Product management is emerging as a vital skill for businesses that are facing fast-paced digital change. As technology has evolved, so has the role of a product manager. We’re here to shed a little light on product management for you.
What do product managers do?
Product managers identify and help design products that meet customer needs, while aligning with business goals. They’re the ones who see the big picture of the product lifecycle, allocating resources efficiently to create an innovative and successful product.
Martin Eriksson, founder of ProductTank, describes a product manager as someone who sits at the intersection of the business, technology and user experience. This can be best visualised as a Venn diagram, with product management sitting right at the centre.
The role of a product manager is versatile. Their days often consist of researching their market, building roadmaps, analysing data and collaborating with stakeholders. Once they have a vision of a product, they must then guide that product through its dynamic lifestyle, from ideation to launch.
Product management is all about strategy and results. The role is challenging and always evolving, and there’s no step-by-step guide in how to do it. It requires someone with an innovative mind, driven to define their own success.
Keys to success
Product managers need many different skills to thrive in their role. However, there are a few key skills that form a vital foundation of a good product manager.
Questions, lots of them
There are no pointless questions in product management. A good product manager knows what questions to ask and when to ask them. Their understanding of their customer market – and the problems they’re trying to solve – need to be front of mind at every stage of the product development lifecycle.
Ambition, maybe even too much
Once product managers understand the problem they’re trying to solve, they must ask themselves: what product will solve this? This requires creativity and a bold mind. It’s better to be too ambitious, especially in the beginning, rather than not ambitious enough.
Product managers must also have strong communication skills. A product’s development is a collaborative process and relies on coordinating various departments within a business. Product managers must be able to communicate why their product is important, and demonstrate how it will be successful.
Plan A, plan B and plan C
Every good product has a detailed plan behind it. The best product managers will create actionable roadmaps for the development of their product. This means plan A, plan B and even plan C. Product managers must prepare for every scenario and leave no stone unturned.
What worked? What didn’t?
Most importantly, product managers are analytical and forward thinking. They ask themselves, ‘what worked? What didn’t work? What can we do better?’. They aren’t afraid to reflect and self-evaluate both success and failures.
Why do we need product managers?
Businesses need someone who understands an emerging product from the inside out. Product managers spearhead product development because they see the whole picture, not just certain parts.
As technology continues to evolve and become more complex, it’s vital we have product managers to navigate this complicated terrain.
If a career in product management sounds right for you, our Graduate Certificate of Product Management bootcamp will equip you with the practical skills necessary to thrive in this role. If you have any questions, our course consultants are always ready to help on 1300 110 146.