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What is product management in tech

What is product management in tech?

In this piece, you’ll find out:

  • What does product management mean at a tech company?
  • The most important things a product manager has to do
  • What it takes to be a good product manager
  • Why is managing products an interesting job for consultants and bankers?
  • What to read and where to find it

“The product manager of today is becoming more and more like the product’s mini-CEO.”

They set the vision and strategy for the product and led a diverse group of people (engineers, designers, marketers, etc.) to make sure the right product got to market. They set out the product roadmap, which includes features and requirements, and explain how it helps the business. They are in charge of figuring out the “what” and working with the engineering team to make a product that works well.

Product managers need to know what users want in order to put the right product on the market. They always look at what users want and what they might want in the future. As the diagram below shows, their area of expertise is where business, technology, and user experience meet.

What is product management in tech?

Product managers need to be able to take feedback and figure out what it means. Feedback comes not only from the people who use the product but also from the engineers, the marketers, and almost everyone else who has an interest in it. Product managers are good at getting feedback, sorting out the noise, and figuring out what needs to be done first.

Product managers also need to be very organized. These are very helpful when working with different teams that don’t report to them directly. Product managers also have to keep track of many different projects at once, such as the launch of a new product, the development of new products, customer research, and building stronger relationships with key stakeholders.

Product managers at tech companies are in charge of making things that customers or the company itself can use. Even though the main goal of product managers is to increase the business value of the product, the responsibilities and skills they need can vary greatly depending on whether they manage a software product (like PayPal or LinkedIn) or a hardware product (e.g., FitBit, Square).

When it comes to software products, it could be very helpful to know how to develop software (i.e., code). PMs are in charge of teams of software engineers, and being able to speak their language helps them understand the nature of the work and keep track of deadlines and expectations as a whole. Because of this, some companies want their product managers to have hard skills like being able to code.

The stage of the company is another thing that can change responsibilities and work scope (i.e., early-stage vs. later-stage). In early-stage companies, the PM is in charge of a small team and a large part of the product, if not the whole thing. In the later stages, when the team is bigger and the product is more complicated, the PM will be in charge of smaller parts of the product. PMs at LinkedIn, for example, are in charge of small parts of one of the sub-products (e.g., the job filters of LinkedIn Recruiter).

It’s important to remember that product management and product marketing are two very different things. Product marketing managers are in charge of putting all the features of a product into words that customers can understand. They have to show people how to use the product, give presentations to customers and potential customers, and make marketing materials. They describe the product for the market. The first parts of a product’s life cycle are the responsibility of the product manager.

What is product management in tech?

What a product manager needs to do:

Figuring out who you’re talking to

This is the most important part of a product manager’s job. Understanding and analyzing the current and future needs of your target audience will help you make sure that your product meets any need or solves any problem. Surveys, focus groups, and testing prototypes are all ways to get this kind of information.

Learn about the market (the landscape) and the other companies that are in it.

An important thing to do if you want to convince people to buy your product instead of a competitor’s When analyzing the current product or service and planning for the next one, it’s important to know a lot about both the marketing landscape and the competitors.

Make a plan and link it to your business model.

This duty shows how important it is to understand how a business works. For the product manager, it’s important that the product strategy fits with the business model and that the results bring in the money that was hoped for.

Product design phase

It’s important to know what your goal is for the product you’re making and to tell all the teams about it. This includes figuring out the user flow, making a prototype, testing the prototype with a segmented focus group, and then using the feedback from the focus group to improve the product.

Putting it together

When working with different teams, remind yourself and your teams that they are working toward your vision of the product and making sure that the product solves the user’s problem.

How to get the product out to the public

If your product doesn’t sell, it doesn’t help the user or your business. So, figure out why new users should start using your product and tell your audience about it.

Keeping an eye on how the product is doing

Get feedback from customers and think about how and where you can make the product better.

What does it take to be a successful Product Manager?

1. Leadership

As a product manager, you will be required to lead teams that don’t report directly to you. Being able to lead where needed is something all product managers need to be able to do.

2. Organisational skills

Being organized is essential in every job, for the product manager, however, this becomes even more important as they attempt to lead various teams. Being analytical is important for managing products, assessing feedback, and being able to successfully analyze any relevant data.

3. Analytical skills

Analytical skills are used at every stage by a product manager. Exceptional analytical skills assist them when building the strategy model while understanding customer needs and as they sort through the enormous amount of feedback.

4. Project management skills

Product managers have to coordinate with a variety of teams. Being able to efficiently manage and prioritize is the only way that you will be able to coordinate with all the different teams.

Why is Product Management an interesting role for consultants and bankers

Consultants have strong organizational and analytical skills which are extremely important for managing the product development process. They are also versed in navigating various business units & functions while interacting with multiple stakeholders and multidisciplinary teams, which is routine in PM.

Moreover, Product Management requires strong soft skills in order to lead teams that are not directly reporting to you, which is something consultants and bankers excel at given that they spend most of their time advising clients.

As noted earlier, some PM roles are not relevant to consultants and bankers since they are technical in nature, requiring hard skills such as software development.

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