Product Management: The Knows and Hows

Product management reduces the chance of product failure, it also increases the chances of business success. What is the ultimate goal of a product? To meet the demands of a customer, as simple as that. This is exactly the reason why product management is so important. In product management, customer’s voices are heard at every lifecycle and the required changes are made to ensure that the final product is loved by the customer.

Without product management, a failed product would mean starting the product development all over again making it costly. Most successful companies in the world have a product management team who intensively work on product and find ways of how to improve the product in every way possible. In this blog, we will dive deep into product management, its roles and benefits along with the skills required and the best product management that can be used.

What is Product Management?

Product management is in charge of providing goods and services that satisfy customers and promote corporate expansion. It is an essential part of the company’s larger product development cycle, which includes the complete process of developing a concept into a product that meets customer wants, then evaluating the product’s marketability.

Product management is also defined as a position that focuses on successfully completing the product lifecycle within a product development team. It is an organisational function that guides every step of a product’s lifecycle, from development to positioning and pricing, by focusing on the product and its customers first and foremost.

Moreover, product managers represent consumers’ interests within the company and make sure the market’s opinion is heard and taken into consideration when creating the product. This makes the product stand out from the competitors as the product tends to be higher performing and better designed. This also makes the product development process as efficient as possible.

The Role of Product Manager

A product manager’s job description involves planning and executing the product’s lifecycle. It also includes curating and prioritising the requirements of products and customers. Product managers work closely with the sales, marketing, and engineering teams to make sure their product is the best out there.

Product managers also define a product’s overarching objective as part of their strategic role in product management. Product managers communicate product goals and objectives to the rest of the organisation. They make sure that everyone follows a similar plan of action and also perform a variety of ongoing strategic duties to meet the company’s goal.

All the top companies out there invest heavily in a product manager, knowing that product managers are key to the success of a company. Apart from all the roles and responsibilities we just mentioned, product managers also gather and analyse competition and market data, work on adding specific features and improve a product, assist in testing and finding solution to troubleshoot issues, creates report and works on risk management.

 

The Benefits of Product Management

A successful business compared to a unsuccessful business can come down to a product manager or a product management team. There are many reason why they are vital to every company and here is a list of few reasons:

Makes Everyone Aware of the Competition

To differentiate the product and create value for the customer, a product manager examines and analyses market research. Since it identifies the product’s distinguishing qualities and value to the client, this kind of research is crucial for the product. As a result, a novel solution that tackles a substantial market problem is usually produced.

Helps with Better Collaboration within Teams

The product manager creates a framework for teams to work within and encourages cross-company cooperation. They assemble a varied group of individuals from various professional backgrounds and collaborate with them every day. The product manager defines clear duties and boundaries for each member in order to eliminate any uncertainty surrounding the project. Product managers also establish a framework within which teams may operate and cooperate with one another.

Defining Expectations

While business development expertise may not be necessary for an engineer, they nevertheless need to be aware of how their strategy affects the company. By setting expectations for each phase, a product manager creates a system in which each process communicates with and supports the others. To ensure that everyone is on the same page and conversant in the same language, they enable information flow between departments.

Helps with the Right Delegation

Similar to how an engineer might not have received formal training in the sales process, a business development specialist could not be an expert in system design. A diverse range of skills is needed to design, produce, and market a product, and each ability is essential. Each employee may concentrate on polishing the skills that will best serve the client in their current position, thanks to the product manager’s role as a universal translator between processes.

Ensures Fewer Chances of Failure

Failure cannot be entirely avoided, but it may be considerably decreased with the help of the product manager’s experience and the development of a product roadmap. They are intimately familiar with the customer and the market, and they are aware of the adjustments needed for current items. To prevent releasing a product that fails, it helps to understand what the market wants.

Helps Cocus on Customers

Early client relationship development is essential for corporate success. Product managers play a critical role in ensuring that businesses focus on their customers’ problems and actively work to find solutions in order to succeed.

They develop product roadmaps and share them with stakeholders, detailing the features they are working on, ideas that may be incorporated in the future, features that have already been implemented, and other vital information. In order to better understand the client’s current and future demands, they also continuously gather user feedback and feature requests.

Results in Smooth UX for the Customers

A product manager advocates for user experience improvements that make consumers’ lives easier, especially the so-called “digital natives,” who anticipate using software and products at work in a similar manner to how they use social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp.

A product manager is also vitally necessary to the business and product team to create a robust product that is well welcomed by its users. They are user-focused and strive to offer the best experience, just like UX. They are in charge of establishing the product’s strategy and roadmap. In addition to being heavily involved in product strategy, they also set the product’s direction and collaborate with the team to ensure that the company’s resources are being used to create the appropriate features and products.

