Product Management sounds a bit like Project Management. But it’s very different. However, I often get asked the question.
So, in this video, I’m going to answer the question, what is Product Management – and what is a Product Manager?
This video is safe for viewing in the workplace.This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy
To start with, I could argue that the core of the product management role is communication.
The engineers who create products speak a different language and have different ways of thinking from the customers whom their products serve. And what of the commercial people responsible for:
Often, engineers have very different concerns from these other professionals. Sometimes, they have and show very little interest in the commercial aspects of their product. They want to produce something elegant, innovative, and clever.
So, we need someone who can hold together the three disparate interests of:
This is what Product Management does. Because, a product manager’s job is to bridge the gaps between these communities. They take responsibility for the welfare of their product, acting as:
Therefore, a Product Manager will measure her or his success by the success of the product they manage.
The most important role of the product manager is to set the strategic direction for their product. This means overseeing its:
In addition, they must also act as an advocate for their product both internally and externally.
As an internal advocate for their product, a Product Manager will fight to secure the resources it needs for its:
This means pitching for commercial support from all the organization’s functions and departments – often in competition with other products.
Therefore, a key part of the role is often one of data analysis and forecasting. Indeed, often Product Managers have a direct P&L (Profit and Loss) responsibility for their product. They might operate like ‘mini business owners’.
Making a product profitable is, therefore, a key concern for Product Managers. So, the product management role will often encompass the marketing and promotional responsibilities that Brand Managers have always had.
But the role must go beyond advocating for the product in the market. Product Managers must also gather market intelligence and understand their customers’ needs and priorities.
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I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own.
Note that the links are affiliated.
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Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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