Seven Days Make A Week | A Look At The Product Manager Job Role
What do product managers do and how do they do it. A view of the product management job profile and what it entails.
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Product Management In 2020

Product Management In 2020

It’s weird to think that the Product Manager job title has only been with us for a very few years.

Yes, people used to carry out certain facets of the product management role, but the true product manager as we know them today, has only been in existence for a short time.

The event of the Internet and eCommerce and the speed with which technology moves in this space, has seen the grwoth of the product manager as a specialised job role.

Indeed, the product manager is involved in all apsects of a product from conception, through development and finally to launch. It has been said that this role requires the proverbial “Jack of all trades”, but it is more than that.

And, a product does not necessarily have to be a physical product, have a look at Ben Lavender, inventor of the iPlayer talking about his new sentior product manager’s role at DAZN. This gives some grest insights into the role.

So, as you can see, it’s a multi-functional job!

Definition of a Product Manager

Indeed, Aha defines the job as “setting the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition for a product or product line”, that is an all encompassing description!

The job role tends to focus on specialist markets with product managers becoming market specialists. They need to have a deep understanding of the product top bne able to manager the product lifecycle. So, in Ben’s example, he’s a product expert in meida streaming.

Product Vision

Initially they will analyse market conditions, look for gaps, look at the competition and the features and benefits they offer. They will lay out a product vision.

At this stage they will put forward a strategy for the product. This is essentially a value proposition for the planned product. He ensures the rest of the team totally understand the vision for the proposed product. This extends beyond the build or development phase and covers the full product lifecycle.

Product Implementation

The key phase, launch and implementation. Our manager will define the process for going to market. How and when release will happen and the co-ordination of all events up to and including the launch. It goes without saying this is a vital stage. No product manager wants a failure on his hands. Interpersonal skills will be at a premium as managing and making sure all the various departments within marketing are on the same sheet is critical. You simply cannot have sales and customer support in different places. Communication and management are vital here.

Product Creative

It is sometimes argued creative is not within the remit. And whilst that may be strictly true, the product management professional does need to have a firm grasp of new requiremnents versus features and how that impacts all areas of product delivery and marketing. He must work closely with product development and be able to define how changes will impact not only saleability but also perception and implementation. Its a fine line to tread.

Worth Their Weight

The skills market for Product Management is completitive with the best Product Managers demaning above market packages. Here’s Doug Bates from Intelligent People explaining the vacancy market.

It’s always interesting to get a Recruitment Consultant’s view on the market place. I know they have to give a balanced view on any job market as they serve both clients and candidates alike. So, the view must, of necessity, be a balanced one.

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