Helps in Keeping Up with the Market Trends

Customers’ needs are evolving quickly, and every industry is moving more quickly as well. Teams are required under product management concepts to routinely communicate with current customers and analyse feedback. This may result in problems being repaired more quickly and new features being used before the rest of the market realises their value. This also helps in keeping up with the ever changing marketing trends.

Agile Product Management

The process of guiding a product through several iterations while utilising an agile methodology is known as agile product management. As Agile programmes are more fluid than previous approaches, agile product management is a more flexible approach than traditional product management, especially when it comes to managing digital products.

One of the fundamental ideas behind Agile is that a project’s resources can vary while its scope can alter. Because of this, the team uses Agile product lifecycle management and is less rigid about the product’s initial definition. User feedback and team meetings serve as the building blocks for each version of the product. Moreover, agile product management is a flexible method for developing and implementing product strategies in which teams collaborate to achieve product objectives. It incorporates quicker feedback, higher sales, and product upgrades.

Agile product management also focuses on guiding the development team through the various development phases while maintaining the product vision and taking customer feedback into account. Agile product managers are hence more frequently linked to technology teams than to business teams.

Product Management Roles

For a single product or a number of products, a single product manager is mostly in charge of product lifecycle management. This is why the person must be knowledgeable about or passionate about all the areas that have an impact on product management, as well as be skilled in at least one of the areas that affect product management.

This typically consists of one of two things, a technical developer who is knowledgeable enough about the product to guide its production or a business marketer with experience in business marketing and a passion for great user experience. Product management positions are now some of the highest-paying in the IT business because these people have proven to be so hard to come by and valuable.

As it’s difficult to locate expertise in both domains, product management is often handled by a small group of qualified individuals. Most teams include a Chief Product Officer (CPO), Product Marketing Manager (PMM), Product Owner and User Experience (UX) Researcher.

Skills and Attributes Required

The job description of product managers require a diverse skill-set. Only with using these skills, they can take a company to the next level. Moreover, to remain competitive in the job market or when pursuing advancement within their organisation, business, or startup, product managers must continuously improve their product management abilities. Here is a list of skills that will help you stand out from the rest.
Critical Thinking And Analytical Skills

Each and every product manager needs this. Product managers need to be able to evaluate information and data and offer their teams insights that can be put to use. This aids them in ensuring that products are valuable enough to the company and its clients. Product managers must make decisions and think strategically on a daily basis, and it is challenging to choose the best course of action without the capacity to do so. Quick judgements require product manager to be able to see right through documentation to its core. Time is money!

Leadership Skills

Leadership abilities are crucial for supporting and inspiring your team in any management job. Leadership abilities are required of product managers at all levels, not just senior product managers, in order to get products developed and achieve deadlines. To see products through product development and launch, it follows that the best product managers also have a working knowledge of product management.

Additionally, product managers frequently have to serve as the team leader for cross-functional groups that may comprise members of the product team, engineering team, marketing team, sales team, and other teams. To get the entire team on the same page and focused on the same objective, leadership is crucial.

Flexibility

In the realm of product management, priorities can change every day. The priority may change from one day to the next depending on the product. To guarantee that products are developed and released in a timely and effective manner, product managers must possess the ability to prioritise tasks, stay current with changes in their industry and the competitive landscape, and maintain their flexibility.

Problem-Solving

Products’ primary purpose is to address an issue for a business or a particular type of client. To accomplish this, great product managers must design things from the ground up. Also, in the product management role, generating and brainstorming product ideas requires a strong problem-solving approach.

Emotional Intelligence

The best product managers are able to empathise with consumers during the interview, are conscious of their body language and emotions, and can identify the pain points that the product or feature will address. A good product manager may be aware of the dos and don’ts of a customer interview. This emotional intelligence is an important trait in both job and personal life.

Self-management

Product management can be a tough job. Customers voice their opinions about the product, the CEO has other preferences, and the engineering team has altogether different requirements. Tight timelines, revenue goals, market demands, prioritisation conflicts, and resource constraints must all be managed simultaneously. Colleagues and customers will lose faith in a product manager if they can’t keep their emotions in check and work through challenges when under duress.

Self-awareness

Product managers need to be conscious of themselves in order to remain impartial and avoid projecting their personal preferences onto the users of their products. Product managers are typically power users of the products they oversee, therefore if they appreciate a feature because it solves their own problems, they may persuade a user to agree with them in order to appease the product manager.

Relationship Management

One of the most important qualities of an excellent product manager is the ability to manage relationships. The finest product managers cultivate genuine and reliable relationships with both internal and external stakeholders in order to motivate individuals and assist them in realising their full potential.

Time Management

Product managers continually divide their time between various products and projects while also reacting to changing priorities. Product managers who have good time management abilities can balance everything on their plate while still working quickly and effectively to get products to market. You can always get better at managing your time as you figure out what suits you the most.

