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What Does A Product Manager Do?

If you are looking for a product manager position, understanding the role and responsibilities is important. You have to know who you oversee and what tasks you need to take care of. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of this position helps you assess what you need to do and the skills you need to have to succeed.

What Does A Product Manager Do? Roles And Responsibilities

What Does a Product Manager Do?

A product manager has multiple job responsibilities. The role is responsible for clarifying a product’s release course as well as coordinating all the processes needed to get a product not only ready for the market but also onto the market. It includes the ability to bridge gaps between company teams that are working on a product and its final trip to release. Project managers need to create product roadmaps so all the teams such as marketing, sales, production, and customer support are on the same page and working towards the same goal.

What’s The Most Important Thing A Product Manager Does?

When I asked Daniel Zacarias, co-founder at career.pm and product manager blogger at Folding Burritos, they said:

The most important thing a product manager does is, “communicating a clear vision and strategy. It’s the only way to help the team create a product that serves the needs of both its target market and the business.”

Parts of the Product Manager Role

Product Specialist

A product manager is expected to be a market and product specialist. They have been hired to know the industry market and product. Knowing the customers as well as the competition and market is part of the role. Product managers have domain expertise.

Business Specialist

Project managers are not CEOs but they are the boss of the product being developed. They have a good handle on the whole process to make sure that it creates profit for the company. They must have strong business skills along with industry knowledge and be able to blend the two for the best possible product outcome.

Leadership

A significant part of a product manager’s duties is being a leader. That doesn’t just mean being able to bark orders. Part of the product manager’s skills should focus on being able to guide and support people as well as build a strong team throughout the production process.

Operations

A fourth part of the product manager’s role is in the area of operations. They need to work on both the largest and smallest details of the management of a new product. Knowing how operations work and what is needed means you can do things or delegate items to keep everything running smoothly.

Key Product Manager Responsibilities

Product manager roles and responsibilities are vast and varying. The person in this role needs a significant production and business background. Here are many of the responsibilities.

Sets Product Vision and Roadmap

This involves using the vision of the company and the desired outcome of a product to set a product roadmap and an overall production strategy to implement the vision and goals.

Analyzes Customer Needs

Part of a product manager’s responsibilities is to search out, gather, handle, and prioritize customer needs and wants. Knowing the market requirements is key to a successful product. They need to understand why customers buy products as well as what the competition is doing. Market research and analysis are important.

Be an Advocate

The role description for a product manager includes the responsibility of advocating for customers and their needs. If there are issues with making sure the product is targeting the market properly, the project manager must advocate for what the customer wants.

Gather the Team

There are many players in the product management process and the product manager needs to make sure that engineering, sales, marketing, and customer service are working as a team to meet the business case and customer goals that are set.

Know the Needs

Another duty that the product manager has is working on the content of the market needs documentation. This is done by identifying the market problem that is being solved and indicating what the priorities are before justifying each step of the answer.

Test Programs

As the project gets closer to the end, project managers are responsible for running the beta and pilot programs. They will also repeatedly review work that is completed and make sure the product is meeting customer expectations.

Innovator

Project management has the key responsibilities of building new business cases for new products, making improvements to those that have already been produced, and looking for new business ventures.

Presenter

A big part of a product manager’s role description is the responsibility they have for reporting and documentation including business cases, markets need docs, and product roadmaps, just to name a few. There are others such as case studies, product comparisons, and competitor analysis that may also be needed. Documentation for presentations and data sharing is going to be a large part of the product management role as well.

Final Thoughts

If your goal is to become a product manager or you are new to the position, there are many roles and responsibilities you have to fulfill. You need product manager skills and a background in both the business and the product. Having knowledge about product production and good written and verbal communication skills and tech skills are also necessities. While many people who are interested in or already in this position have a bachelor’s degree, some have an MBA or at least some extra training in business and marketing.

Being a project manager gives you a training ground for further advancement into executive roles. Learning more about engineering, development teams, and the creative side is a big bonus of the position as well. The more you learn and grow, the better your chances to move up are.

Add in a newsletter and interactions with The Product Manager to stay on the leading edge of things. Being a product manager lets you see the benefits of a job well done and a product that is enjoyed by your company’s customers, propelling your business to success.

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