and metrics
- You will apply data analytics to track success and ascertain if the product vision is fulfilled
- You will be involved in developing product pricing strategies by evaluating market research and competition
- You will prepare the budget, and conduct short-term and long-term forecasting regarding product revenue and costs
- You will employ in-depth product expertise when required to make appropriate decisions about the product
- You will need to organize and coordinate with other departments for release planning to set proper milestones and deadlines
- You will be in charge of many forms of documentation, including user manuals and internal knowledge bases, which will be shared with other departments
- Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Business, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, or other relevant fields
- Entry-level [Associate], 3-5 years of experience [Mid-level], 5-8 years of experience [Senior]
- Relevant work experience in product management for Product Manager positions that are mid-level and above
- Familiar with different product management software and methods (e.g. Scrum, Kanban)
- Possess good time management skills to manage multiple tasks at once and complete them according to the outlined product roadmap
- Able to apply expertise to create or develop products, will require strong technical backgrounds relevant to the business
- Strong negotiation and interpersonal skills, capable of resolving conflict
- Ability to make decisions and overcome challenges creatively
- Capable of both viewing the big picture and paying attention to detail for a product
- Communicate effectively with other teams participating in product creation or development, including building and maintaining rapport with these teams
- Possess leadership qualities to communicate product strategy, delegate tasks, and guide and motivate teams involved in the product roadmap
- Able to balance product priorities based on quantitative data and inputs from various stakeholders
- Capable of empathizing with customers to build a product which caters to their needs
- Excellent writing skills to convey product specifications to other teams
- Ability to analyze and interpret substantial data to convert them into practical information for the product
What does a product manager do day-to-day?
- Follow-up on delegated tasks
- Meet customers to gather feedback
- Coordinate meetings with teams
- Communicate product priorities
- Analyzing and interpreting metrics
- Conducting market research
- Defining the vision for the product
- Documenting product requirements
- Answering questions about the product
- Manage product backlog
What is the difference between a product manager and project manager?
Product managers need to have a big picture vision of a product and make decisions and create strategies based on the vision. Project managers are different in that they mainly ensure that they follow the vision, manage their resources well, and deliver what is required.
Who does a product manager report to?
Product managers usually report directly to the CEO, VP of Product, or the Chief Product Officer.
What do you need to be a product manager?
- Time management and prioritization
- Strong negotiator and communicator
- Emotional intelligence
- Clear vision for the product
- Balance trade-offs between teams
- Make effective documentation
- Data analytics skills
- Knowledge of product management software
- Possess leadership qualities
- Capture both big picture and details
What are the 3 top priorities for a product manager?
- Balancing priorities between different stakeholders
- Empathizing and advocating for the customer
- Strong interpersonal skills to communicate with other stakeholders