Product management is often misunderstood or confused with other job functions and crafts, in this post, I will explain what do people mean when they mention someone that works as a product manager or a job opportunity in this field.
In many cases, especially in technology companies, product management or a product manager refers to the person responsible for the vision and strategy of an entire product or part of it, depending on the product’s size and scale that is.
A product manager in a tech. company work with a group of engineers, 1 or more UX designers, copy writers, product marketing managers and some times data scientists to deliver on the product’s vision and roadmap, which is something this same team is usually responsible for creating and driving.
Modern product management is very much different than traditional product managers that in older companies used to be someone implementing what marketing, leadership or others agree on and the product manager is expected to execute, in most cases in water fall setup, or an agile/scrum setup, in both cases, in that setup the product manager is responsible for the delivery of the product only, which is NOT what we are interested in.
Product management is also not project management, both are very different, while a project manager in mostly responsible for the planning the timelines, budget and communications, which is somewhat shared with the product manager, a project manager has nothing to do with the vision of the product, what it is intended to solve, what customer pain points it addresses and how does it help the company succeed.
Finally a product manager is not a manager of people, he/she is a manager/owner of the product, they are responsible for its success or failure, the team that the product manager works with develops the product that they all believe will fix the customer’s problems or deliver the customer its intended value, the success is theirs to celebrate but the failure is the product manager’s responsbility.
In future posts I will be explaining more about what does this job require, how to get into this career path, share a bit of my personal experiences that I hope will be useful in explaining this profession more.
Until next time, take care!