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What is Product Management?

Product managers play an important role in launching new products and experiences for users. They serve at the intersection of UX or user experience teams, engineering teams, and business leaders, providing the glue that holds together the product vision shared among these groups.
What is Product Management?

Whether you're watching your favorite movie on a streaming service or starting a conversation with a coworker on your company's messaging system, have you ever wondered who helped create these digital experiences?

The answer is that many different people have a hand in the development of each product, but one of the most vital parts in building any digital experience is the product manager.

The role of a product manager can be part of a fulfilling, exciting and challenging career and is ideal for people who love to create new tools and experiences for audiences of all kinds.

So what is product management and what makes a product manager great? In this article, you'll learn how to get started in a product management role, how a Product Management fits into different types of teams, and tips on how to determine if a career in product management is right for you.

What is Product Management?

Although this concept, translated into Turkish as product management, plays a critical role in product development teams, it has not been an official position in digital companies for a long time and has adapted over time with the growth of agile product development methodologies. Today, product management is defined as a role within a product development team focused on successfully executing the product lifecycle. So what is Product Management? let's see together.

Typically, product managers are responsible for putting product management principles into action.

  • Presenting and positioning new ideas for product and feature development
  • Working with engineering and design teams to bring the product to life
  • Ensuring that each product meets the needs of the target user or customer

This is an important differentiator between product management and project management; second, it focuses more on the actual organization and sourcing for each venture, rather than setting the overall product vision.

A great definition of the product manager role is that Product Management is like the executive chief of products. They do not own the restaurant, just as they are not the CEO of the company they work for, in short, it can be defined as the owner of this product.

However, they are responsible for the overall success of the business's products and outputs and for shaping the vision of each feature that helps the business achieve its goals and delight its customers.

Why is Product Management Important?

Product managers play an important role in launching new products and experiences for users. They serve at the intersection of UX or user experience teams, engineering teams, and business leaders, providing the glue that holds together the product vision shared among these groups.

Most importantly, product managers define what success is for each product, outline the product strategy, and show how it will impact both the customer and the goals of the company they work for. Without this voice of a product owner, teams would have a hard time navigating the various interests that exist between organizations both large and small.

Product Management Types and Roles

Product Management core functions are essentially the same in all types of product management roles and product teams, there are some nuances aligning with different titles and role definitions. You will come across titles that describe different levels of experience in product management, such as product manager, product owner, and associate product manager.

1. Growth Product Manager

A growth product manager primarily focuses on advancing a specific metric that their company has set to measure the growth of their business. Typically, growth Product Managers work closely with product marketing and traditional marketing teams to enable their startups to expand their product reach. Many growth product managers frequently conduct short-term experiments to measure the success of their new features or projects and quickly turn to new ventures to meet the demands of the business. Everything from copy to pricing is on the table for testing, and these can help define go-to-market strategies. Growth product managers will benefit from experience or training in digital marketing, psychology or advertising.

2. Technical Product Manager

A background in engineering or development is almost always required for technical product management roles, as this type of Product Manager works hand-in-hand with engineering teams to improve things like the core functionality of a product or a company's technology stack, security, or other digital divisions. These Product Managers focus less on the appearance of a product and are instead dedicated to ensuring that its inner workings are sound. Typically, technical product managers are career changers who start out as engineers.

3. Data Product Manager

If you love working with numbers or are a math prodigy in school, the data product management role may be a great fit for you. Working with business analytics teams and data scientists, data PMs create use cases that organizations use to measure the success of new product and feature releases. They are often responsible for ensuring that customer interactions are properly tracked in the product interface so that other PMs or stakeholders can gain valuable insight into how users navigate the product. A degree in math, finance or data science will be of great help to prospective data PMs.

What Does a Product Manager Do?

The day-to-day responsibilities of a product manager vary across different types of businesses. However, all product management roles require certain universal tasks that are critical to advancing a product development lifecycle.

A PM's primary focus is the end user of their product. Therefore, most of a product manager's time is spent conducting and analyzing both market research and user research, either in partnership with dedicated research teams or on their own, depending on the size of their organization.

PMs should analyze customer needs and product-market fit and advocate for these data points to be part of the company's prioritization discussions. Gathering customer feedback is critical to the success of a new product.

After doing research, PMs help define the organization's product roadmap, which essentially documents the workflow for when and how each feature or product will be released.

After the development process is complete, PMs lead testing of the new feature, often by setting up experiments and iterations. Sometimes large initiatives are broken up into smaller phases, such as a "beta" launch. PMs are responsible for measuring the success of each phase and working with engineering to resolve issues that arise during testing.

When a new feature is live and in front of real customers or users, the product manager is often responsible for communicating the product's successes or shortcomings to business leadership. They use several different analytical tools and reports to ensure that the product meets the expectations set during the research phase.

How to Become a Product Manager?

Product management is a career that fits many backgrounds and skill sets. There's no linear path to getting into a PM role, and it's a great option for those who are interested in technology but aren't sure how to apply their past experience to a role in technology. Here are some skills and tips that can help you break into a PM role.

The most important skill to have as a PM is to empathize with your user. Start paying attention to the things that make you happy and uncomfortable in the products you use in your daily life. What are your pain points when using the product and how does it make the experience better? This mindset is critical to your success as a product manager.

Leadership is an important quality in a product manager as you will be responsible for having a product vision and collaborating with a team to get things done. To develop this skill, you can volunteer at a startup and apply for an internship.


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