Product Managers: Who are they and what they do

Product Managers: Who are they and what they do

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·Mar 31, 2020·

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A Product Manager (also known as PMs) is a person responsible for defining the why, when, and what of the product that the engineering team builds. It is an important organizational role — especially in technology companies — that sets the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition for a product or product line. The position may also include marketing, forecasting, and profit and loss (P&L) responsibilities. The role of a product manager is similar in concept to a brand manager at a consumer packaged goods company.

I visited a technology company recently, and I heard the word Product Managers. I reached out to one of the PMs to ask what it was all about and what they do especially in a technology company.

A PM in a technology company works like this: For example, Company A approaches with a banking app idea. PMs look into the requirements, they come up with user stories, do more research on banking apps and look up ideas, they analyze the user stories and ideas from other sources, then join these ideas together and create a full feature list.

Next are the app flow, design process, architecture diagram, and sketches(wireframes). At this point a proposal is prepared and sent to Company A, the PM pitches the idea and get feedback on their requirement from Company A.

After a successful delivery, if Company A is okay with the requirement: PMs develop mock-ups and prototype, then straight to the coding phase — Software Developers come into place. PMs still write tickets(issues), plan spirits, remove blockers for the developers and also decide which features are built first.

Product Managers are in various capacities like:

  • Managing all stakeholders of the product (client, developer, QA, sales team and finance, etc)

  • Detailed requirement gathering and business analysis

  • Ideas generation and problem-solving

  • Removing blockers for stakeholders involved

  • Planning and deciding the life cycle of the product

  • Testing the product (if there is no software Quality Assurance)

And a lot of other silent activities.

In technology companies, PMs are of various types:

  • Design-Oriented Product Managers
  • Data-Oriented Product Managers
  • Developer-Oriented Product Managers

The day-to-day work of a PM is time-consuming between brainstorming additional features, doing customer interviews, working with various internal/external stakeholders trying to create a go-to-market plan.

If you find that the features your team is building aren't successful you should hire a dedicated Product Manager.


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