Communication Skills

The ability to do this is crucial for product managers. The product manager must have good written and verbal communication skills to work with their team and lead them to the timely and cost-effective launch of successful products. Additionally, product managers must be able to engage with parties outside of their team, especially when discussing prospects for product enhancement or success.

Product Management Tools

The job of a product manager is very difficult even though it can pay a handsome amount. There is just too much of things to keep track of and manage. This is why most product managers or product management teams use product management tools. However, as there are many product management tools out there, it gets very confusing on which one to use. Below we made a list of five of the best product management tools along with points to justify our choice:

Jira

Software development teams can use Jira as an issue management application to keep track of stories, epics, bugs, and other activities. Although the Jira platform contains Jira Core, a simple project-management application created for non-technical teams, and Jira Service Desk, an add-on created for IT teams, software development teams mostly use Jira Software. Jira is used by 40% of product managers to manage their backlog and schedule their sprints during the development stage of the product management process.

For agile teams who need to take a product from concept to hard launch and beyond, Jira is a right product management tool. Any product lifecycle management team can benefit from Jira software’s features including scrum boards, roadmaps, agile reporting, and customised workflow. Despite Jira’s well-balanced features-for-price combination, some micro-level problems may discourage some users.

Monday.com

Teams of all sizes may plan, track, and organise their daily work using Monday.com. From weekly iterations to extensive product roadmaps, Monday.com assists teams in defining clear ownership, tracking and analysing their work, managing sprints, and collaborating. Teams can collaborate remotely thanks to the user-friendly agile platform provided by Monday.com.

Monday.com’s Work OS is built from visual and flexible features that come together to create any agile workflow your team needs. It supports milestones, Gantt and Kanban views, task dependencies, and project analysis. Monday.com has a simple and intuitive UI, and onboarding is quick and efficient. Teams in any department can easily find the features they need to customize their account to fit their needs.

To guarantee teams always have answers to their problems, Monday.com also provides 24/7 support, taped webinars and seminars, and in-depth Knowledge Base articles.

Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-based platform that helps product managers and their teams stay organised and on the same page at all times. Product managers can manage all aspect of their workflow, from planning to execution, with the help of this all-inclusive application. A number of capabilities are available in Wrike to aid users in remaining productive and organised during the development process.

These consist of budget tracking, resource allocation, project timelines, and task tracking. With the help of these tools, users can effortlessly manage several projects at once and guarantee that work is done on schedule and within their intended budget. With the use of Wrike’s collaboration capabilities, team members can also communicate while exchanging files in real time.

Several productivity tools in Wrike help teams stay focused on their objectives. Users may visually follow projects through various completion phases using the Kanban board functionality without having to switch between different views or displays.

Users can also set up automated reminders to make sure that duties are remembered amid the daily commotion. With Wrike’s workload view, users can see from above how much work each team member has contributed, how tasks are allocated, and who is in charge of what. You may drag and drop tasks from one person to another, examine task progress as it pertains to overall workloads, and quickly discover impending due dates and project schedules.

Craft.io

Craft.io is an end-to-end product management platform that product managers can use to manage every aspect of the lifecycle of their digital products, from feature definition and feedback gathering to prioritisation, capacity planning, road mapping, and portfolio management.

With the use of this technology, product teams can establish a single source of truth where they can manipulate their data in order to produce customised roadmaps that are constantly up-to-date, seamlessly tie strategy to features, and tell enthralling product stories.

The platform is designed to help product experts by incorporating best practises at every stage. Even seasoned product managers can benefit from using the platform’s Guru layer to create, view, edit, modify, and share the appropriate product content more quickly and effectively. An experienced product manager may create these assets more quickly by using pre-built templates for product epics, user personas, and prioritisation frameworks rather than spending hours manually creating them in static files.

Product Plan

Using 25+ roadmap templates, ProductPlan makes it simple to design, visualise, and discuss a product strategy. Using their straightforward drag and drop editor, ProductPlan enables team collaboration on live roadmaps. You can also alter how your timelines, lists, tables, and portfolio layouts look. You may provide links to editable roadmaps to your stakeholders using ProductPlan, which makes it simple for them to examine your data without having to pay for the tool’s use.

Despite the impressive features listed above, ProductPlan lacks a suitable method for managing requirements for the goods they host. This won’t be a problem for many users as needs are frequently handled individually, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

 

Conclusion

The role of product management is undoubtedly important for the success of a business as it focuses on improving the product at every life stage of the product cycle by taking the feedback of clients and customers. Moreover, there is so much more to product management and it helps a company in numerous ways.

Also, if the roles of a product manager or a product management is carried out appropriately, a business if very likely to be successful. To carry out the tasks appropriately, there are various skills a product manager requires which was all discussed in this blog. We also took you through the best product management tools that you can use to make your job easier. So, if you are someone who is eyeing a career in product management, ensure you acquire the skills mentioned as well learn to use the product management tools.

14 December 2023

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