What does a Product Manager do?
A product manager is a professional role responsible for the development of products for an organization, known as the practice of product management. Product managers own the business strategy behind a product, specify its functional requirements, and generally manage the launch of features and customer feedback. They coordinate work done by many other people such as software engineers, data scientists, and product designers and are ultimately responsible for the product's success.
The term is often confused with other similar roles, such as:
- Project manager: Performs all activities related to schedule and resource management.
- Program Manager: Also known as Technical Program Manager and performs activities related to schedule, resource, and cross-functional execution.
- Product owner: A popular role in Agile development methodology may perform all activities related to a self-encapsulated feature or feature set plan, development, and releases.
- Product marketing manager: Responsible for the outbound marketing activities of the product, not development and cross-functional execution.
What do you become a successful Product Manager?
Basic skills of successful product managers include:
- Strategic Thinking: Good PMs help companies find and prioritize high potential ideas to work on and then prioritizing options.
- Technical Execution: Product managers need to be technically proficient to understand the context and possibilities of the product space.
- Remarkable Collaboration: Great PMs collaborate with their teams to perform at a high level. Product managers need to work well through others to other teams such as design, marketing, engineering, customer service, etc.
- Good in Communication: Good communication is an essential skill to expertly shares the data with everyone to function well. Product managers have to keep all team members up-to-date with the updates and decisions about the product.
- User understanding: Product managers need to identify high potential user problems and successfully evaluate a solution for them. A product is as good as it solves users' problems. The better product managers and companies understand their customers, the more likely their products will solve user problems.
What is the difference between a Product Manager and a Product Owner?
While the Product Owner is a role you play in a Scrum team, Product Manager is the job. The responsibilities of a Product Manager may shift depending on the context and stage of the product. Without a Scrum team, they will likely approach more strategic and validation tasks. If they are part of a Scrum team, there is a high chance that daily tasks are more execution-related.